Valentines Day vs Relationship Day
Fellas, what about setting aside five minutes each week (the engineers will love this planned approach!) and devoting it to thinking about romantic ideas with which you could surprise your partner? Try starting with a candlelit dinner and asking her about her ideas on romance. Then read Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus'. I am concentrating on men here and I'm not trying to be sexist - it's just that men are less lilkely to ask for advice in this area - and I just can't stop myself from giving instructions and improving things when I wasn't asked!
Let's face it folks, Valentine's Day is here to stay. Yes, it's American but it's rapidly becoming part of Australian culture as well. And yes, it's a commercial opportunity for most florists, gift shops, underwear manufaturers and card shops. But before you scowl at the notion and mutter I'm not going to bloody say 'I love you' because some other bugger says I should; I'll say it when I'm ready'....think about this.
We are not taught about relationships at school; there are no school camps on loving people and how to have a happy life long relationship. The only clues we are given come from our parents and how they relate to each other; and to us. This is not always the best school!
So as grown ups, why not use Valentine's Day to review our relating skills? In all areas. Call it Relationships Day if you prefer. It's a reminder in our increasingly frenetic lifestyles, to stop and think about those we love. Whether it's a partner, children, parents, siblings or work mates.
- or even yourself
It could be a time to explore your feelings about others and share those feelings. If that means a card or a small gift or a romantic evening then do it - who cares if it's commercial! Who cares if someone else has reminded you to be caring - at least you are doing it! But only if you want to of course; if you are only doing it to keep the peace then you will at some level be discovered and the feeling you put in will be returned.
Perhaps you could have an annual 'global relationship' day. One where you think about anyone special with whom you have a relationship - including yourself - and assess the current status of that relationship.
Have you told your parents you love them recently? Or how you feel about them - write them a letter and express any gratitude you may have, any respect or reasons for your caring. And post the letter. If the feelings are not so positive still write a letter , spew it all out on paper and then don't post it. You'll feel better and they'll never be hurt! As the saying goes "don't fight with pigs; you get dirty and they love it!".
Anyone you need to forgive? Harbouring ill feelings and hostility is very damaging to our health - it can predispose us to heart disease and cancer. Work on yourself or seek help to find this forgiveness which will allow you to move on emotionally.
How recently have you told your brothers and sisters how much you care for them? And why. How and when they have helped you and how much you appreciate this help?
What about your children? Have you been so busy guiding and discipling them that you have forgotten to say 'I love you' recently? Or how proud you are of them and their achievements?
Friends are often neglected in this survey of relationships. We take them especially for granted. What about throwing a 'thank you for being great friends' party with little notes for each person indicating something special about them that you appreciate?
Perhaps it's your relationship with yourself that needs the most work? It's very difficult to relate well to others if you can't relate to your own feelings, needs and desires. Do you like yourself; respect who you are and what you do? Are you true to your values? have you settled old ghosts from the past - old parental issues or sibling rivalries? Are you content with the way things are progressing in your life? In short, are you happy most of the time?
Does your relationship with a life partner need a review? Do you share enough; trust enough; communicate emough to be as close as you would like? Is there enough romance, excitement and spice? What are you willing to do if there is not? Are your expectations ruining a potentially great relationship? Are you too tired or stressed to be as loving as you would like or need to be? Do you have enough time together - forget qulaity time , relationships need quantity time! Do you need to change the ways you relate to each other - have you fallen into inappropriate patterns of reaction?
Take time out on and before Relationship Day (fomerly Valentine's Day) - to do R&D (research and development) on you and your relationships.
It means making an effort and I believe we have forgotten this in our rush to suceed and make money. We make an effort for everything else - and continue to make an effort. We study, improve our skills, attend courses, network, show the flag, work late etc. We know we have to grow and develop in this work related area.
And we make an effort in the early days of our relationships - until the 'prey is captured'! Then we relax and arrive home, exhausted, talked out, irritible and collapse in a chair, thinking 'whew, at last I can relax , I don't have to make an effort'! Wrong!
Of course, we need time out to recharge our batteries
so take 30 minutes at the gym; or walk or meditate or swim or have a sleep. Then remember that your partner and/or family are not there to be ignored, growled at or suffered! They will not stay if there is no effort put in to love them or share your life with them.
Be single if that's how you want to live life! Then you can come home and do exactly what you want , when you want and see how long you last before loneliness sets in! Find out what you need to do to enhance all your relationships and then make the effort to do it. You'll be amazed at the size of the return from a small effort.
Try having a partner relationship day once a month - once a month, a day is devoted to doing something to enhance the way you relate to your partner in life. Something to increase romance, intimacy and love. Sex usually follows and is a by product rather than an end result!
So welcome Valentine's Day - just change it's name and do some R & D on yourself.