I usually feel quite cynical when it comes to Valentine's Day each year. Nowadays it feels like commercial exploitation and an excuse for the retail trade to sell us things we don’t really need and guilt us into buying cards for our partners. The expectation and anticipation created can be huge. I have memories of my poor husband (who I gather can't read my mind) doing his very best to do something really nice on V Day but due to my hormonal activities at the time, being unable to do the right thing.
This year I decided to take a look at Valentine's Day, what it really means to me and what I would like to have happen. And there is no better way of doing that and developing my ideas than using a little bit of Clean Language.
Will it be a day that should be ignored, a steamy encounter or a day where we can show how much we love one another?
I start by recalling previous Valentine’s Days and what they were like.
I was attending junior school when I got my first mystery Valentine’s Day card. This gave me a feeling in my stomach like a team of butterflies frantically trying to escape from my belly button!
Later, in my teens, a boyfriend hung red paper love hearts from the ceiling of the conservatory in his family home and we had a romantic candlelit Pizza Hut dinner for two whilst his parents made themselves scarce. This made me feel very special and genuinely loved.
Since then I’ve experienced: a romantic dinner for two; a late night working on my own; a girly night in with a video and ice cream; and a busy and exhausting day that finished with both my husband and I falling asleep in front of the television.
It is interesting reflecting on the past but what would I like to have happen this year?
I want it to be buzzy and exciting. I also want my husband to know I appreciate him.
And is there anything else about that?
It is also a day of love and love is also about appreciating our family.
And what kind of appreciating is that?
I want to do something to let my husband know I love him – and a satisfying Valentine's Day for me will usually have something to do with food. I can show Paul I appreciate him by choosing food I know he loves… seafood! I’m also thinking about some very romantic times we’ve had in France.
I can feel a buzz starting as the perfect Valentine’s Day floats into frame.
And then what happens when the perfect Valentine’s Day floats into frame?
I am going to create a special invitation for a special dinner - not for two but for five - and I am going to share it as an event on Facebook! Our teenage son has special needs and doesn’t have a girlfriend, so I don’t want to exclude him. And we haven’t seen some other family members for a while. Family is important to us both and I know my husband will appreciate having an opportunity to catch up with them, have a few drinks and share some food.
Is there anything else about all of that?
I’m starting to feel the anticipation of inviting everyone to a fun evening and can feel the butterflies trying to get out. And I’m remembering the hearts on the conservatory ceiling so I am going to decorate our kitchen with a French theme so everyone will feel this meal is special.
Now I know… My perfect Valentine's Day this year is going to be a great dinner with close family probably followed by a competitive but fun game of monopoly. The menu will be oysters followed by a choice of Moules Frites or a seafood risotto.
Why don't you use some clean questions to explore your perfect Valentine's Day?
If Valentine's Day were to be the perfect day for you - it would be like what?
Explore it some more by asking clean questions and share if you dare...
- What kind of Valentines Day?
- That's like what?
- Is there anything else about …?
- What happens just before?
- What happens next?