For decades we have seen little Valentine candies with sayings like “ADORE ME”, “TRUE LOVE”, and “CRAZY 4U”. Candy makers have modernized with even more hints to our beloved. “TWEET ME” would have stumped us a few years ago, thinking it might be a misprint for “TREAT ME”. Oh, well. Times change. But love remains the same. )
Maybe that’s why one of our favorite candy messages is “BE MINE”. Remember your wedding day when you and your sweetheart looked into to each other’s eyes and promised your never-ending love? Remember how much you wanted him or her to “be mine” forever? Right now is a good time to be thinking of that special day and how very much you wanted that wish to come true. This kind of desire doesn’t hang around uninvited. It must be cultivated, nurtured, and remembered often.
One of the fun things about celebrating Valentine’s Day is that we get to go back to those fun, romantic moments that made marriage so desirable, so exciting, and so enjoyable at the beginning. Even though life moves in on couples, often chasing away the spontaneity of the early years, it’s time to take this opportunity to click on refresh and update those feelings again.
10 Ideas to Consider
What can you do this Valentine’s Day that would spark up your marriage? Here are ten simple, thrifty ideas to get you started. Consider them, then let your own imagination come up with something creative and fun that fits for you.
1. Taking a romantic cruise would be perfect, but there’s no time nor money for that right now so we won’t go there. However, you could do a virtual cruise. Do a little pretending. Put the kids to bed or farm them out to relatives or friends for a few hours. Then dress in something cute, casual, and comfortable, serve up some precooked shrimp with cocktail sauce for dipping, or any other favorite appetizer with a few umbrella picks for atmosphere (get them at any party store), make fruit smoothies and serve with a fancy straw. Enjoy it all as you snuggle and watch a romantic movie “at sea”. You can even hang a travel poster of the ocean to create a little ambience — libraries loan them for free.
2. After the family is fed, the two of you go to a fancy restaurant and order just the dessert. While you’re enjoying it talk about how you first met, your first date, and work your way up to your wedding night. It can be very fun and romantic remembering these events together.
3. Call your honey during the day and say something romantic, like “I’m just thinking of you right now and can’t help but smile because I love you so much.” Or you could say, “I’m thinking about you and wishing I could give you a ten-second kiss. I’ll show you what I mean when you get home.” (Ten-second kisses are the lingering type.) You could even text it, but voice is better. When you speak the words you can make them have greater emphasis and meaning.
4. Post paper hearts around the house with loving little messages on them. Places like the bathroom mirror, the milk carton in the fridge, in his or her undies drawer, even one on the car mirror.
5. Make heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. Stick a toothpick with a love note in them or in a strawberry garnish on the plate.
6. Put on your favorite CD of music, sit on the couch together, hold hands, and enjoy the beautiful music together. Maybe even play a few tunes from your romantic past.
7. Turn the lights down low, light a candle or two and enjoy a special meal at home with just the two of you.
8. Create your own romantic scripture chase. Using the topical guide, each of you come up with scriptures that will enrich your love for each other (Example: 1 Peter 1:22 “Love one another with a pure heart;” also see 1 Cor. 7:3&4, and D&C 42:22). Briefly discuss how each other’s scripture choices will bless your marriage. End the chase with a sweet treat and loving embraces.
9. Buy a helium-filled heart balloon, attach a love note to the string, put it in a room where you know your honey will find it.
10. When you hug in the morning, secretly place a heart message on your mate’s back where your kids will see it, one that says, “I love your Daddy (or Mommy) with all my heart.” The kids will giggle and everyone will enjoy it.
These small and simple romantic gestures may not seem important, but when practiced throughout your marriage they make a huge difference. Remember “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” (Alma 37:6)
Going beyond Valentine’s Day
Keep the love actions going throughout the year. One thing you might do is save up for an over-nighter at a hotel/motel in a neighboring city (Google hotel bargains to find a discounted rate). Begin the evening with a dinner at an affordable romantic restaurant. Choose a hotel/motel with a complimentary breakfast the next morning to extend the fun. Turn off cell phones, and no texting.
Here’s another simple activity that will enhance any marriage for the long haul. Each partner takes a piece of paper and pencil and defines what it is they want out of a marriage. Think past your own marriage and just simply describe, point by point, a few things that defines a great marriage to you. When finished, share your lists with each other. You may be surprised at how close your definitions are. Combine your lists to make a joint definition of what marriage is. Then take the list and you go about creating the marriage you described. Do not criticize your mate, just go about doing your part. You have the power to make your marriage better and better by seeing and doing what it needs. Are you willing to work for what you want? Each partner is responsible for helping their marriage succeed. We have seen this activity make a big difference in marriages.
Example of the Prophets
We all know that marriage is challenging. A good marriage doesn’t just happen, it takes planning and doing. Even though it takes work, marriage is worth every ounce of the effort.