So my husband and I haven't celebrated Valentine's Day in many years. So many that I can't even remember when we stopped. Before you call me a hater, it's not that we have anything against love or romance. Actual love just seems like it has become overshadowed by consumerism for Valentine's Day. Romance isn't about compulsory flowers, chocolates or expensive presents. I actually saw a crazy article about how if your significant other doesn't buy you some particular present then you should dump them. Seriously what kind of nonsense is that? Love isn't defined by material gifts (unless you're a gold digger). It's about what comes from the heart! Yes I get that Valentine's Day can also be about doing something special for your significant other but why wait for that one day of the year. You should always be doing nice things for each other.
We celebrated 14 years of marriage earlier this month. I'm not gonna say our marriage is perfect. I mean we do fight (usually over the dumbest most petty things) but we always make up and we try not to take each other for granted. Choosing the right person to marry is very important but both people also need to agree to make a commitment to be intentional in the relationship and never stop working at it. I've seen couples who've been together for a long time but don't seem happy at all and I often hear people complaining about a lack of romance in their marriages. Well it doesn't have to be that way if you make the effort to not let it slip away.
My husband and I do this by choosing love everyday with a number of habits and rituals that are just innate now.
1. We always hug and kiss and say "I love you." before he leaves the house each morning.
2. We always end each phone call with an I love you even if he's just calling to tell me that he just got out of the subway.
3. We make a point to always thank each other for the things we do for one another whether they're big or small. Romantic stuff like killing bugs. That's me who usually does it btw but I always thank my husband for his bravery when he takes care of it.
4. We think about each other when we're apart. Sometimes we text during the day just because. My husband even sends texts when he's right next to me.
5. We cuddle every day.
6. We still make a point of going out on dates regularly.
7. We spend time together.
8. We surprise each other. I'll stick notes in his lunch occasionally and he sometimes comes home with my favorite treats.
9. We don't wait for special occasions to do special things for one another. I make my husband's favorite dishes even when I don't like them or they're a pain to prepare. And he goes out of his way to get me things I like. He went out in a crazy blizzard once just to satisfy a craving I had. This was before Seamless btw.
10. We have own own language. This may sound silly but it keeps us close because it's something only we understand.
11. We support each other no matter what. Our mantra is everything will always be ok as long as we're together.
12. We realize how fortunate we are to have one another and it's not something to take lightly or for granted.
Real love isn't just about the big gestures because it's the small things that add up to keep love and happiness alive. And love every day is infinitely more rewarding than celebrating love on some designated day. Sometimes I think back to when we were dating and it amazes me that we're now still living out the dream we had back then of always being together. Every day we go to bed together, wake up together, snuggle, laugh, talk, work through things and grow together. And we know just how lucky we are that our dream has become a reality and that sometimes reality is even better than a dream.
One of our songs. We can't ever resist singing along whenever this comes on...
Image Two: Parima Creative Studio