I am often asked, as a specialized marriage/couple therapist, what would be a good “relationship enhancing gift” for a significant other on Valentine’s day. My recommendations are not necessarily all tangible items, but gifts that can increase happiness and satisfaction within your relationship. Here are a few ideas that keep giving throughout the year.
Take the time for your relationship.
This is one of the best gifts you can give your loved one, because it will help you to continue growing together. Some of the most creative ways of doing this are:
- Planning one date a month for the year, figuring out all the details and providing it for your spouse so they can book out the time and know you have planned something special for the two of you and the growth of your relationship.
- Recreate times where your spouse has reflected on positive memories and go back there literally or figuratively, talk about why it was so meaningful then and how you can continue to create similar, positive memories and feelings for the future.
- Write down those things that have been especially significant to your growing love in the relationship since last Valentines Day. Create a record of how you fall in love with your spouse over and over again. Share why you are grateful for them.
Work on emotional accessibility and openness.
This is one of the best gifts you can give your spouse this Valentine’s day. Working on emotional accessibility is a process, and not something that happens immediately by you saying, “Honey, just so you know, I am going to be more emotionally accessible to you.” If you are interested in improving this aspect of your relationship I recommend a tool to help you and your significant other increase this accessibility in your relationship. Hold Me Tight is a book written by Dr. Susan Johnson and a great tool (it includes practice exercises within) that can increase connection and accessibility in any relationship.
Gratitude and service for your spouse is a gift that continues to give.
As you look at your spouse from a place of gratitude you begin to see the reasons you fell in love with this person in the first place. When you serve your spouse it not only increases your own love for them, but makes you a little more lovable as well.
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