Valentine’s Day is the one day out of the year where love dominates all. Whether you’re in a relationship, single or if you’ve been married for 50 years, it’s a day to openly and fully express your love to those that make life worth living.
Not only is this day special to us for the obvious reasons, it also happens to be the anniversary of when we started dating…9 YEARS AGO! And although we’ve moved on to bigger anniversaries (our wedding), Valentine’s day is our time to reflect and relive that same feeling we had when we were just 2 college students following our hearts.
The Valentine’s Day Tradition to Last a Lifetime
As a couple, and as our own little family of 2, we are all about traditions. So quickly, they bring you back to a specific moment in time. They make feelings timeless and remind you of where you came from. Our Valentine’s Day / dating anniversary tradition is one that we’ve kept for 9 years straight. No matter where we are.
Every year on February 14th, we reenact the same evening that sparked our romance. We make the same meal, watch the same movie, and toast with the same wine. Call us old fashioned, but this tradition makes our day all the more special.
Itinerary for our Valentine’s Day of love.
Main Course: Homemade Chicken Parmesan, Gnocchi, Garlic Bread – made with the freshest hand-picked ingredients we can find! That’s always the fun part.
Dessert: Homemade Apple Crumble (of course accompanied by vanilla ice cream)
Movie: The Chronicles of Narnia
YES, we are geeks. But you can’t deny how amazing this movie is. We love it for so many reasons, but mostly because it embodies something that is extremely important to our relationship – imagination!
Aside from celebrating on February 14th, we also take time to reflect on where we are and how far we’ve come as a couple. It’s easy to forget the importance of the past when you’re so focused on living in the present and planning for the future.
9 Reasons We’re Still in Love After 9 Years of Dating
1. We encourage each other to dream and push each other to succeed.
If one of us has a new idea or dream, encouragement will always follow. And it doesn’t end there. We will push each other to work as hard as we can to achieve that dream. It helps us stay focused and to continue developing one another.
It’s a true partnership.
2. Going to bed angry is NEVER an option!
Okay, I know that’s super cliché, but it is 100% the truth. In 9 years of being together, we have literally never gone to bed angry. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2am and we both have to work at 8am. No one ends their day with negative thoughts, because then you’ll start a new day with negative thoughts, and who needs that?!
3. We appreciate the past, live in the present and find a MILLION reasons to be excited for the future.
Our journey is something that’s always been important to us. We started dating back in college. From college to the grown-up working world to now living abroad in another country, every step has made us who we are today, as individuals and as a couple.
On the other side of things, we live in the moment. A clear example of this is when we hopped on a one way flight to Austria. We have no kids right now, so why not take living in the moment to the extreme?
BUT we never let the moment take away from the exciting path that our future holds. We are excited to move back home again after a few years of adventure to start a family, buy a house. Every stage of our life should be celebrated. There’s always something to look forward to!
4. When life gets us down, we are each other’s escape.
When you are reaching a breaking point, there is always something or someone you run to. We immediately run to each other. Being each other’s escape connects us on a deep level that can never be replaced by anything or anyone else.
There is no one in the world that understands me more than Erin. And I know he feels the same. We are each other’s comfort, feeling of security and most importantly, we are each other’s therapist!
5. For us, it’s all about traditions – both old AND new!
As you can tell from our Valentine’s Day tradition, we love upholding old traditions and making new ones. For example, now that we have a wedding anniversary, every year on October 18th, no matter where we are in the world, we read our wedding vows. During the time of the year when Erin proposed (December), we go back to Longwood Gardens when I made the best decision of my entire life and said YES to our future.
For us, traditions allow you relive the special moments of your life. It’s our way of keeping that same magic alive, no matter what our current situation is.
6. If there is an issue, we talk and talk until it’s resolved.
Sometimes it feels redundant and at times we both get frustrated. But that doesn’t stop the conversation. Any sense of doubt or any negative emotion, we discuss it and resolve it, no matter how long it takes. By doing this, we avoid any small issues building up and turning into bigger issues.
It helps us avoid any dramatic, “I’m leaving the house” kind of fights. When you work things out immediately, there’s no need for out of control screaming battles.
7. We’re affectionate.
We’re corny like that. When we’re alone watching a movie, we’re always cuddling. Not a day goes by when we don’t look at each other – and I mean really look each other in the eyes. Or truly kiss each other. Basic acts of affection can be easily missed when you’re preoccupied with other things that seem more important at the time. Nothing is more important!
8. The happiness of one is essential to the other’s.
When one of us isn’t happy, the other isn’t happy until we’re happy as a whole. Our lives and our emotions are so connected – there is no such thing as ignoring how the other feels. We’re creating a life for both of us, so we both need to be on board and smiling to move forward.
9. We’re always looking for new adventures, even if it means being irresponsible!
Nothing is as amazing as creating new ‘firsts’ with each other. It’s what keeps our relationship exciting and full of life. With every new adventure, we discover something new about the other person, even after 9 years.
We left our entire life back in the USA to move abroad. Responsible? Depends on how you look at it. Way too awesome and the perfect way for us to grow? YES! And since we’ve moved here, the new adventures and new appreciation for what we have continues.
For example, we went skiing for the first time together. Erin strapped an ActionCam to his helmet and took video of the entire day. When we watched the video, my heart melted. He looked back about a million times as we were skiing to make sure I was okay. He was literally looking back more than he was looking forward. It made me realize how lucky I am to have someone care so much. That one day and that one adventure made me love him even more.
Successful relationships take a lot of work, but the reward is a lifetime of happiness. And if you haven’t found that special someone, just know that they will be worth the wait.
I sincerely believe there is someone out there for everyone. When that perfect person comes along, it’s important to never take them for granted and work together to ensure you are always on the same page. The methods I mentioned above have been the key to our happiness, so I know first-hand they can work for others too!
So Happy Valentine’s Day! It doesn’t matter if you are reading this on February 14th or December 14th. Love is something that should always be recognized and celebrated. With that said, I’ll get a little corny (because it’s Valentines Day) and end with our favorite love quote of all time:
“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.”
And when you appreciate that fairytale and work hard to keep it alive,
you will live happily ever after.
“Relationships are tough. You can’t just expect a big, roaring fire right away. You can’t put the big logs in first. You start with the small stuff. Kindling. Then you put in the big logs and *then* you have a roaring fire. And that’s a good relationship. But be careful, sometimes kindling is hard to find, you know? So, don’t take it for granted.” – Benjamin (Master of None)