I go back and forth every year when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day. On one hand, I believe that it is a holiday made up by the greeting card makers and candy corporations to turn a profit. On the other hand, I believe it is a fantastic rhythm in your year to make sure you spend some extra attention on your marriage.  

Focusing on making Valentine’s Day meaningful requires planning and being intentional.   Valentine’s Day often comes with a lot of pressure to buy extravagant gifts, which can cause us to spend too much money, gifting our spouse with a ridiculous giant stuffed bear or an unwanted box of calories in the form of chocolates. 

This year, make it a point to put forth energy and time to actually prioritize your marriage on Valentine’s Day, without putting strain on your finances.  Here are 6 Valentine’s Day surprises that cost you zero money but are worth pure gold as an investment into your marriage. 

1. Write love notes.  

If your spouse is a words person, a quick note left by her bathroom sink can increase intimacy. She will take note of your thoughtfulness and be blessed by the words written down. You can get creative and leave notes all over places you know she will find them. Put a note on her shampoo bottle, or on the steering wheel of her car. The point is to be intentional and take the time to put pen to paper.  

2. Recruit friends to blow up their phone. 

Get a group text started with all of your friends and ask for a favor. Ask them if they will all send your husband a text message at a specific time, let’s say 8:34pm because that’s the time you had your first kiss, with a simple phrase “Your wife told me to tell you that she loves (fill in the blank) about you.” It’s easy, simple and thoughtful. You can go one step further and give each friend a word to say in the fill in the blank.  

3. Take over meal time.  

In each home, there is usually one person that does most of the cooking. If that is your spouse, make a point to let them know you have mealtime covered. Cook her favorite meal or his favorite dessert. Think it through and make it meaningful.  

4. Go for a walk. 

This may sound simple, but exercise is proven to increase energy and connectivity. The phrase those who sweat together grow together is true. Find time to simply go for a walk or get a workout in together. You can spark conversation by asking your spouse, “What is one thing I do that shows you that I love you.” 

5. Do the dishes.  

If you think your spouse wants you to do the dishes, the answer is always Yes! When was the last time you took over and did those things around the house that you may not normally do? This could be doing laundry, cleaning the toilet, or mowing the yard. Whatever it is that your spouse does around the house that they may not love to do, step in and take it over for them. This communicates that you see them and appreciate all they do around the house.  

6. Wear a hoodie.  

My wife loves when I wear a hoodie. She tells me I look snugly and she usually likes to snuggle with me when I wear one. Maybe you don’t wear hoodies, however, for most couples, there are things we wear that our spouses love. Whatever that is for you, wear it. 

Don’t stop now.

Let these little Valentine’s Day surprises be the start to surprising your spouse all year long.  Put a reminder in your calendar to prompt you to surprise your spouse when he or she will least expect it.  Making smaller, more thoughtful deposits in your marriage all year long yields a huge return on your investment for greater intimacy and connection.  

For more resources on marriage, visit https://empoweredhomes.org/marriage/.

Bobby Cooley
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