Around this time of year in marriage counseling and couples therapy, Valentine's Day is inevitably becomes a topic of conversation. For some, it's easy to be cynical about Valentine's Day. I understand people's skepticism of a holiday created to get you to spend more money and buy things that ultimately do not matter. I also can sympathize with the critics who complain about the arbitrariness of the holiday.
Why does this specific day have to be so special? Why not focus on your partner and your relationship the rest of the year?
With these reservations in mind, I do think there's something potentially special about Valentine's Day. No, it's not the box of chocolates or the flowers or even the fancy dinner.
What's unique about Valentine's Day is that it's a reminder to us that rituals are important because they help us focus our attention on what really matters.
According to Dr. John Gottman, renowned for his expertise in marriage counseling and couples therapy, a relationship ritual is the intentional setting aside of time to spend with your partner for the stated purpose of deepening connection and intimacy.
Relationship rituals can be daily practices like drinking coffee together in the morning or more elaborate practices like going on a yearly romantic vacation.
Valentine's Day can be a yearly ritual that you use to help you improve your relationship with your partner. It can be a time you set aside to check in with your partner and discuss how you can better support and love each other.
Here Are a Few Ways to Make the Most of Valentine's Day
You may already have some ideas in mind in how you will show your spouse or partner love and affection on this day. To help trigger some other thoughts, I'll share some that I have gained from couples therapy and marriage counseling that I provide plus some that I have practiced.
More Than Just Flowers
Gifts can be an important way that you show love and appreciation for someone. I have nothing against a bouquet of roses. Your partner may appreciate flowers or jewelry.
My challenge to you is to think outside the box and find a gift that will really mean something to your spouse.
This year my wife surprised me with merchandise from my favorite TV show, Ted Lasso. She bought me a mug, a t-shirt and a poster for my office.
The gift meant so much because it communicated to me that my wife listens to me and cares about the things that are important to me.
Find a gift that has personal meaning and will help your partner think fondly of you.
Skip Dinner, Try Something Different
I'm not suggesting you skip Valentine's Day dinner. Everyone has to eat! What I want to challenge you with is scheduling an activity that's new, different and exciting.
Step outside your comfort zone. Try something you've never done before. Creating novelty and excitement can be a great way to reestablish your connection with your partner.
Ideas for Activities:
Cider and Arcade
Share 5 Things You Appreciate About Your Partner
This Valentine's Day, set aside time to share 5 things you really appreciate about your partner. Be creative and specific.
I would challenge you to think about 5 things you didn't know about your spouse at the beginning of the relationship. Highlight qualities that you are noticing and enjoying at this stage in the relationship.
Here are a few tips to take into consideration:
Highlight something you don't usually express
Focus on a part of your partner's body or personality you have grown to love in this stage of the relationship
Elaborate. Don't just state what you appreciate. Make sure you include why you appreciate it and why it's so important to you
Write everything down and share your list over dinner, drinks or a quiet moment together
Build on Your Valentine's Day Experience
Valentine's Day is important because it serves as a reminder that we need to slow down and set aside intentional time to connect with our partner. You don't have to buy an expensive gift or go out to dinner every-time you want to connect with your partner.
Rituals of connection can happen every day. It requires that you set aside time and energy to be present and engaged with your partner. If you invest in your relationship, the payoff will be great!
Marriage Counseling & Couples Therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Katy, Tx & Houston
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our marriage therapists and couples counselors are here to help you with whatever the challenges may be in your relationship. Marriage counseling or couples therapy can be very effective in helping couples overcome challenges, learn to reconnect, and strengthen the relationship you have worked so hard for over the years.
Our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen and Family Counseling, is conveniently located off of I-10 and 99. We are a couple blocks south of Kingsland Boulevard and across the street from Encompass Health in Katy, Texas.
If you are ready to start marriage counseling or couples therapy, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Partner with our marriage counselors or couples therapist to help you reconnect with your spouse or partner today
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Serving Katy, Tx & Houston
Below are a few of the other counseling services we provide for teens, families, and young adults in Katy, Tx and Houston:
Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If you're ready to start your healing journey in marriage counseling or couples therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.