Whether you buy into holiday commercialisation or not: Happy Valentine’s Day! You can’t avoid it, the day of all things love is upon us and unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past month (and more!), you  won’t have been able to escape the saccharine sweet advertising bombardments helpfully reminding you to buy your loved one(s) all you can afford and more to showcase your undying love.

LPD and I have always been a bit Valentine’s Day reserved – we’re definitely not Valentine’s Day adverse (we’ve both been known to buy each other soppy cards and usually can be found cooking up a storm in the kitchen to have a nice meal together) but we don’t go all out. For us, it’s all about the little ways you show each other you care and it’s just a nice excuse to have a bit of a date night, isn’t it? Especially after the bleak financially dry month of January!

We all show love to each other differently and LPD and I are definitely opposites. There are classically five different ways of showing love:

  • Through the sharing of words and feelings
  • Physically through touch: hugs, kisses, cuddles… a bit of how’s your father!
  • The buying of gifts and presents
  • The giving of time and attention
  • Through  actions, both the little and big things

I’m very much a touchy-feely, oversharer of emotions who loves to buy little tiny gifts to show LPD that I’m thinking of him. Nothing fancy, but I can never go into Greggs without buying him a gingerbread man and can’t resist a little sentimental addition to the shopping basket.

Love letters Valentine's Day

Today, LPD found a little stash of love notes I’ve written to him over the years – usually left on his pillow or on the stairs for him to come home to. Usually accompanied with a little chocolate.

LPD is a bit more reserved in showing his emotions so outwardly. And this took me a LONG time to get used to. Because he didn’t show his love for me in the same way as I did for him, I couldn’t help but think it was because he didn’t love me in the same way. He wouldn’t tell me how he felt about me without being prompted and he’s never really been one for public displays of affection. I used to tie myself up in knots worrying about it.

Hot drink in the cold snow

Every heart-warming cup of tea… means the world.

And then he’d make me a cup of tea. Or cook the dinner after a hard day’s work. And then wash up. And walk to the shop to buy me a bar of chocolate if I fancied a pudding. Run me a bath with bubbles or be the one to get out of bed to answer the door to the postman during a lazy Saturday lie-in. I realised he was far more selfless in his acts than I was, and here he was, showing me acts of love all the time, and whilst I’d been grateful, I’ve never really fully appreciated their significance.

Cocktails couple cheers

Cheers from us this Valentine’s Day! Celebrating love.

I’ve always said you give a relationship an expiry date as soon as you start taking your other half for granted. The second you stop being amazed by all those little things means that all those lovely signs of love become mundane. It might sound weird, but every time LPD makes me a cup of tea, it feels like a hug. Every lovingly cooked dinner is a kiss. Each time he gets out of bed in the freezing cold to turn the light switch off? A love letter.

So that’s my #1 relationship tip: never take the little things, the big things or your partner for granted. It’s the best way to make every day magical.

And that’s exactly how I plan to continue as we become parents. The only difference will be I’ll be appreciating every thing LPD does for me, and for Pickle. Double the love.