The shiny hearts are everywhere. They’re hung as decorations in stores, they’re printed on product packaging, they’re stamped right on limited edition perfumes, cosmetics and flower vases; and they’re even part of the product itself when it comes to jewellery and confectionary.
Hearts and Valentine’s Day offers even appear on typical everyday items. This “special day” is indeed the apex of what is known as the consumerization of love and affection.
And the pressure to participate can be oppressive.
At best, your partner will believe you didn’t have to do anything (and really mean it).
At worse, your tender half will demand the whole meal deal: flowers, card, gift, a fancy dinner out, possibly even a rock in a small box. And s/he will have spent money and time getting ready for the affair, having primped him/herself from head to toe.
And retailers and service providers love cashing in.
It’s a shame because the sincerest gestures, indeed the most intimate exchanges, have nothing to do with stuff.
What's truly priceless doesn’t come with a price tag or a bar code:
- Noticing your partner’s frown and asking what’s wrong.
- Stealing a kiss when no one is watching.
- Fixing his collar because you care.
- Playing thumb wars while waiting for your favourite show to start…and forgetting about the show altogether.
- Walking the dog in silence because just being next to her is your version of enough.
- Listening to his favourite story, even though you’ve heard it a hundred times, because it makes him happy.
- Giving her space when she needs to be alone.
- Showing gratitude for the little things your better half does for you, especially the routine stuff.
- Doing something for him that he won’t think to do for himself, because he’s worth it.
- Showing empathy and offering comfort without commentary when she shares her disappointing news.
- Leaving the last helping of his favourite food for him to enjoy.
- Picking her up from work so that she doesn’t have to wait for the bus in the rain.
- Secretly learning a hobby he enjoys and surprising him with your new skills when the time comes.
- Putting the phone away and being captivated by her eyes instead.
- Topping up his gas tank after borrowing his car.
- Talking about hopes and dreams, without judgment.
- Agreeing that what’s important to her may not be important to you…and knowing it doesn’t have to be.
Priceless is…what matters to you & your significant other.
No outsider or marketer can be the judge of your gift or gesture's value or meaning.
Indeed, they’re the least likely to help you get it just right.
I hope this Valentine’s Day affords you the chance to show someone you care about just how much they mean to you. Heaven knows we can always show a little more love & appreciation and what better time than to make a point of it on Cupid’s special day.
We can make him/her feel special for no reason other than to show we care.