For couples who've been together for years or decades, it's easy for Valentine's Day to lose the sense of magic it once offered. And if you've gotten in trouble for “failing” at Valentine's Day before, you might see the day as little more than a manufactured holiday designed to make you feel terrible about your relationship. But step back and pause before you go casting too much judgment on this unassuming holiday. Romantic days are what you make them, and a good relationship centers around taking time to celebrate one another, indulge in a little romance, and depart from the humdrum boredom of everyday life. Even if you're strapped for cash, you can enjoy this most romantic of holidays. Even better, you can recycle some of these ideas when your anniversary rolls around.
Write a Love Letter
In an era of text messages and emails, it's probably been years since you've sat down, put pen to paper, and explained why you love your spouse. And if your relationship came of age in the digital era, you might never have written him or her a love letter. Take some time to do it, now. Not only will the love letter leave your partner feeling deeply loved; it can also remind you of why you're together, improving your own attitude about your relationship.
Chronicle Your Relationship
Research suggests that reliving the good times in your relationship can help you get through the tough times. Try chronicling your relationship in the form of a scrapbook, illustrated story, or even a song. The time you spend thinking about the past may give you insight into the present, and the thought that goes into such an undertaking can leave even the most unromantic of partners breathless.
Create a Picture-Perfect Homecoming
When asked about their biggest sources of stress, both adult men and women overwhelmingly respond that housework, cooking, childcare, and similar undertakings figure prominently. Give your partner a stress-free night where you've taken care of everything. Clean the house till it's immaculate. Send the kids to their grandparents. Cook a gorgeous and tasty meal, and then cover the bed or the bath tub with rose petals. Even the most harried and exhausted of spouses will appreciate your efforts, and the relaxation offers the sort of marriage reset that can help even troubled relationships improve.
Recreate Your First Date
If you both need a reminder of why you first fell in love, consider recreating your first date. Focus on the small details – where you went, where you sat, even what you wore. Not only does this show that the memory matters to you all these years later. Such an approach can also help stoke the passion you once felt. And if you play your cards right, you may just find that your spouse is as enamored of you as he or she was the day you first laid eyes on one another.