The New York Optimist
February 2009
Do Not Forget This on VALENTINE'S DAY

Do we need an excuse to have a day for love and romance, shouldn’t it be an everyday routine?  The problem is that any ritual we
repeat everyday becomes less dramatic and less special over time.  We probably need a Valentine's Day every month to help people
refocus on the positive aspects of what it means to be loving, romantic, and bestowing tender care to one another.  

The best part of this holiday is that the high points are all up to your imagination.  There is no set rules about what you are
supposed to do on Valentine's Day except that you make it special.  No rules?  That is scary or difficult for many people.  So, here
are a few good suggestions that I know work really well to keep good energy flowing in a romantic and loving direction.  

First, start by planning something special that you want to do.  Think about this: Valentines is your opportunity to be extra nice,
extra sweet, extra caring; notice the emphasis is on putting in a bigger effort.  This goes to both the ladies and gentlemen.  
Traditionally, women expect to be romanced, with candlelight dinners, fancy chocolates, and more snuggling.  Guys take note, but
the truth is that men want to feel special too.  Typically, ladies can reinforce the strong, confident image the man is supposed to
have that makes her feel secure and proud.  The men can earn plenty of points by repeatedly telling their gal how attractive she is,
how well she takes care of the home and family.  In short, this about the mutual adoration society of two; you can always find
things to appreciate about your partner, and remember you can never overdose anyone with gratitude and truthful praise.  

The important thing is to reach inwardly a little deeper and find the words to express how special someone is to you.  (For those
who are word-challenged visit your local Hallmark card store and take time to pick something that resonates with you.)  When you
stop and consider how important your partner is to you; or what would you do if they disappeared?  The words expressing what
you really feel deep inside should be easier to find.  Tell your mate those deep heart felt ideas and watch their eyes sparkle.  
Becoming authentic about the deepest emotions and perhaps whispering them into your partner’s ear will make Valentines very
special.  Don’t be afraid to tell them what you feel, even your fears about losing them are good to hear once in awhile.

The practical side of celebrating romance is getting creative to make him or her feel extra good.  These suggestions are mostly an
investment of time rather than money.  Sure guys can buy their gal a gift certificate to go to a spa, but giving each other a foot
massage will create much more positive energy.  You don’t have to be an expert, just jump on the couch opposite each other with
a little cream and go to town on those feet.  Similarly, giving each other a slow gentle facial massage brings you a new level of
intimacy.  A whole body massage is a nice progression and we know what that often leads to.  You can also try combing or
brushing his or her hair very gently and slowly for fifteen minutes.  If you have some favorite music and candlelight going, you get
bonus points.  

Even if you are not a dancer, try a little vertical snuggling rocking a bit to some nice music and take the time to hold each other
close for a long while.  With a little practice you begin to synch up your breathing which may be subtle, but very intimate.  
Speaking of intimacy, I am always amazed by stories about all these nice things that do not end up in a night of erotic ecstasy with
lots of gentle tender and passionate loving.  This is not a night for a quickie, guys take note here.  

If you want to be someone’s Valentine how could you miss the chance to enjoy the passion and energy of making love.  Sex is still
such a taboo subject for no good reason.  Well, I propose that you break out of those inhibitions and talk about what you want,
what you fantasize about and what sort of kinky things you want to try with your lover.  The next step is to embrace the moment
and jump into an extra long session of passionate loving.  It does not matter what your body looks like, your partner can still
caress you and admire every curve.  Express the joys you have observing, touching, kissing, nibbling, etc. your lover.  Try to
resist the temptation to do the deed and reach a quick climax.  The key to eroticism is raising the level of excitement many times
higher than normal.  Use your imagination, or at least listen to your lover’s desires, and seriously, don’t be inhibited to tell them
exactly, what you want and how you want it.  We are not mind readers and the reality is that we are all our own best expert of
what feels best.  Ask them, tell them, do it.  Add some beautiful music and subdued lights and the event will be one to remember.  

Do not let the pleasure vanish quickly.  Keep the good vibes flowing as long as possible.  Even afterwards, the things you whisper
in his or her ear will be reach their soul much more easily at that time.  Caressing and holding each other can keep the ecstasy
linger a little longer too.  Then remember, that days like Valentines are supposed to pull us out of our normal routines and raise the
bar on love and romance.  When you make this day special you are creating a new path, a higher level of what we call love to
strive for.  These are the most important opportunities to keep our heart aligned with the soul and manifest that joy in our life
through nourishing our relationship.  Enjoy it!

Wishing you a very special Valentine's Day - one you will always remember.

John Ryder, Ph.D. is a psychologist, a mental fitness expert and author of Positive Directions.  
He has a private practice in New York City.  For more information visit his website    or  to see the book visit