Here’s an exercise: Think of that moment when you first knew that life would be incomplete unless this person were in it. Relive it in your mind. How did you feel when you looked at him? When he looked at you? When you touched?
I have several moments like this. When I walked down the aisle and our eyes met and he mouthed, “You look dynamite” — the perfect words to melt away all my worries about “to have and to hold” and “until death do you part.” And years earlier, sitting on an airplane and looking out the window to unexpectedly see him standing at the window at my gate, watching, waiting until we taxied down the runway.
Now what can you do to recreate that feeling? It doesn’t require shopping or spending a lot of money. For my husband and me, we postpone our dinner until after the kids have gone to bed. We uncork a bottle of wine and light some candles. No TV. And then, we’ll give each other the greatest gift that a double-income, two-kids, one-dog couple can give each other — our time.
I talk; he listens. He talks; I listen. It’s an uninterrupted conversation, which is a rarity when you live with kids whose jockeying for attention can put the White House press corps to shame. We take a minute to remember why we decided to intertwine our two lives in the first place.
Do you need a specific holiday to remember to do this? No. These quiet, just-the-two-of-you moments can be arranged anytime. But are they? Too often the answer is no. And that’s why I appreciate Valentine’s Day. It’s a reminder that I am not just a mother, daughter and business owner, but a wife and best friend, too. It makes me pause and reflect about what is working in my relationship, and what isn’t, and to give it the attention it needs to make sure it flourishes rather than withers.
Maybe you’ll plan a quiet dinner like we do, or maybe it’s even simpler than that: A romantic or saucy text in the middle of the workday or a heart-felt note stuck in his wallet. Whichever you choose to do, use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to reconnect. And if your evening goes the way mine usually does, I’m sure you won’t be sorry.