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How To Make Valentine’s Day, Everyday

Since the last holiday, New Years, these blogs have been leading up to a point of example, well a blog of an example. We chose Valentine’s Day: to be the perfect time to exemplify two points. One, globally accepted holidays are 11-12 holidays– so if you wait till a holiday or only live for grand gestures worth posting about, a drought of self-love and love from others will occur, 353 days of the year. Two, dating yourself, getting to know what your shadows and light are, allow for better attraction of the company one wants to share life with. Back in 2019, we made a bantering blog over our story and why we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. This blog will use quotes from that blog and expand upon points. Instead of just banter and include a step-by-step guide of how to make every day a “Valentine’s Day.”

 

Valentines Day in San Francisco CA with traveling couples photographer


Our First Valentine’s Day.

So the year is 2016. Ben had reconnected with Becca over a show and they talked weekly since late 2015. He effectively slid into the DMs without being a creep. Even though he had a crush on Becca, he decided that even if he had her as a friend in life, that would be good enough. Even if he had met her in 2013 and had a summer to get to know her said to himself, “that is the kind of woman you get your đź’© together for.” He still was respectful. For nearly 6 months, he stayed respectful. Asked how travels were, let Becca live a life without hearing about his admiration or crush.

February 1st, he asked a question that had been plaguing him. Why wasn’t she dating anyone? Her prompt sassy response, “Was because no one is worth my time.” For reference, Becca would work a day job, hang with friends and still balance photographing weddings and things for a city, the definition of a busy bee with no time to just be. Ben quickly retorted, “So I am not worth your time?” Ever the quick wit, Becca pointed out the fact, she did not say that. Which then allowed for another late-night discussion, as Becca edited away with Ben on facetime.

Becca voiced she does not date or start relationships in February, due to not wanting to be a mere placeholder when she has đź’© todo. Further piquing Ben’s interest, because he also was not interested in a meaningless relationship to just fill a void. Lasting till way past healthy sleep hours for Ben’s early wake the next day, the conversation filtered over to Valentine’s Day.

California backroads, Cloudy California backroad roadtrip

Traveling couples photographer found a majestic California cloudy landscape, and got lost in the clouds hanging onto the Sierra Nevada mountains.

“Is your name wifi? Because I am feeling a connection.”

Valentine’s Day prompted quite the rant from both parties. Both Ben and Becca sat and vehemently explained how the expectation set on said day, was one big marketing mind control. Just grand gestures set up to be bragged up on socials. Both parties adamantly exclaim the same point: what is the point for waiting for holidays to treat, gift, act right, if there is not a promise tomorrow. Why not every day? Why not make everyday romance, Tuesday roses just because, or tickets to a quick getaway?

Yet just when Ben thought he slid into home base, scoring winning points, did Becca not only catch his outta there ball but yeeted straight to the awaiting umpire. Ben asked once the muddy timing was cleared up if he would have a chance come March 1st. Just to have Becca sassily hair whip a quip, “Not a fortune teller, who knows what time will tell.”

So the first Valentine’s day came. And passed. Nearly a week later, Ben bought a very drunk Becca a ticket to come to see a friend in late March. His intentions were solely either dating or friendship, this was a connection worth whatever time would tell. Too bad, drunk Becca becomes quite the Dora the explorer with amnesia. Yet stone-cold sober Becca the following morning had no problem in telling Ben she could not and would not be bought to be expected in any other way outside of friendship. This then led to an extremely long “duh” tone message retort from Ben.

Hello March, Let Spring (romance) begin.

March 1st came after a month of courting and asking more than 20 questions a day.

The last two are from Ben.

What are your final reservations about dating me?

Will you go out with me then?

And just like that,  is how this hive got started.

A long-awaited spring romance led to a winter engagement and a summer elopement… then a fall honeymoon many moons later.

Valentine's in St. George Utah with traveling couples photographer

Bantering Bee’s, over their honey of his-tea-ry.

Ben:

I’m ecstatic that we are redoing this blog! Mainly because we get to relive our history in a different format again. It reminds me that the memories that were made with this journey could not have been any more quintessential. The crush I had for you was so real that it altered what I wanted. From not dating for 5 years to wanting to grow up a bit more to be able to provide a life for two. What were you thinking when I first reached out to you? How does it feel for you to redo this blog to fits us now than then?

Becca:

Honestly, well I was told you hit for the other team so… when you reached out again after years of just being the friend from Colorado, it was like having a pen pal. As to updating this blog, it feels surreal that it has been 3 years since the first time we openly discussed the anti-valentine yet pro everyday romance mindset of ours. I have enjoyed finding other couples either older or younger who share the same. As a friend put it this week, in their relationship they are the grand gesture daily. I simply loved that, because they went on to explain all the little things they do for their partner. In turn, I explained how we do our “grand gestures” selves.

