A Show-Don't-Tell Guide to Valentine's Day
“What is love?” is an age-old question that can be answered a million different ways. The meaning of love is shaped and defined by our experiences, our culture, our personal beliefs and our wants, desires, and motives. Personally, I define love in the doing, not the saying. For me, love is defined in those small moments that are so often taken for granted: letting me choose the movie, giving me your time when I need help, holding me while I cry, challenging me to be a better person, I could go on and on and on.
Unfortunately, our culture likes to view love in an overly romantic, fairytale type of way; a love that can only be had through the purchasing of mass-marketed, stereotypical consumer goods. I read just yesterday that people, in total, spend $18.2 billion on Valentine's Day. That averages out to $136.57 per person! Gah! Now, don’t get me wrong, buying someone you love a gift can be fun and exciting, but it will not make, create or sustain love. Gift-giving should be used as an accent. It's the frosting, not the cake.
With Valentine’s Day (and for what seems like the six months leading up to it) comes pressure-filled advertisements for jewelry, chocolates, and flowers. It can be hard not to feel stress about what to get your “someone special.” Fear not! Today I am going to share with you 14 of my favorite ways to “show, don’t tell” your love for your significant other or your best friends!
- Make their favorite meal
- Write a love letter or a letter of appreciation
- Dance the night away in your living room to their favorite music
- Take a drive out to a quiet place and stargaze
- Watch their favorite movie
- Buy their favorite snacks and ask them about their best life experience
- Make a list of things you love about them
- Re-create your first date or first hang-out
- Binge-watch their favorite Netflix show (even if you have already seen it 100 times)
- Sit together and make a timeline of your relationship (embarrassing moments, favorite dates, etc.)
- Play games, tell jokes, tickle and laugh together and goof off as much as you can
- Hold hands while taking a late night stroll
- Complete a chore on their “to-do” list
- Ask them what their hopes and dreams are for their future
As you can see, these suggestions take a little bit of thought, but they are full of meaning. Great love is built upon great moments, so if you and your partner enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day, do it in a way that highlights your love for one another, not your pocketbook. As the late, great Maya Angelou once said: “People will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Happy Valentine's Day!