Tips for getting past Cheap and Cheesy this Valentines Day

Valentines Day HeartValentine’s Day is 1615 years old. Beyond the lame cheesy gestures  Valentines Day offers the chance to acknowledge and affirm the importance of ones relationship. As a seeker of meaning and a maker of ritual, I see beyond the lame cheap sparkly stuff to Valentines Day being a day to foster an even stronger bond in my marriage.

Yeah, I get Dan some of his fave Lindt chocolates. How could I not? But we like to spend time on Feb 14th to talk about how we’re doing in our quest to towards cultivating deeper meaning and emotional intimacy. We have lots of rituals in our couple life… from the hilariously mundane to those that are much more spiritual. Here are some areas that you can explore for your own love relationship:

  1. Couple time – What activities do you enjoy doing together? Sex, cooking/eating, sports, film etc.
  2. Daily routines and tasks – How do the two of you like to get up in the morning, come home, go to bed? These are your daily rituals.
  3. Communication rituals – Do you have satisfying means of sharing your feelings and experiences, supporting each other, and working through inevitable anger and frustration?
  4. Symbolic rituals – Big range here, from the nicknames you have for each other to the ways you enjoy marking birthdays and holidays.
  5. Intimacy rituals– What are the ways you connect emotionally and physically?
  6. Spiritual connection – Do you find being in nature together spiritual? Attend faith-based events? How do you connect with one another’s spiritual self?

This Valentines Day, by all means get sappy! But also think about making it a day to build an even deeper and more meaningful relationship. This works if you are a fledgling couple, an engaged couple, or old married farts. (hehe I can say that!)  Make time to be together and share what is important to YOU. Doesn’t matter what society tells you should be important, or what your friends etc say. It’s about what works for the two of you. Here’s an example:

For a long time, Dan and I felt a tinge of shame that we like to sit on the couch and eat our dinner. And that we eat different things! Cultural norm is that the ‘right’ thing is to eat a shared meal at the table. But you know what? That just doesn’t work for us most nights. We cook together once or twice a week, sometimes sitting at the table. But our bodies crave and need different kinds of food. So we do it our way now, and have made our own ritual out of the evening meal(s).

You will create your own meaningful rituals by sharing with each other what is important to you. Make time to sit down with your partner to explore what rituals you currently enjoy and share in your relationship and what new rituals you can create together. Listen to each other’s needs and weave those needs into the ritual to make it fulfilling. Being specific helps:

  •  How do you envision the ritual?
  • How will you actually do it?
  • When will you do it?

Valentine’s Day is just one day in a year. But you can use it as a catalyst to cultivate a meaningful connection all year long by practicing your very own couple rituals on a regular basis. Reading the paper on Saturday mornings together… making morning coffee for your partner… 10-second welcome home kisses… date nights… it’s the little things that help us develop closeness and create shared meaning. Make Valentine’s Day a year-long event!

Vancouver and Whistler’s most Modern Celebrant, Michele Davidson works with newly engaged couples to create transformational and totally custom wedding ceremony experiences. She helps couples expand their vision of their ceremony AND their engagement. It’s a one-in-a-lifetime folks… make it sing!!! Email Michele at for Vancouver + Whistler wedding ceremonies.  She also travels internationally for ceremonies! Bali anyone?

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