Perfection is in the eyes of the beholder. Valentine’s Day has a number of beholders:
- Girls hoping for valentine cards from the right guys
- Couples hoping to charge their marriage with a romantic get-away
- Guys hoping to join the estimated six million who pop the question
No matter which stage of love you’re in, romantic love is at the center – the desire to have a soul mate for life.
What makes it perfect?
Our modern-day Valentine’s tradition started in England with men wooing their intendeds by sending handmade cards filled with love. Ultimately, it’s all about the pursuit. And most women love being pursued.
Perfection is achieved when a man pays attention to what his lover wants. Therein lies the man’s biggest hurdle – knowing what surprises her and takes her breath away. You cannot just ask her what she wants because she wants you to just “know” without having to say. If she has to tell you … pop goes the romance.
The perfect Valentine’s date is one filled with mystery and you saying how much you love her and know her with and without words.
How do you do that?
Become the student. Knowing her means studying her. That starts with learning what makes her heart pitter patter.
Learn her love language. Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages book gives insights to the needs of affirmation, service, gifts, time and physical touch. While we all need some of each, the question is which ones scream love when they are met – to that particular woman. Buy the book or go online to take a free love languages assessment. The bottom line is don’t pour yourself out doing a special act of service for a woman who loves receiving gifts. She says, “How sweet,” as she pulls out her list of other available men.
Live the Life’s “Adventures in Marriage” course lists eleven needs that help you know your lover. The CA5RESS model includes: comfort, acceptance, affection, appreciation, approval, attention, affirmation, respect, encouragement, security and support. Of course, just taking one of these classes with your mate will speak volumes about how much she means to you. They are a training ground for knowing her and learning how to ramp up your romantic life.
Haven’t been paying attention?
With only a few days left to V-Day, get ready for a crash course. Now’s the time to start listening.
- Whatever you do, don’t ask her what she wants to do for Valentines and be careful how you ask questions. (She will probably already be suspicious since it’s so close to the holiday.)
- Get out some family albums and listen for what she loved the most about this trip or that event.
- Open a travel magazine and listen for her reaction to locations and what drives her love for that.
- Think of couples you admire and talk about them. Find out what she believes makes their relationships great.
- Ask her mother, sisters or best friends. Women who know her likely “know” her because we girls pay attention. Besides, we can always come up with a list of things that we personally would love for ourselves or things that our lovers have done for us that were meaningful. But remember, your intelligence source may have a different love language than your spouse, so filter this information.
I can’t afford to “do it right.”
How much spending is enough? That depends on knowing your lover and your budget. And remember – only one love language is related to money – gifts. And even for the gift lover, it may not be the amount you spend but the thought that goes into it. And that goes back to knowing her.
Instead of a standard heart-shaped box of chocolates, how about a chocolate shaped in something she loves or alludes to something she is looking forward to. Or use the heart-shaped box to include a special message that will sing her song.
Instead of a store-bought card, a five foot “I love you” made of cardboard and painted with cheerful colors placed in public. Women love men who will climb the ivory tower to rescue them from complacency.
A single red rose properly given may be the best gift if it’s wrapped or presented in a meaningful way.
How about a playlist of her favorite romantic songs set up for the special night? Or rose petals scattered in a trail that leads someplace special – and I don’t mean the bedroom (although for wives, there might be some special and different celebration there. Often, women feel more loved without sex – especially if they have come to believe that’s all you care about.)
Spending $250 at her favorite restaurant will not “do it for her” if you do it every year.
The key is to surprise her, not to go break your bank doing it.
What do you need to do?
- Pursue her and let her know that she is the holy grail of your life.
- Know her as if unlocking the greatest secret in the world.
- Surprise her by doing something radically different – and keep it a surprise.
“My lover is mine, and I am his” (Song of Solomon 2:16).
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Patricia Hartman, CPA is the owner of Patricia Hartman, CPA, PA, a tax and forensic accounting practice, where she has worked with hundreds of divorcing clients. She is the author of “The Christian Prenuptial Agreement” available at www.ChristianPrenuptial.com. She is the president of South Florida Word Weavers and a board member of Living Water Christian Counseling.