Some people will actually go into a denial mode, and say that everyday is their valentine's day, and choose not to celebrate it at all. Which is perfectly fine.
Others will carry on like any other day, for after all, it is not an actual holiday at all. And some will spend it with family, for they feel that family is their loved ones, and it is as good as any occasion to be with their closest ones.
I guess when we were young, we were also caught up in the hype that has made February 14th such a momentous day on our yearly calendar. And why not? The idea of a romantic evening filled with a delicious meal with someone you cherished marks the day just as important as your birthday or anniversary.
But as the years roll by, and you spend more time with your partner, be it your girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse or lover, you tend to forgo the romantic flourishes and begin to put more importance on other aspects of your relationship.
|On a Mystical Bridge|
As your relationship deepens, you realize how much you really care about the other person in the smallest of details. Things that may seem trivial in the beginning now begin to take more priority. Simple things like finding ways to surprise your loved one even after so many years together can be quite exhilarating.
Finding new things to do together, even if it sounds childish or insignificant, but the fact that spending time together is far more important than the activity itself. And learning how to put up with each other's fault and whims.
As each 14th of February passes, I also notice how two persons who choose to be together can continue to grow as a single entity. How each of us complement one another, harvesting our individual strengths and learning to suppress our particular weaknesses together.
|By the Twilight of the Bay|
And when you reach that first decade together, and you still feel that same eagerness and equal anxiety when you are separated from your loved one, you begin to understand that the bond you have with her is not only true, it could actually be everlasting.
They say that your loved one should be your best friend, and that will make for a good future together. This may be true, but beyond that idea of spending your entire life with someone whom you can confide in, it's also the simple matter of being genuinely happy every single moment of your time with her.
It's easier said then done though. There's always ups and downs, and times when you disagree and argue, and even fight at times. But that's just part of being in a real relationship with someone. It's about learning, and learning tolerance and understanding.
|On a Park Bench in a Foreign Land|
So what keeps two person together and happy over time? The answer is not that simple. For many, it's the idea of a romantic catalyst that starts everything. For some, it's the common interests they share, sometimes even extending to a business. Yet, others it's the idea of starting a family and having children.
For whatever reason that brings two persons together, the hardest part has always been to keep it going over time. And how to maintain that spark is not always easy or clear. For many, the romance will fizzle out and life becomes a monotony of routine.
Yet, for me I always find that the easiest thing about fueling a healthy relationship is to always find the simplest thing to make her happy. It's never been about the big gestures, though sometimes it works too. But tiny little details in life that can just bring you closer to her every step of the way.
Even after 20 years with her, I still get a tingle every time I can make her laugh. Not planned, but spontaneous little moments during our conversation each and every day. And you know what? The satisfaction of seeing her smile after all this time is still as fresh and as vivid as the first time I saw her laugh two decades ago.
And when taking a stroll, the thought of holding her soft hands still elevates my senses even to this day. When you know she feels it just as much as you, even without saying a word means even more after that.
Yup, after all this time, the same sense of wanting to spend our lives together has never diminished, and perhaps it's been reinforced and enhanced over time. It's always easy to say you want to commit to your partner, but it's even more invigorating when you realize it's actually coming true day after day, month after month, year after year.
|By the Atmospheric Hallways|
So, how do I actually celebrate a day like today? I won't deny it, that's one. But I will not make a big fuss over it either. These days, I will just cook an elegant dinner for her and just spend time chatting about the day as always.
No flowers, no chocolates required. All you need on valentine's day, is just your presence. And the idea that there is no pressure for two persons to make any vows or anything. If two persons have the same feelings towards each other, it's all done inside.
Insecurities only set in when you have to keep reassuring yourself and your other half how much you mean to each other. Confidence in a relationship means you can take the simplest thing and make it more meaningful than anything you can buy or afford.
|On a Clear Day, You Can See Everything|
20 years ago, when we first started dating, we always remembered this elderly couple in their 70s sitting next to us in a food court. She was tending to their table and seats, making sure no one else came along to take it, whilst he was going about to buy their lunch.
As he came back, he placed everything nicely for her, knowing exactly what she wanted, how she wanted it. And not a word was spoken between the two of them. Yet, to the both of us, their actions communicated so much more than words could ever express.
Their deep sense of belonging, his knowledge of her every habit, and her patience and love for her longtime husband. All those thoughts came to both of us simultaneously, as we also look at each other without uttering a word. And at that moment, we knew we were thinking the same exact thoughts.
As we get through February 14th for the umpteenth time, it has never been more clearer what it means to me, and to her. The fact that we still miss each other everyday and the eagerness to see each other at the end of the day. This is clarity, and this is also a sense of certainty that what we have is real and true.
The secret to a long lasting relationship? It's actually no secret at all. It's simply cherishing what the other one does for you, every single moment of your life. And when you acknowledge that, everything else will become clearer after that.
When I think back to that elderly couple, I know that the best thing you can say to your loved one is actually unspoken.
Have a beautiful Valentine's Day with your special one today, from the Silver Chef.