We push past hoards of unsure patrons until we find an empty spot in between the thank yous and the funnies:

Dear wife, I love you because…

No, that’s not it!

 To my loving husband…

            Not even close!

Roses are red, violets are blue…

Way too cheezy!

We sift through message after message trying to find the right one. Finally we find the perfect 25 words on a perfectly folded piece of card and stuff it into the accompanying envelope. We grab a box of assorted chocolates and a bouquet of flowers and run it home.

Happy Valentine’s day!

For most of us, that’s as far as we are willing to go, in terms of grand gestures. The generosity that is extended to our loved ones is scheduled by the good people at Calendars’ R’ Us ( not a real company). Look, there is nothing wrong with participating in a major consumer-led holiday. That trip to Bali won’t feel any less special if given on the 14th of the month. Just, what about the other 364 days of the year?

The importance of Quality Time:

Increasingly, our lives are becoming more and more scheduled, even outside of work. When the opportunity for a break presents itself, we feel pressured to fill in the time with what we call, “the demands of life”. The time we have with our partner is suddenly put on hold until we get off the phone or finish that project.

In 2020, we have the unique ability to be right next to each other and yet be miles apart. Psychologist, Melanie Greenberg Ph.D. encourages couples to practice mindfulness both in life and in love. In a piece written for Psychology Today, she states, “Mindfulness can help us notice when we are on autopilot and redirect attention to whatever our partner is saying or to what they may be feeling and needing”.  Whatever it may look like for us, we should regularly schedule quality-time to truly connect. For some, that could entail enjoying a 6-course dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant, while for others, it could mean a 4-hour hike in the wilderness. A relationship not tended to is a relationship at risk.

Don’t overthink a nice thing:

A gesture can be as small or as large as we choose. Sometimes it can be just a matter of sending our spouse a meme that makes them laugh or simply remembering that they like Repasado and not Blanco. Small gestures make our partners feel appreciated, so we shouldn’t overlook the little things in life. When we think of our partners, why not reach out to them? If we see something that reminds us of them, why not get it? If we want a hug, why not give a hug? After all, it is better to give than to receive.

A small gesture goes a long way:

Make a nice dinner- This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Whether it’s a greasy smash burger, or a vegan macro-friendly salad, what’s most important, is to choose something that our partners will enjoy. The effort put into conceptualizing and preparing this offering will be much appreciated.

Binge their favourite show – When we sit down with our significant others, we may not always want to watch the same shows. While definitely a small gesture, watching our partner’s favourite TV series demonstrates that we take an interest in their interests. If our partner is interested in finding out who the Tiger King is, then we want to find out who the Tiger King is.

Run a bath – Baths are not for everyone; but for many, soaking in a tub is the ultimate physical and mental stress relief. Preparing a bath for our partners, while the unwind is a great way to show that we care. It allows them to reap the rewards with doing any of the work.

Play a game – Make a date of it. Put together a trivia quiz about your partner’s favourite team. Play a round of cards. Why not battle each other in Dragonball Z: Kakarot? A little time with Goku has a way of bringing people together.

Mix a cocktail/mocktail – After a long hard day or a long night’s sleep, we can all appreciate a thoughtfully stirred libation. Luckily, there are many guides and videos on the web to make our amateur bartender dreams come true. Why not name your booze? How about coming up with a customized name, in honour of your partner?

Sabrina + Sazerac = Saberac

Mackenzie+ Daiquiri = Mackuiri

Cole+ Old Fashioned = Cole Fashioned

Dan+ Manhattan= Danhattan

The possibilities are both endless and very nerdy.

Some good old fashion TLC– Everyone of us could use some extra tender love and care. 😉

Letting our partners know we care:

Showing our partners that they are loved and appreciated every single day isn’t always easy. Life has a habit of getting in the way of our good intentions, but a good relationship is worth the sacrifice. We can steal a few moments away from scrolling through our Instagram feed or sifting through what’s new on Netflix to dedicate some time to our partner. Showing love throughout the year fuels our relationships and lets our better half know that we don’t take them for granted.