7 Easy Ways To Make Every Day Valentine's Day

Honestly, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day. That said, I'm personally a huge fan of 'romantic gestures', of receiving & giving flowers, of time spent indulging in romance & sensual seduction, of long walks on country lanes or beaches, of shared meals & what have you, but I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day for two major reasons.

Firstly, as we know it now in 'the west' it's largely a makey-uppy 'holiday' fueled by businesses wanting to squeeze money from those wanting to demonstrate care, love & affection & those wishing to receive it. It's fueled by card companies, florists, hotels & restaurants and it causes no small amount of environmental damage in the process. All those cut flowers grown with pesticides, shipped from foreign countries including those struggling with enough clean drinking water for their people. The Smithsonian has a great article here on the unseen cost of cut flowers for those living in the USA, similar stories exist for those of us living in other parts of the world, there's another great article here on the environmental costs of cut flowers - it was certainly a revelation to me.

Secondly, research clearly tells us that relationships need regular frequent watering & feeding, just like us, not just once a year. I see many couples who aren't in the habit of regularly & intentionally nourishing & nurturing their relationship & consequently it runs into 'trouble'. Of course relationship challenges happen for many reasons, not just because the relationship itself is not being nurtured, but having a practice that regularly & frequently focuses on intentionally nourishing it, a practice that attends deliberately to the relationship contributes hugely to it's robust health & the happiness of those in the relationship.

So here are my suggestions for how to feed, water, nurture & nourish your relationship as if every day were Valentine's Day!

1. Give flowers on a random day for no particular reason .....
.... & make them seasonal & local, wild if you can!, not imported from another country where they were grown using large amounts of pesticides & other harmful chemicals. Give flowers when they're unexpected not on a predictable day like Valentine's Day - when we give unexpected gifts for no particular reason we're demonstrating that we are thinking about our partner at times other than when we're supposed to - now that's romantic! - & that goes for men & women.

2. Go for a walk together
We all like to give & receive love in different ways & a common mistake is assuming that our partner likes to receive love in the same ways we do. For example, we may be someone who really feels most loved when our partner spends time with us, whereas our partner may be someone who feels most loved when they receive a gift that cost money. 
This doesn't necessarily mean we're incompatible it just means that we enjoy showing & receiving love in different ways. If your partner is someone who really enjoys spending time together then suggest going for a walk somewhere beautiful together - make it not about 'going' somewhere, not about the destination, but about enjoying the walk itself while in each other's company, enjoying the time together. Places of natural beauty are especially good for this such as beaches, forests, mountains &, maybe if you're a city dweller, parks.

3. Share a 6 second kiss
''A what?!'' I hear you say! If this is news to you, bear with me. When we kiss someone we are in a relationship with it's usually one of two types of kisses. It's either a peck on the cheek or lips in 'hello' or 'goodbye' or it's a kiss that signals that sex might happen or that someone wants it to happen.
Of course there are lots of other kinds of kissing & this isn't true for everyone, but it quite often is a habit we get into, particularly in long term relationships. What we're potentially missing out on here is a different flavour of intimacy & eroticism in our relationship by limiting our kissing to just these two types. Equally, when we engage in a consensual kiss that's more than a few seconds long it begins to positively impact our nervous system helping us feel more relaxed & bonded to our partner, particularly by increasing our oxytocin levels.

Here the invitation is to share a 6 second kiss when it's not a 'hello', a 'goodbye' or a prelude to sex. Now, of course it can lead to sex if that's what both people want, but experiment with it standing on it's own. Explore with soft lips, slowly moving tongues (if you like), hands on the body & head too if you both want, relax & settle into it, give both people space to explore & express, let your lips & jaw relax & soften, let it be a kiss for kissing's sake & see what happens & how it feels. Remember a kiss should be a joining of two people not just what one person wants & likes - are you leaving room for your partner to explore & express themselves when you kiss them? are you receiving them as well as they receiving you?

4. Eat a meal together without any distractions
Turn off phones, TV or whatever else might distract you from each other, perhaps even music too if that's something that's always playing in the background in your home. If you have children, eat separately from them after they're in bed so it's a special time just for the two of you. Set & eat at the table, light some candles if you like. It doesn't need to be 'fancy' food, it can be a takeaway pizza or cheese on toast!, the point is that you are intentionally & deliberately spending time with each other, sharing food together, focusing only on each other & investing in the relationship between you with this focused attention & shared experience.

5. Sit down together & make plans for some more substantial quality time in the near future
You may not have the time or energy to do anything that day or week, you might both work shifts or perhaps not live together or even be in a long distance relationship & so it may feel better to sit down (in-person or online) with a nice cup of tea, glass of wine or beer & make plans for the weekend or the next time you will be together. Making plans can be fun & exciting.
Learning or doing something new together can be both a great way to have fun but also to deepen the bond between you by creating shared memories - for example pottery, dancing, sport or cooking classes.

6. Spend time apart in order to come back together
It might seem counter intuitive but spending time apart is something I often suggest to couples, especially couples who live together & who spend a lot of time together who've been in a long term relationship.


Well, mystery & distance are required for eroticism to spark & thrive. If we believe, even on an unconscious level, that we know all or most of what there is to know about our partner, if we have access to them all the time or at least all the time we want, if we feel like there's nothing left to learn or explore then there's no room for mystery, for desire to build, for longing to grow, & desire & longing are essential ingredients of erotic engagement & satisfaction.

Spend time with friends or family, take a course, take up a new hobby or spend more time on an existing one - create space between the two of you on a regular & frequent basis so that when you come back together there is something to learn, something new to discover, something fresh to share in the relationship. Give yourselves opportunity to miss, want, long for & desire each other. 

7. Develop a daily ritual of connection
Rituals of Connection is a term often used for habits or things frequently done between people in a relationship, things that are designed to act as reference points for the relationship, anchors of connection. They might be daily, weekly, monthly or annual rituals, they may cost money & involve lots of time or they may be as simple as ''we agree to kiss each other 'hello' and 'goodbye' every time we leave each other & every time we come back together, even if we're having an argument or there's tension''. 

When I'm working with a couple who are developing their set of Rituals of Connection we usually try to make the daily rituals very simple, uncomplicated & easy, such as a 6 second kiss before sleep every night or first thing in the morning, for example.
The invitation here is to share ideas about what your daily Ritual of Connection might be, maybe write a list & choose one per week for the next month to see how you get on with the idea, & then, simply, do it! Continue to do what feels good to both of you & stop when it doesn't feel good to one of you, mixing it up & changing the Ritual of Connection as often as you both want to so it doesn't become, unconscious, or if it does then add a new one.

Happy Every Day is Valentine's Day! 

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The majority of my work these days is with people in relationships or around relationship issues, often specifically including sex & sexuality but not always. If you'd like to book an online appointment for an initial consultation you can do so by emailing info@bethwallace.org.