I've never really been a big believer in Valentine's Day. Do we really need a day designed to pry the big bucks out of our hands for a bouquet of flowers that a week ago would have cost us half of that? I'd rather have had the flowers a week ago. But then, I'm cheap.
Shouldn't we instead be showing love to our significant other all year round in little yet important ways? My husband and I have learned that it's the small practical things that we tend to appreciate the most.
Here are some things you can do for each other that say, in no uncertain terms, "I love you."
1. Replace the toilet paper roll. Setting a new one on top of the the empty holder works in a pinch, but nothing says "I love you" like the putting the new roll directly on the holder.
2. Watch the show, whether it's sports or a sappy romantic comedy. Of course, you may want to have your phone nearby to sneak peaks at your social media every now and again so you don't die of boredom, but true love watches the show.
3. Change the milk bag. There is nothing so irking as rushing to get milk in the kid's cereal in the morning and discovering two drops left in the bag.
4. In the same vein, if you empty anything at all, fill it. This doesn't just apply to milk. Salt shaker empty? Fill it. Soap dispenser empty? Also fill it.
5. Fill the tank. And by that, I actually mean gas tank. If you drive their car and leave it on empty, then your partner may not feel the love the next day when they start out their long commute and realize an emergency fuel stop is in order.
6. Clean the house. Without complaining. Find what each of you is best at, and prefer to do, and go with it. In our house I do bathrooms, laundry and dishes. He cooks, deep cleans and fixes stuff. It works, and helps us to feel the love.
7. If you walk past something on the floor, pick it up. It's not yours? Pick it up anyways.
8. Share the covers. If one of us hogs the covers, it is perfectly acceptable for the other to yank them back even if it means waking the other person up. True love means we both get to be warm and cozy at night.
9. Speaking of which, true love lets a person warm up their icy feet on their partner's legs. This may be a one sided way of showing love, but as a woman, I'll take it!
10. Turning a blind eye to the odd extravagant purchase. Now I wouldn't be pushing for this if it involved a spending or debt problem, but since it doesn't, turning a blind eye to those bigger "just for me" purchases can be a way to show love. My husband bought me flowers recently (at non Valentine's Day-rates, thankfully) because I didn't give him grief about a purchase he was making for himself. I guess he felt the love.
11. Get up with the kids. Get up with them at least 50 per cent of the time, but maybe giving your spouse an unexpected day to sleep in would be a great way to show love. And hopefully they'll reciprocate.
12. Act interested. Sometimes our interests our very different. Sometimes what he wants to talk about is very technical and precise. The least I can do is share in some of his interests by listening, whether it's my kind of topic or not.
13. Don't complain about the snooze button going off five times. Yes, we are not all cut from the same cloth, and just because your spouse can pop up all sunshine and roses before the first alarm even rings, doesn't mean that you shouldn't be able to act like a zombie during your five snoozes without fear of reprisals.
14. Men, buy the feminine hygiene products. Women need their pads and plugs, and sometimes feel too crappy to go out and get them. And while you're out, get chocolate. Lots of it.
15. Don't complain about guys/girls night out. These nights are necessary to keep the home fires burning, and to keep us from burning out as individuals. So, unless it's an every night thing, no complaints please.
16. Keep the "honey do" lists for each other short. And actually do them.
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17. Let your partner pick the restaurant, the movie or the outing at least as often as you do. It definitely shows love to give up control over these things.
18. Volunteer for the crappy job. When your child wakes up vomiting at 2 a.m., somebody has got to collect and clean the sheets, and someone's got to hose down the child. Whichever job neither of you likes is the one you should volunteer for next time. Just to show love.
19. Say nice things to each other. And mean them.
20. Be kind.
So you see, there's all sorts of ways to show love for your partner throughout the year, and this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Take these things with you all year round and you and your spouse will feel the love. And then it'll be Valentine's Day all year long.
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