Hey guys, do you want to have a memorable Valentine’s Day with your sweetie? Of course, right? Great! Then here’s something to consider: In order to achieve that memorable Valentine’s Day, for both of you, it will most likely have less to do with what you give her or do for her on February 14, and more to do with your prep work now.
Now, am I talking about ensuring you place your orders now rather than later for those cut roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, footy pajamas, or the newest Duck Dynasty headband collection (whatever floats her boat, right)? No, not really, although those things are pretty important. Am I talking about making early reservations for that romantic restaurant or that intimate weekend getaway? Again, not really, although if that’s your plan, then you better get on that right away.
You see, guys, all those wonderful gifts and plans on Valentine’s Day, particularly the thoughtful ones, even if they’re inexpensive (though going all out is, I’m sure, quite alright with her on occasion), are important factors in making Valentine’s Day special for her. But they’re not the only factors.
So, what exactly am I talking about? Well, to enjoy a memorable “day of love,” your best bet is to spend your lead-up time working on your “lifetime of love”; that is, your relationship with your her, laying the relational foundation not only for a pleasant February 14th, but for a solid future together as well.
“How can I do this?” you ask. “Do you have any ideas, especially ones that don’t involve a whole lot of talking and stuff like that?” Good question. And, as a matter of fact, I do. And all that’s involved is doing one thing together with your sweetie, four times everyday for the next few days. (And, yeah guys, after I typed that my “guy mind” also wandered to the possibilities of that “one thing.” But, as disappointing as it might be for you, I’m not referring to “that,” at least not this time).
So here’s the idea: Over the next few days (for at least a week), four times during the day–(1) after you wake up, (2) before you leave for the day, (3) when you arrive back home, and (4) before you go to bed–give your sweetie a full-body hug for at least four seconds.
“But I’m not a ‘touchy, feely’ kind of person,” you complain. My response is… stop your whining! Think about it: The process of high-fiving and fist-bumping your buddies (which, believe it or not, is a kind of feeling-driven touch) takes at least that same four seconds of time and touch. What’s more, hugging your partner, unlike hand-slapping your buddies, doesn’t involve those inevitable “Where’s that hand been?” sorts of questions that nag you the rest of the day.
And, yes, the first few times, the first few seconds may feel a little awkward or forced, particularly if you’re not in the habit of regular hugging, but stay with it and the comfortableness will come. In fact, through those embraces the feel-good chemicals in your body will be activated, helping you experience a sense of calm and closeness, even a sense of diminished appetite. What a deal, right? Drop a little stress and a few pounds, all while hugging your sweetie.
So, you can do it. Four hugs per day, four seconds each. It’ll shift your relationship into “4×4.” Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
–Jim Baumgardner Jr.(“The Family Pro”) is a Licensed Professional Counselor, specializing in family relationships, and a Certified Family Life Educator. He lives in Claremore with his wife and four children. You can check out his blog “Family Trippin” at http://familytrippin.wordpress.com