Relationships & Love
The 8 Best Valentine's Gifts That Don't Cost a Penny
Lots of us, particularly males, fret about what to do for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate and roses are nice, but not exactly creative or even heartfelt. Sexy lingerie or a romantic dinner may be fun, but is this what she really wants?
I talk to many clients who express genuine anxiety about Valentine’s Day, and this is what I tell them: Don’t get caught up in peer pressure or commercialism associated with Valentine’s Day. Instead, think of it as a time to honor your love partner, and to let this person know you value, respect, and admire him or her. With that as your intention, giving the “gift” is actually very easy. Best of all, it won’t cost you a cent.
Here are 8 gifts that will win the heart of your Valentine.
1. Put it in writing.
Write a list of qualities that you appreciate about your loved one, and put those words in a card, poem, or a short video of you reading the list.
2. Stir up memories.
Jot down 5 or so of your favorite, most precious memories of your partner and the time you’ve spent together, and convey them verbally.
3. Grant a wish.
Put yourself in your lover’s shoes and think of a chore or an activity that would bring a smile or ease some stress. Then make it happen.
4. Spend some time.
Arrange an outing to a favorite place you share, maybe a hike or a stroll around a special neighborhood. Or just take the evening off from your normal routine and cook a favorite dinner.
5. Be emotionally generous.
Refrain from making negative jokes about Valentine’s Day or your loved one’s views about the day. Regardless of how you feel, only say positive things.
6. Lend an ear.
Set up a cozy place to talk and ask your loved one questions about life, dreams, wishes, and feelings. Offer to “just listen” while she or she talks and shares. Don’t interrupt.
7. Clean the slate.
Valentine’s Day is as good a day as any to let go of any grudges you’re holding and to accept your loved one, flaws and all. This will help you genuinely say, “I love you just as you are.”
8. Fall in love anew.
Allow yourself to fall in love again. Conjure memories and feelings of a time you were full of feelings of love for your Valentine, and keep your focus there. Recall the way you felt when you first met.
Jude Bijou, MA, MFT, is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction® evolved over the course of more than 30 years working with clients as a licensed marriage and family therapist, and is the subject of her award-winning book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. Learn more at www.attitudereconstruction.com.