I also love returning to this topic with more knowledge to better explain how we got here. Due to already sitting with ourselves, and finding what we used better judgment on, to keep from regretting and fearing, instead of creating a relationship with self first and from there, some healthy boundaries and standards.

Ben:

That had surprised me to learn that bit of information from you! But with that saucy information aside. Thank you for perfectly leading into our next few topics so gracefully. Let’s make an example of how every day can be Valentine with: judgment, regret, fear, relationship with self, boundaries, and standards and how they apply to why we don’t celebrate holidays the way we used to.

Telluride Colorado Adventure Photographer


Don’t Judge a Valentine’s.

Now let’s open with this: this is not a reason to judge everyone who celebrates Valentine’s Day. Instead, judge the commercial expectation that if you do not use Valentine’s Day (or any holiday) to go all out on anyone. We know couples who are going on 20+ years who do not fully celebrate any holiday. But rather do some small gestures like they would any time of year. They make a gift list for one another, and randomly those gifts get delivered throughout the year, and simple gestures are done on holidays. Just like in the Don’t Judge blog, it’s not about just judging but understanding. Exactly what the judgment is teaching you.

In our case with our story, we didn’t call one another jaded over Valentine’s Day (or any holiday) mindset.

We understood where the other one was coming from.

Not wanting a “post-worthy” relationship, placeholder, or empty/fake relationship.

We wanted real and did not want to compensate or conform to expected social behaviors.

Love is not a post; Life is not all about bragging.

Life or Love is not in the grand gestures that easily impress, but rather the everyday moments.

By understanding what we wanted, we used better judgment for our relationship.

Thusly avoided the”cute” stage of relationship building, parked right in the carport of real-life situations.

Ben:

When we had begun our long-distance relationship, we had expressed the absolute need never to get stagnant in our traveling wants. Being a recent event, we traveled to salt lake city for a weekend getaway. It’s a promise that we have stuck to all these years later. We don’t need a holiday to judge how romantic we should be. Instead, we take holidays whenever dogs sitter schedules and cheap travel align.

Becca:

Oh, I remember one of those many questions during that February, “If you had 24 hours left what would you do?” and both of our answers included traveling as much as possible, amongst other things. I loved how real and honest we got, quickly after going “no I don’t want to post for brag rights to the relationship.” How quickly understanding came and judgments over what would best serve us daily. That being said, I can’t wait till gear is bought for this year’s travels.

 

 

(Creativity + Realness + independent freedom)

x

(romance + traveling+ love languages + healthy support system)

=

Our relationship.

 

Valentine's on the Golden Gate, with traveling couples photographer

 


 

Ditching Regret from comparing ghosts of Valentine’s Past.

Often people are taught they are nothing without a partner, so they hop into the next relationship. Settling on anything that “looks” better, only to later settle or start regretting from comparisons of unmet needs. In our case, we look back on who we were when we met, what stopped us from getting together then, and how much it allowed for growth towards one another in the end. No settling is required, because there is no merely tolerating one another’s flaws, secretly hoping and comparing to others. Instead, there is only a full embrace of who we were, are, and will grow into. No egotistical love, just vocalized fertilizer when the growing pains get messy.

Ben:

Pulling from our banter earlier, when you stated that you thought I was playing for the other team, I realized later on from that conversion that there was some regret behind it. I regretted not connecting with you sooner or staying in contact with you. Instead, it had made for a very awkward conversation. But during the time we had stopped communicating I was trying to find myself and grow from the boy you had previously met. So as I still regret not connecting with you sooner, I’ve come to understand that we were able to grow together as a result of that choice.

 

Becca:

We did still grow into one another’s life, with plenty of room to grow with one another. I regret not having the gull to ask beforehand about the information disclosed to me. However, that very awkward conversation set the space for any topic can be handled. Although we each have regrets about the topic, I am happy we did not compensate and fall away from boundaries and standards. Or use it to compare.

 

Telluride Colorado Adventure Photographer


Fear of Missing out on Holiday Love.

A healthy relationship foundation does not come with drought in between the holidays. Even if you are just dating yourself, you do not need to wait to love yourself extra on a holiday, or any reason other than you want to. Yes, there should be a healthy limit, like don’t blow rent money in the name of treating yourself or your partner because there is a fear of missing out or being unable to meet expectations. By working with fear instead of letting it control you, there is room to build communication with your partner and yourself. From there, the connection builds easily, creating a safe space for confidence in both parties to bloom.

Some of our friends are married 20+ years.

Their secret?

Don’t wait for a moment, holiday, or expectation– create a moment, holiday, and or your expectation.

Yes, they have 9 rules they print and share with other couples, but their number 10 is all about creating love.

