When youâ€™re engaged, Valentineâ€™s Day is especially sweet. Youâ€™re feeling extra
romantic, and what could be better than another excuse to indulge in this mood?
This year, you get a bonus. Valentineâ€™s Day falls on a Saturday. You donâ€™t
have to rush home from work, get out of your suit, and race out to make your
dinner reservations. You can make your celebration a leisurely, day-long
affair, and I highly recommend that you do.
Why? Because you and your fiancĂ© need the down time. Together. Being engaged
can be a double whammy. Youâ€™re creating a new relationship and a new life.
That takes time. But thanks to your second job--wedding planning--you no doubt
have less time. And youâ€™re overwhelmed with decisions. The result can be an
â€śAbout 3 months before our wedding, the pressure was building,â€ť said Shelley.
â€śThe reality of living together was hitting me. Iâ€™m very organized and Dave is
a go-with-the-flow guy, so we have some adjusting to do. And his mother was
taking a very active interest our wedding, if you get my drift. I was asking
myself, What am I really getting into here?â€ť
What Shelley needed was pressure-free time to explore these questions with her
fiancĂ©. Like many brides, she was having trouble finding it.
This year, Valentineâ€™s Day gives you the perfect opportunity for down time.
Down time means slowing your pace and taking a break from decisions. Here are
four tips for making that happen.
- Spend the whole day together. Leave some empty time. Weâ€™re all so
focused on efficiency and productivity in our daily lives. Thatâ€™s great for
work, but relationships need a different kind of fuel--relaxation. You canâ€™t
squeeze emotional growth into a timetable. If you try, your efforts will
only boomerang. When you have down time, youâ€™ll find yourself talking about
things you never imagined, and feeling closer than ever.
- Resist the temptation to turn Valentineâ€™s Day into a romance
extravaganza. Sometimes brides and grooms feel an obligation to plan really
impressive (read: expensive) activities for Valentineâ€™s Day. Donâ€™t you have
enough things to plan? And spend money on? Keep it simple. Want to go away
for the whole weekend? Great idea, but pick a place thatâ€™s close, and drive,
- Make all wedding planning activities off-limits on Valentineâ€™s Day. No
picking up invitations, no shopping for rings. It might sound like fun
just to browse jewelry stores, but before you know it, youâ€™ll be weighing the
pros and cons. Once youâ€™re thinking about decisions, youâ€™re not relaxed.
- Try doing something you donâ€™t usually do. Are you city folks? Rent a
canoe for an hour. Do weekends usually find you out on the hiking trails?
Wander around a museum. Shake up your routine. Itâ€™s energizing, refreshing,
and positively invites you to get to know each other better.
Shelley and Dave decided to go out for a leisurely breakfast at a place
they loved but didnâ€™t often get to because it was in a neighboring town. Then
they went browsing in nearby antique shops. But they agreed in advance not to
buy anything that day. Nothing like spending big sums of money to make you
wonder where the relaxation went! After that, they impulsively drove a scenic
mountain route theyâ€™d been meaning to explore. They finished up with a casual
â€śI think spending time together without having to accomplish anything really
helped us,â€ť said Shelley. â€śWith the wedding, we forgot what that was like. I
canâ€™t say that we solved all our issues. But we did talk a bit about his
mother and I feel he understands more about why she stresses me. I
definitely feel happier. Our love feels bigger, and our differences feel
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