Want Romance this
Valentine’s Day? Give Presence!
By Susie and Otto Collins
Valentine’s Day just around the corner, are you
looking for the most romantic present yet? Something
that truly expresses how you feel about that special
love in your life perhaps? If so, we have a
suggestion that just may fit….
said “presence,” not presents. When it comes down
to it, the most stunning bouquet of flowers
alongside the most decadent chocolates at a
candlelight dinner will not make the impact you want
it to if you are not fully present.
Even if we amp
it up a bit, that flawless diamond ring will
probably not be received as joyfully if the person
giving it is only half-there.
romance and connection in your love relationship,
make it your intention to be (and stay) as
completely present and engaged in the moment you are
in. It can really be as simple as it sounds. It can
also be just as challenging as it sounds!
been there. You had a long day doing what you do.
Maybe your boss has been pressuring you to complete
a project that has you stuck. Or, perhaps the kids
seemed whiny demanding your attention all day.
top of that the car is making a funny sound and you
worry about the repair costs. When you and your
partner come together, you both carry along with you
residue of all of these (and more) experiences and
It kind of feels like everything is
whizzing about in your brain like fireworks set off
in the living room.
environment is certainly not conducive to romance or
even to meaningful communication with your love.
But there it is: the work project, the kids, the
car, and more are still there calling to you. So
how, in the midst of all of these fireworks
spinning, popping and cracking in your brain, can
you and your love create the romantic, intimate
connection you want this Valentine’s Day and every
the 60’s song encouraging listeners to “slow down,
you move too fast”? Let these words be your guide.
In the face of those fireworks going off, it can
feel like there are a million and one things to do
When it feels like this to you, we
recommend you just stop and take a few deep
breaths. Tune in to how you are feeling right now
in this moment. Decide what you want to do right
now and then shift your focus to just that.
Multi-tasking might be helpful in the workplace, but
it just doesn’t work in a love relationship. How
many conversations have you had with your partner as
he or she did the dishes—back to you-- and you took
care of another task—back to him or her?
was it to really feel connected as you talked? It
doesn’t matter if you are talking about whom you
plan to vote for Election Day or how much you’d like
to get away together for an overnight. Creating
moments for fully-present connecting can make all
Now if you
have small children at home, you might think, “Yeah,
right. Let my kids walk around in dirty diapers
while my wife and I hold hands?”
It might be that
you take care of your children’s needs, and then
find something to keep them occupied even for 10
minutes while and your and partner sit down
together, look in each other’s eyes and share with
Appreciate and Celebrate
be wondering what all of this has to do with giving
that most romantic Valentine’s Day gift? You may not
even live with your love or have children. Even so,
making it a habit to slow down, tune in and shift
your attention fully to the one you love—even for
short pockets of time—supports and fosters romance.
Presence is the base from which the aliveness and
excitement of romance and passionate intimacy can
As you get
better and better at being present with your love,
allow yourself to appreciate and celebrate your
relationship. It can be cause to celebrate the fact
that you both chose to silence your cell phones
during your dinner together.
You might also choose
to appreciate the fact that your partner really
seemed engaged listening to you share about a recent
phone call with your mother.
While on the surface
they may seem like no big deal, there are so many
potential moments for appreciation and celebration
every day. Be on the lookout for them because not
only does it feel good to appreciate and celebrate,
it also can deepen connection, passion and romance
between you and your love.
Valentine’s Day we suggest that before you visit the
florist, the jeweler, or the chocolatier, think of
ways you can be more present with your love.
might just find presence to be the most romantic
gift you give and receive.
Susie and Otto Collins, authors of "Red Hot
Love Relationships," invite you to visit
to learn how you can
bring more passion into your relationship.