Some people are naturally romantic and some are not. My husband and I are squarely in the not category. Neither one of us grew up with romantic parents, so we didn’t see it displayed. Oh our parents love(d) each other, but public displays of affection are/were usually reserved to holding hands.
Growing up, like many young girls, I idolized the romance seen in movies – even the cartoons. Men swept in and took care of the girl, while the girl swooned over his good looks and charm. I knew many of these guys in high school and even fell for a few, but none of them lived up to the romantic hype I envisioned. And you know what…it didn’t even bother me that much.
Don’t get me wrong, I love romance, but the doting and gushing over me was never really my style. I like subtlety and meaning in my relationships, not fluff. That’s when I realized romance was a choice. Being romantic wasn’t ingrained in me (or anyone else), but it was learned. However, genuine romance comes over time by spending time with the one I love.
When we first got married, I expected romance to be gushing from his veins – even though I had not seen it much in our dating. Apparently I thought marriage automatically made people romantic. So our first year we attended a Murder-Mystery dinner at my parents’ church. We had fun, but nothing over-the-top. The next year, I was pregnant and thought we should be overly romantic and sentimental since we were about to be parents. When that didn’t happen, I was let down – not by my husband, but by my own expectations.
That’s when I learned, being romantic wasn’t in our blood, but in our minds. And if I wanted to have a romantic evening, Valentine’s or not, we need to make a few changes.
7 Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Romantic Even When You’re Not
Plan Ahead – Even when you don’t have children, it is important to plan ahead for special occasions, like Valentine’s Day. This doesn’t take a long time, but for those of us not naturally romantic, planning ahead can help. Whether you go out to a nice restaurant or stay in, knowing what you’re doing will help you not set up expectations that might not be met.
Agree on your activities together – Whether neither of you are romantic or one is and not the other, we have found it important to agree on your activities for the evening together. That way both of you know what to expect and no one is let down. Even though you agree on the activities together, it can be fun to reserve something as a surprise, which is always more fun (and romantic).
Know your spouses Love Language – Speaking of surprises, this is when knowing your spouses Love Language comes in handy. There are many reasons to know the Love Language of your spouse, but the most important being, not everyone feels love or interprets romance the same way. My husband is a dominant Physical Touch, with a close Words of Affirmation, while I am a Quality Time and close Receiving Gifts and Acts of Service. None of them overlap, so our definitions of romance are quite different. However, when we are intentional toward the others Love Language, even a regular evening at home can quickly turn romantic.
Add Candlelight – This may seem silly, but I know when we were first married, I loved sitting with my husband in our honeymoon suite with just candles glowing. Now I don’t see the best in the dark, so it can be tricky, but we find that candles calm us and help us to release the weight of the world outside and just relax together. Whether eating by candlelight, sitting and talking or setting the mood in your bedroom – candlelight makes everything more romantic!
Buy a new nightie – I will be the first to admit, I hate this. I think nightie’s are silly, because let’s face it…they don’t stay on that long. However, whether your husband is a physical touch love language or not, he married all of you and would love nothing more than to see you be purposeful in approaching him. You don’t have to buy anything fancy, but a new nightie, says I’m being intentional and I want you too!
Put kids to bed early – It isn’t always possible to find a babysitter or get away for a weekend, especially if you have multiple children or don’t live near family. So, plan to feed to kids an early dinner and put them to bed a littler earlier will give you more time together. We usually do this on Saturdays, because we get up earlier than usual on Sundays for church, so it works out well.
No Tech Rule – When my husband and I plan a romantic evening together, we put away all technology – unless we’ve agreed on watching a movie or a Netflix series together. This allows us to really reconnect and talk without distractions. It also allows us to follow the mood wherever it may take us, which let’s face it…is the epitome of romantic!
Whether you’re planning for Valentine’s Day or just want to become more “romantic” in your marriage, I hope these tips help you and your spouse. These tips have helped us over the years to not only be more intentional with our time together, but also to concentrate more on the other person and making them happy and feel loved.