This year try something different on Valentines Day. Skip the waxy chocolates and over-priced stuffed animals and go for the kind of gestures that make a real investment in your relationships. Whether for the person you want to marry or for someone you have already spent a large portion of your life with, these five investments do more than express a sentiment; they communicate commitment, respect and the kind of love that does more than just make you feel good for one day.
- Valentines Day Investment #1: Give Time: You’d be surprised how arousing the gift of time can be, especially for a tired and over-worked mom. Take 10 minutes and load the dishwasher, fold the laundry or clean off the table. Then watch the look of surprised relief take years off your loved one’s face.
- Valentines Day Investment #2: Create A Unique Experience: A unique experience can be as big or small as time and budget allow, but with this investment, its thoughtfulness that counts. Think about what your Valentine would really find interesting, and then create an experience around that. For example, if your five-year old granddaughter has a fascination with fish, take her on a surprise outing to an aquarium or pet store, and pack along a snack of goldfish crackers.
- Valentines Day Investment #3: Express Gratitude: As a key component of inner happiness, well-being, and a sense of self-worth, gratitude takes all of two seconds to express, yet it can have lasting effects for someone’s day. Take the time to thank someone for efforts you have been taking for granted.
- Valentines Day Investment #4: Learn A Lesson: Have you recently had an argument, a conflict or a disappointing outcome? Do you wish you had handled the situation differently? Was your reaction defensive and argumentative? Take a moment to think about the lesson there. It might not be readily apparent, and it also might cause some discomfort. Strive to avoid unhelpful attitudes of blame and focus solely on the lesson. If the situation warrants, write down the lesson you have learned and share it with your Valentine.
- Valentines Day Investment #5: Buy Their Chair: Everyone has something that they care about and value more than anything on earth. For some people it’s a desire to write a book or play a certain sport; for other people its spending time with a grandson. In the John Travolta movie, Phenomenon, the lady love he was trying to pursue made chairs out of bent willow wood. How did he express the way he felt about her? He bought her chairs. Find out what makes your Valentine’s heart sing, and then do something that shows support of their endeavor. Arrange an afternoon with the grandson, give the gift of a writing class, go to a sporting game. Whatever it is they value, showing your genuine support is one of the biggest things you can do to express love.
What was the best Valentine’s Day investment you ever made? Share it with us in the comments. You could be featured in a RichLife story spotlight.