Flowers, chocolate candy, dinner, wine, and a card adorn homes and offices for Valentine’s Day. It’s a time for couples to do something special for each other. It’s a day, typically, for men to run out and purchase roses while women struggle to figure out what they can get the man in their life for Valentine’s Day. (After all, it’s mostly seen as a day for women anyway. Right?)
Although each day is an opportunity for us to show our love and appreciation for our spouse, Valentine’s Day forces couples to pause and express their gratitude and commitment to each other.
So, what is the best Valentine’s Day gift you can give today? Roses, chocolate, dinner, and wine are always great options. However, none of those are what I would consider the best options. What’s the best Valentine’s Day gift? Your time.
One may consider going out to dinner at a restaurant a form of giving your time to your spouse. Dinner is certainly a great way to spend time with your loved one if you are focusing your time on them and engaging with them. How many times have you gone out to dinner with your spouse only to have them spend more time on the phone texting, scrolling through social media, or responding to emails than actually being in the moment with you?
Here are a few suggestions to help make the time you spend with your loved one this Valentine’s Day time they will not forget:
1.) Put the phone down: Make use of the “do not disturb” feature on your smartphone and put your phone on Do Not Disturb for the rest of the night once you and your spouse get home. Ask your spouse to do the same and make a commitment to not look at your phones while you are at dinner, watching a movie, or whatever you choose to do for your special day. In fact, a better option is to leave your phone in the car while you go out to dinner, so you are not tempted to read that text message when the phone beeps. (Turn off your apple watch or smartwatch while at dinner too.)
2.) Ask questions: While at dinner, ask questions you may not normally ask of your spouse. Ask them how their day went, how their week is going, or even what their thoughts and plans are about the future (if you have not had those conversations in a while). Asking questions of your spouse is a great way to show them you care enough to want to ask about their thoughts, feelings, and even just about their day.
3.) Take a trip down memory lane: Talk about some of your favorite times together. Take a stroll down memory lane about the most comical, adventurous, crazy, or silly things you have done or had happen to you as a couple. Your spouse will enjoy the stroll just as much as you will, and they will certainly enjoy the laughs that go with it.
4.) Pray together: God is the author and perfector of love. God is love, according to Scripture. Before the night is over, pray with your spouse. Spend some time praying about your fears, concerns, and thanking God for each other.
5.) Attend Mass: If you have the opportunity, attend Mass together. There is nothing more beneficial for your relationship than attending Mass together and praying together.
Valentine’s Day does not have to be a large expense. Gifts are a great way to tell someone they are loved but spending time with them uninterrupted and focused on them is the perfect way to show them they are loved.