1. In the morning, tuck a love note in his pocket or her pocketbook or other certain-to-be-found spot. Jot down some meaningful words on a piece of paper – “Can’t wait to wrap my arms around you tonight!”; “What’s for ‘dessert’?”; “You make me happy every day!” – and tuck it in a conspicuous location to be easily discovered during the day.
2. Take a 15-minute break during work just to call and say “I love you.” (You can text message or email, too.) Keep the conversation 100% positive. This means that any discussion about bills appointments, children, chores, problems, etc., is off limits.
3. Sprinkle 3 compliments throughout the day. In our fast-paced world, we tend to neglect some of the simplest ways to make each other feel good. During the day, think of a few sincere compliments to give your mate. They are probably right in front of you, but you just fail to verbalize them. Today is the day!
4. Let go of grudges and replace them with forgiveness. Anger is a wasteful emotion and saps us of a lot of emotional energy. Besides, most of the things we get angry about with our partner are petty. Flush away the negative thoughts and memories that are driving a wedge between you and your mate. Then, use the freed-up energy on ways to strengthen and enhance your relationship.
5. Enjoy the great outdoors. Together, go for a walk, jog or bike ride. Depending on weather conditions and where you reside, go ice skating or roller-blading. Do whatever outdoor activities you both take pleasure in (and that are free).
6. Make a creative dinner together. Gather food items from the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Create a delicious meal – and some interesting concoctions – using ingredients you already have at home. Dine slowly and savor the cuisine as well as each other’s company.
7. Never, ever, miss a good chance to shut up. Every comment doesn’t need a retort. Every issue doesn’t need another opinion. Speak up when it’s important. Keep your lips zipped when it isn’t. What you don’t say is often as important as what you do say.
8. Express appreciation for the things he/she does for you. In established relationships, we tend to live in the mode of “automatic pilot.” You cover certain responsibilities and your mate has designated responsibilities. Doing them is part of nurturing the relationship, signs of thoughtfulness and caring. When was the last time you said “thank you”?
9. Break the mold by creating new routines and habits. Behavior can become so predictable that the relationship is monotonous. This isn’t a sign of failure, but rather, it’s time to make some changes. Change can be invigorating. Sit down together and brainstorm all the crazy, absurd and ridiculous ideas each of you can think of to modify old patterns. Then review your list and identify those that are useful, creative solutions to spice up the partnership.
10. Start a “couple” tradition. Traditions add excitement to a relationship and keep the two of you connected. They also serve as an anchor and provide “glue” for the union to remain sturdy when the going gets rough. On this Valentine’s Day, establish a few traditions that will make your relationship more special year after year after year.
11. Make the homecoming irresistible. Upon arrival home from work, don’t run to set up your computer or pick up the phone to make a few quick calls to take care of loose ends. Instead, embrace your loved with a generous 30-second hug. You’ll be amazed at how well a big, warm hug melts away stress and fatigue of the day.
12. Have a 15-minute kissing session and try some new ways and places to kiss. The same old smoocheroo can get boring. Use your imagination…and perhaps a little whipped cream.
13. Before falling asleep in bed together, share some giggles. What funny things happened to you today? What not-so-funny things happened that are worth chuckling about now? For most of us, not a day goes by that we don’t make a silly mistake. What was yours? Laughter is good for you and for the relationship. Share your stories and some laughs. Then hold hands and fall peacefully asleep.