Show, Don’t Tell

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“What is love?” is an age-old question that can be answered a million different ways.  The definition of love is shaped and defined by our experiences, our culture, our personal beliefs and our own wants, desires and motives. Personally, I define love in the doing, not the saying (although I do enjoy hearing someone say they love me).  For me, love is defined in those small moments that are so often taken for granted: warming up my car for me on a cold morning, cleaning the litter box, making me dinner, stocking the wine rack with my favorite bottle of Malbec, giving me your time when I need help with something, holding me while I cry, challenging me to be a better person, I could go on and on and on.  But unfortunately our culture likes to view love in an overly romantic, fairy tale type of way; a love that can only be had through the purchasing of consumer goods.

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.  With Valentine’s Day a mere week away and the pressure-filled advertisements for jewelry, chocolates and flowers in full-swing 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!

  1. Make their favorite meal
  2. Write a love letter
  3. Dance the night away in your living room to their favorite music
  4. Take a drive out to the country and star gaze while sipping champagne
  5. Watch their favorite movie
  6. Pour them their favorite drink and reminisce about their life
  7. Make a list of things you appreciate about them
  8. Re-create your first date
  9. Take a class together (if your partner has always wanted to take a belly dancing class put aside your own reservations about it and do it with them!!)
  10. Sit together and make a timeline of your relationship (vacations, embarrassing moments, favorite dates, etc.)
  11. Play games, tell jokes, tickle and laugh together and goof off as much as you can
  12. Hold hands while taking a late night stroll
  13. Complete a chore from their “to-do” list
  14. Have a conversation, a deeply intimate conversation. Her are a few things you can talk about: What’s one quiet dream you’ve tucked away?  What are you preoccupied with right now? What makes you feel powerful?  Are you happy with how the year is unfolding? What can you live without? Describe the last time you felt perfectly at peace. Do you have any new secret obsessions? What lights up your life?

As you can see, these suggestions take a little bit of thought and effort but 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 planning!



*The questions in #14 are from the amazing “Our Q&A a Day” journal for couples


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