Valentine’s day snuck up on my boyfriend (now husband) one year in college.  The night before, he came to me mildly panicked and profusely apologizing for forgetting, not making plans and promising that he would make it up to me.  Looking at him a little puzzled, I told him not to worry about it because, truthfully, it wasn’t a big deal.  He looked so relieved to hear me respond this way.  I bet some of your husbands have also been that frantic man at some point in your relationship when Valentine’s Day came around.


Valentine’s Day seems to go one of two ways for couples.  The two of you get all dressed up, spend an inordinate amount of money on dinner, complete with expensive champagne, chocolates, and roses (duh) or it sneaks up, so you end up spending the night in yoga pants curled up on the couch together watching Netflix and eating frozen pizza.


Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Christmas, anniversaries or birthdays, we as spouses constantly feel the pressure to do bigger, better and more every time.  I can lose hours of my life and sleep pinteresting until the cows come for the perfect idea or project.  I will stress unnecessarily because of whatever I’ve bought or whatever my idea, and it isn’t bigger and better than the last time.


Whatever the occasion, the common denominator is the same, and we simply want to express our love and appreciation to the one we love most and celebrate what we share together.  But this year, rather than losing time and sleep over the perfect idea and perfect gift, for Christmas, Valentines Day and our anniversary coming up next month, I’m taking on the less is more mentality.


So whichever way you find yourself spending Valentine’s day this year, rather than stressing and spending inordinate amounts of time and money, take the opportunity to very practically express your love for your spouse in a way the resonates with them.  Knowing your spouse’s love language, whether it’s words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time or physical touch is a great starting place.


It’s different for everyone and sometimes the way that your spouse feels the most loved isn’t the way you feel you are best equipped to enjoy them.  For example, early on in our relationship, I would hardly ever affirm my man because when I speak well of someone, affirm or compliment them, I want them to know it is with the utmost sincerity.  So rather than regularly and frequently affirming him, I would reserve it for occasions that I felt he would understand my sincerity most.  One of the ways I feel most loved is when people spend uninterrupted quality time with me so I would plan times to spend together and be super intentional about it.  It wasn’t that he hated spending time with me but quality time wasn’t the way he felt most loved.  I was trying to show my love for him by spending quality time together because that felt like love to me when he would have felt most loved by my affirmation.


If you don’t know one another’s love languages, I highly recommend doing one of the quick online assessments.  If you’ve been together for awhile with your spouse, your love languages may have shifted, so it’s never a bad thing to reevaluate and communicate about how you each feel most loved.


The way you express your love for one another doesn’t have to be wild or extravagant so this year. As Valentine’s day, birthdays or anniversaries draw near, don’t lose sight of the simple ways you can love one another.           


Maybe the ideal Valentine’s day is a night at home together, eating take-out on the couch because you haven’t had a night with just the two of you at home since who knows when.


Maybe it’s writing him a note, telling him how much you love him, how much you appreciate him and how thankful you are for all the does for you.  


Maybe it’s making time for uninterrupted and undistracted sex.  
Whatever it is for you and your man, use Valentine’s Day as a great reason to love him the way he feels most loved.