Ah Valentine’s Day… The holiday that can be a huge source of jealousy and tension if we are not careful about how we choose to spend our time and energy. I am newly married so this was our first married Valentine’s Day together in this new season of life.

This past Valentine’s Day was the best one my husband and I have ever spent together (we have been together for almost nine years), and I think it’s worth talking about. Here are a few ways to make your Valentine’s Day special:

1. Don’t Get On Social Media.

I chose to give up social media for one year in June of 2019. So this was the first Valentine’s Day that I was unplugged from the loving glamour shots on Instagram and Facebook.

Y’all – I truly believe that not spending time this Valentine’s Day scrolling through filtered pictures of newly dating couple’s extravagant Valentine’s Day events helped me find contentment SO much. I still have snapchat (because I’m only friends with a few people on that social media outlet), and enjoyed seeing pictures on my close friend’s and family member’s stories, but I wasn’t bombarded with all these Valentine’s highlights of people I barely know. Get off of social media on Valentine’s Day. Comparing your day to others will only leave you feeling crappy.

Side note – if you are single, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS DO NOT SPEND YOUR NIGHT DRINKING WINE AND SCROLLING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA. Been there, done that. It’s actually the worst. Get together with some friends or treat yourself to a nice dinner and a funny movie.

2. Plan Something In Advance.

My husband and I knew that Valentine’s Day this year was going to fall on a Friday night. We started planning what we wanted to do for one another (gifts, flowers, etc.) about a week in advance. We both knew what to expect (Do there were no unmet expectations) and had time to get together the things we needed for our date night. Plus, since I knew what to expect, I spent the whole week looking forward to our special date night.

3. Ladies, Tell Him Exactly What You Want.

Have you ever been disappointed on Valentine’s Day because your significant other didn’t get you what you wanted? “Ugh. He knows I love Dove dark chocolate – why would he waste money on this gross filling Valentine’s Day chocolate?” “Why did he not get me flowers? I don’t want this teddy bear, I want ROSES!” “I can’t believe he didn’t make us dinner reservations – doesn’t everyone know that you are supposed to make dinner reservations on Valentine’s Day?”

Ladies, he literally does not know what you want unless you tell him. HE CANNOT READ YOUR MIND. But Caitlyn, shouldn’t he know by now what I like and don’t like? Well, I don’t know – have you ever told him what you like and don’t like?

Men are really not complicated. They are simple and don’t think half the crazy thoughts that we girls do. It is likely that your man is going to try his best and if his best isn’t good enough he is not going to try as hard the next time. Why put in all this effort if he isn’t going to please you anyways?

So this year, I told my husband exactly what I wanted for Valentine’s Day. This took the guess work out for him and helped me to feel assured that I wouldn’t be let down or showered with items I didn’t need. I asked him for a bouquet of roses (my favorite flower despite how basic that is) and a hand-written love note (because obviously I love words and his words are my favorite). I told him that I’m trying to be healthier so I really don’t want any candy, and that I would love to dress up and have a home cooked meal for our date instead of fighting the crowds and prices at a restaurant.

And guess what happened? On Valentine’s Day evening I got all dressed up (dress, makeup, actually did my hair) and so did he. He cooked me an amazing meal (which was a surprise because originally I had planned to cook) that included steak, lobster tail, loaded baked potatoes, a salad, and a brownie for dessert. I decorated our card table with a white sheet, candles, and rose pedals. He dressed up in a suit and tie (my weakness), wrote me a beautiful hand-written note, and bought me the most gorgeous red roses.

We spent the night eating, talking, dancing, playing card games, and watching our favorite TV shows. It was the best Valentine’s Day we have ever had. He went above and beyond what I had asked for and listened to the things I had requested. The night was perfect because it is exactly what we had both wanted and was exactly what we both had been looking forward to.

My point is this – if you don’t clearly state what you want, then you have no right to be disappointed or bitter when you don’t get it. I literally told my husband twice, “Babe, all I want for Valentine’s Day is a bouquet of roses and a hand-written note,” and he did not disappoint.

4. Consider A Date Night In.

I know that restaurants can feel romantic, but a date night in (with some extra candles and decorations) can be even more fun. I love staying in because we don’t have to worry about driving home (no limit on alcohol consumption), are able to be as goofy as we want, and can wear whatever we want (let’s be real, my favorite Valentine’s Day dress is not appropriate for the local Red Lobster). Also, it’s so much cheaper. Even with all the extra food, we only spend $25 on our meal – can’t beat that.

5. Focus On The Other Person More.

Instead of focusing on what would make me happy, I tried to put all my attention on my husband. What would he enjoy tonight? How would he like me to show up?

I’m learning that the more I practice selflessness, the happier I become. God didn’t create us to glorify ourselves. He created us to glorify Him through our love and service to others. Marriage is the perfect place to demonstrate this service attitude and when I am operating from a place of selflessness and humility, I experience much more joy. Selfishness = unhappiness and bitterness – “I’m not happy because I’m not getting what I want.” Selflessness = sacrifice and love – “I’m experiencing joy because I am making an effort to make someone else happy through my actions.”

I hope you find these tips helpful and I hope you each had a phenominal Valentine’s Day. And if not, no worries. It’s just one day out of the year. In my opinion, every day should be a new opportunity to show the ones we love how much they mean to us.

Do you have any tips about making Valentine’s Day special? I’d love to get a conversation going in the comments below.

You are so loved by your heavenly Father. His love is the greatest of all.

Sincerely,

Caitlyn Sabdo

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