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I’ll never forget the first Valentine’s Day my husband and I shared as a couple. I was studying abroad in New Zealand and he was back home in the States. With 7,000 miles and a 20-hour time difference between us, only a few hours overlapped where it was Valentine’s Day for both of us. Despite this, we spent the day exchanging funny Valentine memes via text, he surprised me with flowers and a box of donuts, and then we sat on a video call watching a romcom together. 

Special occasions like Valentine’s Day can be valuable for reminding couples to shower their partner with affection. However, while my husband and I look forward to our annual Valentine’s Day donuts, it is our daily and weekly practices that keep love alive after Valentine’s Day has ended. 

Here are some ways we keep love alive after Valentine’s Day:

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Express Gratitude

Every night before we go to bed, my husband and I take a few minutes to share what we were grateful for that day. This simple routine has been most impactful on the days we weren’t feeling too loved. It boosts our moods and reconnects us so we can end the day on a positive note. We also make a conscious point to thank each other for the mundane tasks we each do, such as setting the table for dinner, doing the laundry, changing a diaper, etc. Throwing in an extra “thank you” for household tasks your partner typically takes on is a great place to start expressing gratitude!

Change up Date Night

When you’ve been together for a while, it can be easy to slip into a routine of dinner and a movie for date night. But adventure and spontaneity are important parts of keeping the love alive in a relationship. To inject excitement into our relationship, my husband and I recently committed to planning intentional dates each week. From exploring an old pinball arcade to trying our hand at watercolor painting, the variety keeps our connection strong. If you are needing inspiration, ChatGPT or articles like this one can be fun resources for ideas. 

Keep love alive by making the mundane special.

Learn your Partner’s Love Language

Another useful practice for us has been taking Dr. Gary Chapman’s Love Language Quiz, which was mentioned in last week’s article. This has helped us recognize what actions make both of us feel loved. Understanding each other’s love language has heightened our intentionality and creativity in expressing affection. To keep your partner’s love language fresh in your mind, consider using this free app.

Make the Mundane Special

One last way my husband and I keep the love alive is by infusing romance into our daily lives. From slow dancing in the kitchen while dinner cooks, to breakfast in bed after a fight the night before, or short love notes in packed lunches, these little moments make an impact. 

Keeping the love alive after Valentine’s Day requires effort. Hopefully the strategies my husband and I use will help make your efforts a little easier. If you are looking for more ideas, check out a free R3 Academy workshop, or simply go buy your partner a box of donuts!