Expert relationship advice for writing the perfect Valentine's Day card

Category: Better Relationships | Author and Publisher: Elly Prior | First published: 12-02-2012 | Modified: 02-05-2018

Are you preparing for Valentine's Day with fun and determination to make it a really special day for your partner? What about your own excited or anxious anticipation of what your partner may come up with for you? Do you worry about whether or not he or she has even 'bothered'?

I am hoping here to add a little depth to the proceedings.

I hope you may still find this page helpful even if you consider yourselves 'too old' for all of this, and if the two of you have long given up on the idea of celebrating Valentine's Day.

If your relationship is in trouble though, then do hop over to my starter page on the 25 most common relationship problems. You'll find loads of help and advice on how to get that spark back, and set your relationship back on the road to happiness again.

I want to be upfront with you - I may earn a commission from Better Help. You pay the same fee, regardless. 

What would make it a happy Valentine's Day?

Valentine's day heart

Having a great Valentine's Day may mean to you...

  • that your partner will be heaping attention upon you (and you'll be doing the same in return)
  • a super Valentine's card - with just the right words of-course
  • a wonderful Valentine's flower arrangement
  • chocolates or aftershave or best of all...
  • a surprise

However, if you're bestowed with all that you'd wished for, you'll want to know that your partner:

  • isn't covering up any misdemeanors
  • isn't doing it out of guilt
  • isn't doing it because he/she is 'supposed' to and is grabbing something from a display whilst waiting to pay for petrol
  • just got you something because you've dropped more than the odd hint that you're expecting something great

Whatever your partner does or doesn't do on Valentine's Day, you mustn't consider it the making or breaking of your relationship or marriage. Chances are, you probably already knew what would happen anyway.

Life is beautiful not because of the things we see or do, it is beautiful because of the people we meet. - Simon Sinek

What really matters - Valentine's Day quotes

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction"

Antoine de Saint-Expupery

Truly being able to spend quality time together with both of you acknowledging just how fortunate you are is much closer to an authentic experience.

It's far more valuable than any Valentine's idea you could come up with. No Valentine's Day quotes will be as great as the ones that come from your heart.

Those sayings come from your experience of being with your partner and from how you truly feel about him or her. Those quotes don't need to sound Shakespearean at all to have an impact.

Valentine's Day poem?

Rather than copying a Valentine's poem - made up by someone else and perused by the masses - I have a suggestion for a very personal Valentine's present, which your partner is likely cherish for years to come; a 'gratitude letter'.

The notion of deliberately setting out to write down all the reasons for you to be grateful comes from the field of positive psychology. Research clearly shows that it has a wonderfully uplifting effect on the writer's mood (see links in Part 3). Of course the receiver benefits too. Double whammy!

And guess what...? You can make it into a free printable Valentine's card with an ordinary word-processing program if you're short of funds. The Valentine's pictures on this page come from artists who've made their work freely available on stock.xchng, so it is easy for you to 'jazz up' your special letter with just the right images.

A very personal Valentine's Day card

Here are some ideas on what you can write about in the special gift of a Valentine's Day letter:

  • what characteristics you particularly love about your partner
  • what you particularly admire in him/her
  • the positive differences your partner has made in your life this year
  • what you feel when you think of him/her in the middle of your working day (I know... if you tend to think of your troubles, leave this one out!)
  • what your thoughts are in anticipation of seeing him/her (same as the previous one)
  • remember two or three special times such as events/experiences during the past year of your being together
  • describe exactly what was special about those times
  • mention details about what your partner's role was in making it special for you personally
  • remember this is the time to really focus on the highlights, on the positives, on your partner

Flick through some old photos to remind yourself of some of your best moments together. The best ones? Just remember how much attention you were giving each other at that moment.

Once you've done that all you need to do is print it off, find an envelope and raid the garden for a few sprigs or flowers to decorate it (though a red rose would really be the icing on the cake of course!).

Not just on Valentine's day...

Most importantly of all...  write how grateful you are for all of these 'gifts' - not only now, on Valentine's Day, but throughout the year.

Valentine's Day and beyond...

Giving and receiving attention

Giving and receiving attention are the most important and basic emotional needs we have as human beings. These particular needs are part of - and underpin - the meaning of every human interaction.

The quality and quantity of attention is what can really make or break a relationship - not just what happens on Valentine's Day.

How do you ensure that your relationship remains fresh, rewarding, loving and sustaining? Visit my page on the secrets of happy relationships.

Realised your relationship is in trouble?

On Valentine's Day particularly, more than any other day perhaps, you may be painfully confronted with the fact that your relationship or marriage just isn't what you want it to be.  

Perhaps you've been unhappy for a while, maybe you've found out that your partner is cheating on you and/or you can feel that they are slowly withdrawing from you.

Take action now - don't leave the survival of your relationship or marriage to chance. Get my Complete Guide to Saving Your Relationship now.

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Related articles

How 'Lucky' Are You?
How to Prepare Yourself for Reconciliation
Stay or Walk Away?

Other helpful links

Gratitude predicts well-being (PDF)
Journal of Happiness Studies: Letters of gratitude - further evidence of author benefits

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Feel free to ask for help, or comment on this article

Elly Prior

Hello you! :-)

It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person and I check the comment sections daily.

Do feel free to ask for help. I would gladly write a few lines to help you.

If my article in some way is of help to you, please let me know. I'd be so delighted!

Oh, and English is not my native language (I lived in the UK for many years). Whilst my articles are edited, my comments here are spontaneous and unedited.

Images courtesy of: Symphony of Love, Martin LaBar