Men this is written just for you!
My hope is that your partner will feel truly loved this Valentine’s Day and always.
Women who are in the stepmom role, either dating or married, have many factors to contend with on a daily basis. The anxiety, stress, conflict, and day to day routines can be overwhelming and exhausting. Sometimes we can come across as too anxious, crazy, or worst of all, a nag! Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to shift that energy from focusing on all of the challenges, to focusing on the love.
I surveyed a number of stepmoms on what “gift” they would appreciate the most from their partners this Valentine’s Day. Most of their ideas fell into a few main categories:
- Intimacy & Romance
1. Intimacy & Romance
Intimacy can be broken down into two parts, physical and emotional. Physical intimacy can be affection, attraction, passion, flirting, and having a close, comfortable sexual relationship. Emotional intimacy can be described as having an honest, comfortable relationship with someone. It can include a feeling of closeness and it can involve empathizing with your partner’s feelings. Romance can be described as doing something unexpected or special for someone you love. Romance involves feelings of pleasure and mystery.
Ideas for Intimacy & Romance:
-Plan a date night at home and create time alone with your partner. Give your partner your undivided attention.
-Choreplay: Instead of foreplay, ease your partner’s daily responsibilities by taking care of the chores for the day. Choreplay has been rather controversial but the reality is, if responsibilities are more shared and a woman’s mind is calm and at peace, she is more likely to get in the mood.
-Play your wedding song (or a favorite song of hers) and dance with her in the kitchen.
-Set the mood and give your partner a full body massage. They have some great oils at Bath and Body Works.
-Set the mood and play with her hair or massage her head. On one of our first conversations, my now husband asked if I like my hair being played with. I told him I’d marry him if he plays with my hair and here we are today.
-Plan a day date and go for a couple’s massage, go for a hike, or go rock-climbing.
-Embrace her with a hug that will fix the broken pieces of her.
-Have a great make out session.
-As soon as you see her, gaze into her eyes, embrace her and kiss her deeply. Take your time and slowly kiss her. Either hold her face in your hands or your hands in her hair.
-Plan a date night somewhere meaningful to your partner (your first date spot, spot of your first kiss, wedding, etc.)
-Print out fishbowl questions and take turns asking questions and listening to each other’s responses.
Appreciation can be described as admiring or recognizing the positive qualities of someone. Appreciation usually involves gratitude.
Ideas for Appreciation:
-Write your partner a love letter describing what you love about them. Speak from the heart and be specific in your examples. My husband did this two years ago and it is by far, the most treasured gift I ever received (see pic below).
“I love you because you take care of me in the morning by making me coffee.”
“I appreciate you because you always help me and the kids navigate our crazy schedules.”
“I am grateful for you because you made us a family.”
I love you because…
I appreciate you because…
I am grateful for you because…
-Have your children write all the things they appreciate about their mom/stepmom. They can cut out hearts and write one item on each heart and then tape the hearts somewhere as a visual wall of appreciation.
-Make your partner a card or poster with pictures of the two of you.
-You can find a few pictures of your partner’s favorite memories, print them out and frame them as a special reminder.
Stepmoms all around are seeking peace. Although you can’t erase all of the stressors and triggers from your partner’s life, there are things you can do to help them achieve peace.
Ideas for Peace:
-Protect them from conflict associated with your ex. I always envision one of those huge, inflatable balls where my husband and I are on the inside, insulated from all external stress. Every family is different with a different set of rules and limits. Protecting your partner might mean not sharing the recent attack from your ex or turning your phone on silent when you’re with your partner or not allowing any communication from your ex at night. Find something that works for you, but that would help your partner achieve peace.
-Run a bubble bath for your partner. Add some epsom salts to help create a calming, peaceful night.
-Dad take over- Take all mom/stepmom duties off of your partner’s shoulders for one full day. I know, this one sounds intimidating, but allowing them one full day of peace can help soothe their soul.
My hope is that you feel confident going into Valentine’s day with an idea to show your partner how loved they are. Of course 1 day out of 365 days isn’t enough to show love and appreciation for your partner. You can always incorporate these ideas into your life to connect with your partner and show them how loved they truly are.
-The Happy in Love Stepmom
Click here to check out the Stepmom Warrior- Stepfamily Lifeline Services.