Posted 14 February 2014 by Chris Farmer
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How to make every day St. Valentine's Day
Today is St. Valentine's Day. Today is the day you celebrate your cherished relationship and are especially kind to the person you love.
What is the origin of St. Valentine's Day?
It seems that the ancient Romans were the ones who started it. On 14th February of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Emperor Claudius executed two men, both named Valentine, for their Christian beliefs. Later, the Catholic Church honoured the victims by making them saints. And thus was born St. Valentine's Day.
Not very romantic is it?
But the question I want to ask is:
Why do we show this heightened level of respect only on 14th February?
Why not do it all the time? I don't mean, buy her or him, chocolates every day, but why not try to keep the standards of behaviour and attentiveness super-high, every day, 365 days a year.
Has it ever seemed strange, to you, that many people speak more harshly to their loved ones, than they would to a stranger? The guy is as nice as pie to the stranger in the restaurant; he is polite and charming to the waitress. But he is terse and rude to his wife and says things to her that he would never dream of saying to a stranger.
And she does the same thing to him.
He says, "Haven't you chosen what you're having yet? Why do you always dither? You always end up having the same thing anyway. Just have what you always have, but don't eat it all. You're putting on weight."
She says, "You can talk, fatty!"
Where did the romance go?
He did not act like that on the first date. He told her how beautiful she is, he opened doors for her and he gave her his time and attention.
She was complimentary and pretended to be impressed with his (minor) achievements at work and in amateur sports. She asked him great questions like, "Why aren't there more men who see things as clearly as you do?"
He says, "I don't know. The country's problems could be sorted in weeks if only they had someone running the show who understands what it is like to live in the real world."
She says, "You should go into politics. I would vote for you!"
He puffs up and says, "That because you are as wise as you are beautiful!"
But now, those days are gone.
He says, "Pass the brown sauce".
She says, "It's by your elbow. Are you blind?"
How do you explain it?
Somewhere along the line, the romance, respect and joy, has leaked out of the relationship and it has gone limp and flat.
The deterioration did not happen overnight. It ebbed away over time, over months. With one courtesy falling away after the other, one standard being replaced by a lower one. Bit by bit. Step by step.
His compliments for her fade away and are replaced by jokes at her expense. Her admiration for him fades away and is replaced by mild contempt.
Bit by bit, the relationship deteriorates, until one day, they wake up, one morning and they find that they are living with the enemy.
What is the cause? The cause is the lowering of your personal standards, over time.
What is the solution? The solution is to maintain and even strive to improve your personal standards over time.
Keep to the original rules of the game. If you tell her she is beautiful, she will respond.
If you tell him, he is right and that he should run for parliament, he will respond.
The point I want to make is this: don't drop your standards of behaviour with the people you love the most. For the people you love the most, elevate your standards of behaviour.
How to keep the romance alive
- Never make jokes at the other person's expense.
- Never take out your bad mood and frustrations on the ones who love you.
- Never take their love for granted. Just because they loved you last year, does not mean you can coast, this year.
- Remember that you have to keep earning their respect every day, by acting in ways that are respectful.
- Look for things for which you can give honest praise. And then give it. If they have their hair done, and if it looks good, then say, "Your hair looks great!"
- Don't let the everyday jobs he or she does for you, like making the dinner, become standard service. Take them for what they are. Favours. And you need to repay that favour and appreciate them for it. So remember to say, "Thank you for cooking dinner. It was lovely. I appreciate it."
- Tell the person all the good things you think about them.
- Keep your standards high.
- If possible, improve your standards every year, so that the other person feels that every year, they are getting a better, more charming and attentive person to live with.
Only then can you hope to win. Balls in your court.