Long gone the days when Ben and I could have a romantic evening celebrating Valentine’s day, or having peaceful snuggle on the sofa watching favourite film, it takes us 2-3 nights to watch a film because we are so tired and there are so many jobs to do, we have to split it up, or have a lovely day out just the two of us. It often feels like we are parents and not a couple, because “I love you” isn’t constantly repeated, or is it? When you have small children, busy jobs, been together for quite a few years, life is busy and full of appointments and responsibities “I love you” often comes in a slightly different form, sometimes it’s an action and sometimes it’s a phrase. In case you are feeling like romance is dead in your household just read through this and tick which things your partner does or says, or you do or say to your partner that means “I love you” and feel better about having an unconventional Valentine’s day.
1. Quietly finishing the job your partner left unfinished because they got carried way with something more urgent. It’s often laundry in our house, if I have to rescue Alma from breaking her neck or dealing with a fight part of washed laundry might be hanging and another part is still in a washing machine. When Ben comes home and just finishes hanging it without asking any questions, I think that’s his way of saying “I know how busy you were, I will take care of it because I love you”.
2. I will take care of it. This is probably the best phrase one love bird can say to another when kids are all over the place, the house is upside down and one of the grown ups is on a verge of having a nervous breakdown. Sometimes it’s a poopy nappy, sometimes it’s vomit on the floor and sometimes it’s ordering party bags for your child’s birthday party just to give you a break from worrying about things. Nothing more romantic than clearing someone’s sick is there.
3. Have a break. It can be as simple as going to the corner shop alone, or as grand as sending your partner away for a few days. Have a break “I know how mentally and physically exhausted you are, I love you so I’m giving you a break”.
4. Have you taken your …? medicine, vitamin, water bottle, gloves, hat etc. It’s about looking after someone, it’s basically “I love you”.
5. I have taken your …. hat, gloves, scarf, telephone, bag etc. Ben is very good at this, it’s usually “I have taken your telephone because you’ve left it on the table in a busy cafe”. Ok perhaps the last bit isn’t about love, I know “I’ve taken your hat because I know how busy you are and you have forgotten to pack it” is a better example. The last phrase is me by the way.
5. Is it ok if I… Is it ok if I discuss this with you right now, is it ok if I give you a cuddle, is it ok if I put this away etc. It’s about respecting your partner’s personal space, appreciating that they might not have energy, headspace or mood to do certain things. I might be so touched out and so talked out by my bubbly 4.5 year old and my touchy feely 2 year old that at the end of the day I want to be left alone for some time. When he appreciates it without making me feel guilty that’s his way of saying “I love you because I respect your space”.
6. Thank you. Thank you for delicious food, thank you for tidying the house, thank you for looking after our loony kids all day, thank you for doing this and that. It’s about not talking things for granted and basically means “I see what you do, I appreciate it and I love that you do this things for me, us, our kids and our family”.
Do you have any other things do add? Please do. Hope you have a good Valentine’s day.
P.s. Ben got us M&S ready meals for Valentine’s day as a way of saying “I will take care of this”.