love during a pandemic

It’s nearly impossible to host a traditional Valentine’s Day outing when everyone is in lockdown or wearing masks and at least six feet apart. The days of fancy dining in exotic locations are out of reach. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself and show love if you’re willing to be creative and wise.

Let’s examine the three psychological aspects of love:

Thoughts – So many times I have been touched by people who tell me that they have been thinking of me. What a compliment! Someone who spends time and energy reviewing memories or wondering about my well-being is a lovely thing. Those who think about how they can honor another person go even a step further. Planning a surprise or interaction requires commitment, and even if you can’t meet in person, you can think of ways to make someone else’s day better. At Christmas, for example, my daughter’s family sent an entire meal to my doorstep for me. Big thoughts turned into thoughtful action. Who are you thinking of this week?

Feelings: The first flush of love can bring passionate feelings that are delicious, but over time, feelings often mature into constant security, deep loyalty, and the trust to be cared for. When times are tough, feelings can fade away or even turn into not-so-nice ones. Therefore, it is important to know that no matter what, the problems can be resolved and the relationship can last. In fact, shared problems often build stronger bonds! A word of warning though: don’t always go by your feelings as they can be like chaff in the wind and change quickly!

Behaviors: Proclaiming your love and then treating someone else badly is not enough. Your behavior must match your words. Giving gifts will not compensate for disrespect or abuse. Promises are not enough. You can show someone you love them with simple gestures that will be treasured for years to come. Call an older friend and find out that the call made their day! Send a thank you card to someone who didn’t expect it. Take out the trash (before they ask you to!). As the popular song “My Fair Lady” says “Don’t talk about love… SHOW ME!”

So this Valentine’s Day will be different, but it might just be the best one yet!

Don’t just focus on the romantic part. Instead, make a list of the people you love, and then start thinking about how you can behave in an appropriate way to express your feelings. Think about things you’ve talked about as wishes in the past and what you’ve liked in the past. Do research that offers you new insights. Try making a card or gift instead of buying one.

And remember to use your words. There is nothing as powerful and precious as kind words expressed sincerely.

Love to everyone who shows they care by reading my columns!

And Happy Pandemic Valentine’s Day!