This Valentine’s Day, I have a very special tip to share with you to help increase connection and help elevate your expression of love for your loved ones.
As I grew up in an orthodox Jewish community, I didn’t grow up celebrating Valentine’s Day at all, and I still don’t celebrate it.
However, I do understand how it can be helpful to have a specific day that allows one to simply pause and reflect on the specific message it holds.
Thanksgiving allows us to express our gratitude to loved ones and infuses our lives with the gift of family. New Year’s is for our goals and what we wish to achieve and change in our lives. Different moments in our lives allow us to simply pause and reflect on who we are, the unique gifts that surround us, and how we can express our gratitude for these very special people and moments in our lives.
Similarly, Valentine’s Day allows us to specifically pause and reflect on our loved ones or our valentine. I believe that a beautiful way to express our love may include the giving of gifts, but the detailed expression of our gratitude—for who they are and what they have contributed to our lives—simply elevates it.
This is slightly different from simple expressions of gratitude and merely telling somebody that you are grateful for them. This practice allows one to dig just a bit deeper into the archives of our internal “love folders” and go into intricate detail about what we are grateful for. Remember that one time your partner showed up 10 minutes early to fetch you, so that you didn’t have to wait outside in the cold?
What about that time when they allowed you to pour your heart out to them without judging or advising you and simply just listened and held space for your pain? These are indeed special moments that can go overlooked, especially if they tend to happen quite often in your relationship.
When we choose to illuminate them, we show our partners that we’re aware of just how much of love and dedication they pour into our relationship. We show them that we are paying attention, that we are present, by shining light on these little actions, thus returning the gift of love back to them tenfold.
When people realize that their actions are noticed, it only encourages them to do more and be more loving toward us.
My personal love language is words of affirmation, and I value this deeply, even over the giving of gifts. When Ari and I commit to this practice of expressing our gratitude for each other, we take little notes of paper and write detailed accounts of what we’re grateful for in one another and how they lifted our spirits and infused us with energy for the day ahead. In my opinion, there’s nothing more romantic than words that explain just how much somebody means to us! If your valentine’s love language is gifts, then elevate this expression of love by including a written letter that goes into detail about what you love about them.
This practice requires us to be vulnerable—and if you find yourself needing just a little more help, scan through the images stored on your phone to help remind you, since we tend to forget so quickly. Look through all the special memories you’ve created over the lifespan of your relationship and connect deeply with the feelings behind them. Allow yourself to be swept away by why your partner means so much to you. Reminisce on how each moment made you feel and why you feel grateful for it. Then, write each one down.
This helps build greater connection and deeper intimacy between both you and your partner. For the one expressing joy and gratitude, it only increases our own joy, and for the one receiving our gratitude, it helps make them feel seen, heard, and even more valued. And, it encourages them to show us even more love and care and it encourages us to be more present to the little gifts they offer to us and how they infuse our lives with beauty.
What is your love language and how do you express gratitude for your partner and loved ones?