• Christine Parker, MA

more than a hallmark holiday

People love it or people hate it.

Neutrality is rarely an option.

Valentine's Day.

Mere days after Punxsatawney Phil makes his wintry prediction, lovers everywhere must decide how best to display their adoration. Will their efforts match that of their loved one? If the relationship is relatively new, is it time to "do" Valentine's?

Whether we love or hate the holiday, we all see red everywhere.

And then it's over.

What if Valentine's Day could be more than a day? What if it had more lasting impact than an evening of romance?

What if there was a way to turn Valentine's Day into a concept for relating in addition to that special day each year when we take time out to tell our special one how special they are?

As a Marriage & Family Therapist, I often see couples out of tune with one another. One of the best parts of my job is helping them retune. Helping them remember what it is they love about one another. Most of the time, those foundational things have not disappeared. They have only been lost a bit in the shuffle of daily life.

Helping people remember that first date, what first energized them about the other person, what really got them going about each other makes my work exciting.

Couples often find this exciting about Valentine's Day. Or, they dread the holiday because they've lost that loving feeling. It's not hard to reignite. Simply revisit those memories. Try writing down what made you fall head over heels about your partner. Reminisce together about your first date, and you second.

And once you remember, don't let yourself forget. Engage in activities to help you remember very specifically what you love about each other more often than one day each year. Carve out time to remind each other weekly or monthly.

This won't solve your problems, but it will remind you that you have a solid foundation upon which to keep building.

Christine Parker, MA is a Provisionally Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with many years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families.

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