Alternatives to Valentine’s Day – think different about LOVE

It’s getting closer and closer to the Big V-day extravaganza. The internet is abuzz with heart filled hashtags and jaw dropping price tags. Shops are proclaiming that your loved ones won’t know how much you care unless you drop some heart stopping hot cash. The colour red is slowly appearing in the shops and gift ideas are springing up.

Honestly… it’s enough commercialism to put me off the holiday completely. But never fear – I’ve got some ideas for you to take your love relationships to the next level… without the heart rending horror of waxy chocolate and half dead roses. 

Love is a verb. It’s not a word you say – it’s a thing you do. Words can be chosen and changed and manipulated, but actions, as they say, speak for themselves. How you show someone your love makes a big difference.

So you’re not the flowers, chocolates and candlelit dinner type. Not everyone is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun together on February 14th. We’ve come up with some ideas for an outside-the-box Valentine’s Day.

Just because you’re part of a couple, doesn’t mean you have to follow the rules on Valentine’s Day. You can go out for dinner and eat overpriced chocolate any day. Forget the played out date night – this year, do things differently!

Think smart about gifts.

Small, frequent, thoughtful gifts are more important than the big ones. 

Spending big money on roses and jewelry and all that ‘typical’ stuff may give you the WOW factor on Valentine’s Day. But grand gestures shouldn’t take the place of more frequent demonstrations of your affection. Not to say that flashy gifts are necessarily bad, but frequency does matter. Your partner will appreciate a large box of chocolates and a lot of physical attention on Valentine’s Day, but if you ignore them the rest of the time, your partner won’t be feeling the love.

It’s not about spending money either. It’s about being mindful of creating those gestures of love every day. Saying “thank you” more often, giving your partner control over the TV for a night, greeting them at the door, or waking up a few minutes early to make them coffee…. these are simple acts, yet so effective. Even just turning off your smartphone to enjoy dinner with your spouse shows you’re making room in your daily life (and your heart) for this other person.

SPA day with your besties!

One of the best things in the world is spending time with friends, so go ahead and invite them over, grab a bottle of wine or two and allow yourselves to act like girls. I’m talking nail painting, face mask wearing and boy gossiping. Just like the movies. Or… have a couples party. Men have been known to like a mani-pedi too!

Spend REAL time together.

Household chores, going to the grocery, or even doing something with your children are all activities we frequently confuse with “together time”. It’s just not. ‘REAL’ time is doing something not because you HAVE to… but because you CHOOSE to. Anyone and everyone groans when they have a chore list. Don’t put your relationship on that list. Do something together that is pure pleasure for the both of you… you won’t be sorry.

Show some love to friends and family.

Valentine’s Day is all about love; just because you don’t have a significant other doesn’t mean you don’t love anyone. Sometimes your friends and family need a little extra love, especially if they’re in the same single-boat as you. Remind them how much you love and appreciate them, whether it’s a box of chocolates or a hug.

Parents and children are often “together”, but not really together. How many of us have found ourselves talking with our children, nodding our heads, but not really hearing what they are saying because we are distracted by other things?

Here’s the very best Valentine present for your kids: Being PRESENT is the present.

Take care of YOU.

Have a bubble bath, eat your favorite food and wear your favorite outfit. You’re just as worthy of love as anyone else, so give yourself a little extra. There’s nothing wrong with a little TLC.

There is a direct correlation between always putting other’s needs before your own and how healthy you are. Worn, stressed, tired, beat down, frazzled… we’ve all been there and done it. How long do you think you can keep this up Mums? When does it become time for you? I want you to make a conscious effort to take time for yourself, whatever that looks like. It could be a hot bath, or a nap. Perhaps a day trip to the spa or buying yourself that new outfit you’ve wanted (without also shopping for your kids at the same time).

Stop being a critic

I’ve never seen a statue erected to honour a critic. Your partner will avoid and eventually resent you, if you are constantly criticizing him/her. If you want your partner to change something then you need to do it first. Truth is, people are more willing to DO or COPY a desired behavior if you’re modeling it for them. Think Gandhi “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Other people, including your honey, will watch what you do more than listen to what you say. Actions speak louder than words yes? You want a change, then BE the change.

This Valentine’s Day skip the commercialism, and spice up your relationship by being present. Your attention is the best fuel to true love. X’s and O’s. I’d love to chat with you about Valentine alternatives on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram.

Let’s talk about it!