Thursday, February 13, 2014

Real Romance and Valentine's Day

Some may suggest that Valentine's day is a lame commercial holiday. How silly that there is one day to wine-and-dine your sweetheart, when you should be doing it all year! Valentines day can cause hurt feelings for many women. The plague of comparison is at an all-time high around this holiday, and it can leave one feeling unhappy and unsatisfied. As the pictures get blasted all over the internet of romantic dinners, thoughtful flowers, and surprise gifts, it is going to be pretty easy to start a pity party.

But, as I learned with Mother's day, maybe this day isn't all about me and what I didn't get. I want to use this day for something positive instead.

I have three small children who look to me for guidance and direction. If I'm not teaching them with words, my actions are telling them what is important. I want Valentine's Day to become a day where I teach my children what real romance is. I want to teach them what a happy and fulfilling relationship looks like. No Disney princesses or some romantic comedy, but real, lasting love. Marriage is the correct and proper place for intimate, romantic love. I want to take this "love day" to teach my children what is love in marriage.

Real romance is putting your spouse first. It is putting them at the top of your priority list. This can manifest itself in a number of ways on Valentine's day, for example. Making a special dinner, giving a special gift, dressing nicely. But I want to make the connection for my children that romance is about giving and sacrificing, and not getting on Valentine's day.

Real romance is alone time. When you have children, you show your spouse you love them by giving them your undivided attention. For some couples this may mean going out, dinner together, or catching a movie. For us this year it will be spent at home in front of the fire, after the kids go to bed. Romance does not equal extravagance, I want my children to know that.

Real romance is learning how your spouse feels love, and giving that to them. The world will send you many messages of what love should look like, or make you believe that men and women don't need to change much to be in a relationship. But real romance means putting all of your energy into finding out what you can do, what habits you can create to make your spouse the happiest person around.

I love my sweetheart.

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