February! Isn’t it amazing to have a love-themed month? Well, if you’re lucky enough to be in love that is. But regardless of whether you’re in love, out of love or whether your relationship is simply complicated, February is a great time to take a moment to appreciate all the people you love in your life.
With your days filled with work and your nights filled with whatever it is that you do – entertaining clients, grocery shopping, the gym, more work – it’s ridiculously easy to fall off the radar and lose track of the people you love.
So what better time to take stock and reinforce or strengthen those relationships? It’s not that hard and doesn’t need to take lots of time. Start by thinking who are the top five or ten people you love - and then act on it. As Yoda wisely put it, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Here are some ideas:
1. Invite them to the gym, yoga or to spinning class with you. Whether you’re with a friend or a lover, nothing strengthens personal bonds like that endorphin-filled, post-workout high! You’ll leave loving that person more than you ever have before!
2. Take a trip down memory lane – shared history keeps even those out-of-touch-friends from home smiling and thinking about you. So flip through your picassa or iPhoto (or even your photo album for the old-school among us) and send a few of your favorite pics to your friends or family with the subject line: “Remember this amazing day?”
3. Say encouraging, loving and outrageously flirtatious things – and say them out loud. A few ideas: Did your husband put on a new shirt? “Wow! You’re soooooo good looking!” Did your wife say or do something nice? “How did I get you?” Did your child say something clever? “I am always so impressed by how smart you are!” A few little positive words can really brighten someone’s day. Plus, it gives you an excuse to be flirty and playful, which is always fun.
4. If you’ve got a little time, write a card or a postcard. And here’s the kicker: mail it. A nice side-effect of an email world is the heightened surprise factor of receiving real mail. So write a quick card to your mom over a coffee, and pop it in the mail. It doesn’t need to be an essay. A few lines will do. I received an out-of-the-blue card from a friend almost two years ago and it’s still displayed on my bookcase. I felt so good the day I received it that I can’t bear to take it down – and it still makes me smile.
5. When all else fails and you have no ideas left, send flowers...with a fantastic note attached. “I think you’re wonderful”, “I miss you like crazy!” and “You really rock my world” Go crazy - the notes are tiny and you can’t fit much anyways so make it count.
Our world is filled with people who can feel a little uncomfortable expressing love. If you’re fine with expressing love, then get out your megaphone and get going. But if you’re more of the reserved type, it never gets easier unless you try – baby steps!
The bottom line with love, friendship and relationships is to make sure these people know they are important to you. Don’t assume they know. Don’t assume they totally understand you. Don’t assume they can read your mind.
And then remind them with a nice degree of regularity. Because, as a friend or a lover, that is part of your job. So no need to be shy about it.