What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day? Is it a romantic day to show how much you love and appreciate your sweetie? Or a holiday that was made up by the card and chocolate companies to make money?

Regardless of which category you fall into, consider thinking of February 14th as a day to work on strengthening your relationship.

What if we extended the love we give to our partner on Valentine’s Day to every day of the year? That isn’t to say that you have to buy your partner a card, a gift, or go out for a nice dinner every day of every year. That isn’t the kind of “love” we’re talking about.

The kind of love you should show your partner daily is the love that compliments, communication, happiness, and gratitude can provide.

Recently, Buzzfeed compiled a list of relationship advice from its readers. Here are a few that stuck out as keys to nurturing and strengthening your relationship:

Talk to each other. Talk about silly things, about serious topics, about anything and everything under the sun.

Communicate with your partner in every aspect of your life. Many couples know that talking about the big things in life (finances, new job opportunities, childrearing) are key to staying happy in a relationship, but the little things are important, too. You can learn a lot about your partner by listening to the silly little snippets of information they bring up when surfing the Internet or watching a movie. It also lets your partner know that no matter what comes up, you will be there to talk about it and support them.

Thank them for everything, even for the little things they do.

When you say “thank you for bringing the mail in,” you are telling your partner that you notice what they do, that you appreciate them, and that you don’t take their efforts for granted. Showing gratitude for your partner is one of the best ways to nurture your relationship.

My mom told me once that the secret of marriage is not to commit to someone for the rest of your life—it’s to commit to trying 100% every day.

It’s important not to lose yourself completely in another person. Long before a significant other, you should have made a commitment to making yourself happy. Same goes for when you are in a relationship: you are responsible for your own misery and your own happiness. When you understand this, it’s easier to commit to trying 100% every day.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at reka@omaha-counseling.com, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Promise via photopin (license)