They keep track of each other’s physical gifts or trip want.

Randomly throughout the year, those gifts get given and those trips get taken.

Specifically avoiding holidays if they can, knowing those same trips and gifts get marked up, plus it goes with the intention, don’t wait– create instead.

 

Ben:

When Becca and I got together and we discussed all holidays being off the table, it was a difficult change to make. Having been used the big deal of it every year. Yet surprisingly when it came to making that change it wasn’t actually all that difficult. We still do all of the festivities minus the gift-giving. As we have already been getting needs throughout the year, I did not fear that I was not a “good man” enough if I did not do something extravagant on a holiday. Being afraid is not a bad thing, you just can’t let it control you.

Becca:

Honestly, after many years of being labeled the jaded female for not wanting holiday love, the fear of being labeled correctly haunted me when it came to that decision. Yet all the random coffee dates or flowers throughout the year or gifts, definitely made the fear minute. Thinking this logic of creating moments every day, and not letting a day go by without letting your partner know how much you cherish and love them… is 1000% better than any oversized stuffed animal, chocolates, or jewelry for the sake of a holiday. For example, Ben told me when we got together, he wanted to get me jewelry for every place we travel. I retorted I don’t wear enough to warrant. Years later, he found out about charm bracelets. Turns out this was the perfect way to combine my earrings-only policy with the perfect statement piece when I feel like being extra.

So not a jaded soul, just someone who wanted more.

 

Valentine's Day with telluride couple photographer


Have the Patentice to Love more, outside of a Holiday.

To continue to build upon, the fear of missing out on holiday love, having the patience to love daily can be quite the challenge. It goes with integrity, would. Do you still act the same if no one was looking? If no one was obligated to post what you do in your relationship, what would you do daily to show your love? Would you have the patience to let someone grow and change? How would you show up to demonstrate that? Anyone can fly in and surprise, but not everyone can show up daily in a relationship. Would your support look like cooking dinner for your partner after a stressful day? Or would you sit back and let them cook tiredly, and just be idle? You see it’s easy to book tickets and take trips, but how well can two people do life together?

That is where the patience to love MORE, outside of a holiday comes into play.

With a growing trend to get married but live separately to keep marriage “new and fresh” to last longer. As if living separately is an airtight Ziploc freezer bag, how people can do life together and keep the same romance is way more important than any appearance of love out there. Who you share space with daily, and how they inhabit space with you, is way more telling than any grand gesture of easy applause from audience liking posts.

Ben:

Can I first say that I respect the simile “As if living separately is an airtight ziplock freezer bag”! Finding patience in a loving relationship can be difficult sometimes but without that patience, you can be a statement away from making a mistake or not getting a point across. While loving your partner you have to create a safe space for them to confide in you, to grow with you, and trust in you. Expanding on this could be the make and break of a relationship without using a holiday to make everything seem fine just because it’s a holiday.

Becca:

Holiday amnesia has always gotten to me. I cringe every time I see anyone complain about mistreatment or frustrations, and then a holiday comes 2 days later, and the outpouring of gifts is extravagant and suddenly, *POOF* all the problems just magically disappear. Just to have them reappear after Valentine’s Day (or any holiday). One should never have to make everything appear fine, just for a holiday or posting on socials. Like giving me a gift will never shut me up, and make me forget ongoing issues. I’ve been told I have quite the icy, piercing glaze when not taking any bs. Holiday or not, buying love through grand gestures in hope of not dealing with issues, IS NOT THE VIBE. Having the patience to love and discuss and grow from them, is.

 

Valentine's Day at the golden gate bridge with traveling couples photographer


Valentine’s is a prime opportunity to remember to date yourself.

Removing the expectation that your partner is the only one who can date you, during holidays, creates space for self in any relationship. Holidays typically bring about “cuffing” season and make it prominently well known, that if you are single you are not welcome at the cool kid table. However, with space in any relationship, holidays are just an added bonus, not the main course. Single life gets a little less bleak, and a little more colorful.

Becca:

This is a topic that I can preach on.I often got told I was jaded for not always trying to find a match of a mate. Being told that no man would want someone, who was as busy as I was and that my standards would keep me single forever.

*ackem*

OKAY.

Let me speak on this, were there times I got lonely while single? Yes.

Then I would socialize and not vibe.

“This is a waste of my time,” left my mouth while venting over tea to multiple friends, at multiple different times.

However, that did not make me any less worthy of finding a mate or made me more difficult to date. I knew what I wanted, I just couldn’t describe it past, “I just wasn’t feeling it.” Enter Ben, not only did he let me keep my life, but there was more than just physical attraction there, which piqued my interest.  You see I did not want just attraction to the body, but a soul and the sense that the two souls could meld. Dating myself allowed me to know this, regardless of holidays preaching to be loved by someone else is more important.

