by Laurie Puhn, Harvard-educated lawyer, couples mediator and bestselling author of “Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship Without Blowing Up or Giving In.” Article adapted from “Fight Less, Love More.”
Are you looking for a meaningful Valentine’s Day without spending a dime? Share the gifts below.
Gift of Words #1 – Compliment Your Mate Inside and Out
There are two types of compliments: those that address a person’s outer appearance and those that address a person’s inner character. Surprisingly, our research shows 84% of people prefer to receive a character compliment as in, “You are an incredibly kind person,” over a comment like “Your hair looks great.” Start sharing character comments with your honey today.
Gift of Words #2 – Show You Care
We all experience unique events during our busy days so when our spouse shows interest in our day’s happenings it creates an immediate loving bond with him/her. Find something in your spouse’s schedule on Valentine’s Day (and other days too) such as a special meeting, an important errand, or a doctor’s appointment, and call/text/email mid-day to specifically ask how it went.
Gift of Words #3 – Talk Forward
If you want to have a special Valentine’s Day, it’s important to persuade your spouse that he or she is special to you every day, not just on Valentine’s Day. Do this by “talking forward.” Take charge and make a thoughtful plan for the future. On Valentine’s Day, say, “I’d like to make a special plan for us next month. Let’s go to __________. [Fill-in with something your spouse enjoys, such as a museum, the theatre, shopping, a road trip, etc.]? What do you think?”
Gift of Words #4 – Make an Offer
If you want to receive instant love and appreciation from your honey, volunteer to do something for your mate before he or she asks you to do it. For example, offer to pick something up at the store, offer to repair something, prepare dinner or offer to put your kids to bed (if you don’t usually). A surefire way to boost your love life is to make an offer. It says to your mate, I care about you and when you’re happy, I’m happy.
Gift of Words #5 – Be Memorable
Do and say memorable things this Valentine’s Day and year round. Instead of dining out, create a candlelit indoor picnic. Sing karaoke together. Arrange for a massage–together. Post love notes in surprising places. Buy a lasting plant instead of flowers. Phone your spouse to give a heartfelt comment during the day like, “I love you because….”.
You will spark love and romance this Valentine’s Day (and the year through) by showering your sweetheart with the priceless gift of words.