Is Valentine’s Day the only day you buy your partner flowers and chocolates? Do you feel like there’s pressure to get things just right, or to go overboard on special occasions? Is your priority making things memorable for the holidays? You may be developing an unhealthy habit. We all have a tendency to try a little harder on special occasions, but if you want a healthy relationship, break the trend of going all-out for just a few days per year.
How different do you think your relationship would be if you treated your loved one like a priority every day? When one or both people in a relationship put all of their thought, effort, and gift giving into a few chosen occasions throughout the year, it not only puts enormous pressure on the relationship for those holidays, but damages the relationship over time. I’m not talking about going all out every day. It surprisingly takes very little time and effort to show someone that you love them and are thinking of them. Find out what makes your partner feel loved and then make those things happen. Maybe it’s a simple daily check- in. Maybe it’s a hug. It could be that taking their least favorite chore off of their to-do list would mean much more than buying flowers. You won’t know until you ask.
The second component is gratitude. We usually feel more grateful toward our loved ones during certain holidays. Do you only acknowledge the commitment your partner made on anniversaries, or only acknowledge how glad you are that they were born on their birthday? When Valentine’s Day rolls around do you only then start thinking how nice it is to have someone to spend it with? What if you started acknowledging your gratitude for your partner and the relationship every day? Even if you don’t get a chance to thank them, just thinking of your gratitude for them will change your feelings and behaviors towards them. Showing your appreciation would be even better.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I am not saying that you should ignore holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays. Unless that’s something you and your partner agree to do, you’re bound to disappoint. The idea is that if you try to make your loved one feel like a priority every day and commit to putting effort into the relationship throughout the year, your partnership will thrive and the pressure around the holidays will lift. You can still do a little extra for special occasions; spend more time or money on gifts, plan something meaningful that you wouldn’t be able to do every day, etc. Just don’t let it end there.
Try our Idealationship App for tips on how to prioritize your relationship and exercises that will help you learn more about your partner and how to have the relationship you want.
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