Valentine's Day is all about one thing: Love, obviously. But, raise your hand if you think every day in a relationship should be treated like February 14 (just so you know, ours is raised high). After all, doing something special for your S.O. should occur more than once out of every 365 days, right? That's why we turned to Marsha-Ann Brown, the Director of Romance for Sandals Resorts to teach us how couples can live every day like it's Valentine's Day.
"Love is so universal and love is not a once a day out of any year thing like Valentine’s Day," claims Brown. "So how do you capitalize on creating the romantic experiences and igniting the fire in the love between a couple?" The first step, she says, is to go back to the roots of your relationship.
Meet the Expert
Marsha-Ann Brown is the Director of Romance for Sandals Resorts, a luxury resort chain in the Caribbean. She oversees a team that executes roughly 10,000 weddings across the chain's 18 resorts on seven islands each year.
Ask yourself: What are the things at the foundation of my relationship? What brought us together in the first place? Perhaps it was during a movie date that you first noticed sparks flying. Or, you bonded over drinks and a delicious meal. "Always go back to what really got the fire going," she offers. "You want to be able to find spaces and places that can accommodate saying this is just time to decompress and focus on the only thing that matters and that's the love that's shared between you both."
Of course, when Valentine's Day does roll around, take it as your opportunity to go above and beyond in the romance department or, "blow it out of the water," as Brown puts it. And no, extravagance does not equal budget-busting. "Sometimes we think that you have to have this exhaustible deep pocket to make some of these dreams a reality but no. Take the sticky pads, write the love notes."
Love is a verb. It's an action thing and it's what you do that matters. It’s not what we say its what we do to demonstrate the love.
When it comes to love, we often think of the end result—the only way it can be romantic is if it's grand and unlike anything anyone has ever done before. But, it's actually about the effort we put in. "Love is a verb," Brown reminds us. "It's an action thing and it's what you do that matters. It’s not what we say, it's what we do to demonstrate the love. Do what you can, but the effort that is put into doing it will reap the benefits."
With all this in mind, now its time to put her advice into action. Need some ideas to keep your romance thriving all 365? Below, Brown offers some of her favorite ideas for couples to try—whether you're dating, engaged or have been married for years. And yes, you can steal these for your V-Day plans, too!
Commit to Date Night
Whether it's every Friday night or once a month, commit to treating you and your partner to a date outside the house. And what will that date be? The options are endless. But no matter what you choose make sure that is "a consistent commitment of time that you know becomes non-negotiable."
Date night can be as economical as meeting for a happy hour drink, just the two of you. Whatever you choose, it's crucial that "it doesn’t get canceled because something else has popped up," Brown urges.
Cook at Home
And while getting out of the house is fun, sometimes staying in is just what you need. There's excitement in trekking to the grocery store and picking out ingredients for a meal together, says Brown. Creativity in the kitchen can spark some romantic moments and is a great way to spend quality time together.
If you never shy away from some friendly competition, challenge your S.O. to a cook-off. Make things interesting by placing a bet on the table. Winner takes all!
Spend Time With Couple Friends
To up the ante on your kitchen adventures even more, invite some of your closest friends over to dine on your creations because if you think alone time with your partner is the only way to celebrate your love, think again! Love is "infectious" so brainstorm common activities you can share with other couples.
Sometimes the anticipation of a trip is enough to bring couples closer together and no, you don't need an excuse to schedule a romantic getaway. "Travel is such a fundamental part of what people look forward to," Brown explains. "That's something that [couples] can plan together and work on together." Whether it's a staycation or international excursion, spending time with your S.O. outside the confines of your daily life might just be as romantic as it gets.
At the end of the day, Brown leaves us with this: Life is more than chocolates and more than flowers—and the spirit of Valentine's Day definitely isn't reserved for one moment a year.