Ben:

I was someone that dated to test the waters as you might put it.  I was looking for the one person that fit my special puzzle piece. When I had failed dates after failed dates, I had sworn off testing the water. But that all changed when I met Becca, her puzzle piece matched mine. She was independent, a mind of her own, and above all else made me smile ear to ear. The puns were close to dad joke level. Having a relationship that started long-distance, you see a side of someone without the physical. Getting to know them for who they are and being certain that you have the same ideals before even feeling the emotional connection.

Valentine's Day with Telluride Colorado Adventure Photographer


Holiday love is a pushed standard so that businesses can promote deals, not love.

We said, what we said.

Every rom-com makes women out to be these creatures to be sucked into the glam of holiday love, yet most rom-coms are written and produced by men. Setting this unhealthy standard that women just want things, and men have to be able to provide all the materialistic things. For a relationship to have the seal of real romance worth bragging about. Relationships during Valentine’s are held to an unhealthy standard, without talk of boundaries and respecting one another wants. Your relationship can’t be magically fixed overnight, holiday love or not. It can however be fixed with a mutually agreed set of boundaries and standards, promises of growth met with actions and intentions to grow. So that the love can be celebrated throughout the year.

The blogs leading to this example of a blog, for a way to utilize all the previous topics in a real-life scenario. First date yourself. Then learn how to date a partner, according to their daily needs. Although don’t forget or lose yourself in a relationship (platonic or romantic). If one only ever gets to know themselves to attract others, one will never feel “good” enough. Yet when one dates to know themselves, their worth stays with them. Regardless of who is attracted to sit at their table with them, or buy them a plane ticket to visit a friend.

Becca:

So to go from 2013 to 2015, to 2016, to 2022… there is something to be said about setting up the standard in our relationship to love daily, early, that felt freeing. So freeing that when it came to getting eloped, we looked at one another. Then said “divorce stays on the table. This marriage is out of love, and not an obligation. We will not lose one another in here.” I won’t launch into all of that, that will be a blog on its own. Yet I can say, we don’t need a holiday to revive love. When love gets in a rut, we check our behaviors. Typically one of these steps has fallen wayward and we use it to reconnect over. Changed behavior is the best gift and that doesn’t require a Valentine’s Day chocolate.

Ben:

Our B.S has been communicated from the beginning. Sticking to them can be a challenge through mental health issues, problems that arise unexpectedly. Instead of relying on Valentine’s Day to revive our relationship; we stick to our personal self-love, communication, and affection all challenges seem to fade away. The connection between a couple grows through this mutual respect and care. I’ll leave you with two questions to ponder. What are some of the challenges do you think you could resolve with self-love, communication, and affection? Would you ever get married to leave divorce on the table?

 

Valentine's Day with Elopement Photographer, Worldwide Elopement Visuals


How To Make Everyday, Valentine’s Day (or any holiday).

We mentioned earlier that our friends who have been married for twenty-plus years have nine rules they follow. They shared them with us, and now we are going to share them with you. As well as be honest over what we are really good at, and the ones that we are still grappling to get better at with one another.

 

  1. Treat your spouse as if they were your best friends.
  2. Speak absolutely no negative in the house.
  3. Tell them every day how much you appreciate them.
  4. Go out to dinner at least twice a month. (Parents leave the kids at home)
  5. Tell them how much you love them.
  6. Surprise them with flowers, once a month. (Yes, guys like flowers too.)
  7. Take them dreaming– and out to dinner.
  8. Take your eyes off yourself.
  9. Give Give Give Give.

 

Now for honesTEA.

Number one, goodness that is super easy to do. Same with number nine, giving is so much more than just materialistic gifts: time, effort, a listening ear, support…just a few of our favorite things. Three and five, definitely easy peasy lemon squeezy. Six and seven, are easy too– just hard to go out to dinner when driving around town after talking dreams while stargazing when restaurants are closed. Which makes number four hard for us too, due to dietary allergies and being able to make bomb af food at home.

Number two is the hardest one we grapple with. Due to when it is cold out, walking and talking is not the mood, vibe, or fun time. Number eight is the second hardest solely because when mental health acts up (hi seasonal depression thanks for the extra hard level) it is hard to take eyes off yourself. By no means are we saying mental health makes one selfish. However, in dealing with whatever mental health flare-up is going on, it is easy to forget your partner is there with you.

How would you rank on this list?

Anyhow that is how to make every day Valentine’s Day.

As well as why we do not celebrate Valentine’s Day ourselves.

Till next Buzz, Bees!

Ben+Becca

Sunflower Couple Shoot in Olathe Colorado with Worldwide Elopement Visuals

 

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