Contentment in this life basically boils down to the need to love and be loved. To feel productive and a part of something that matters. We need to know that should we just disappear, someone would notice. Even those who like being alone need social stimulation once in a while.
Doing for others for the sake of helping isn't purely altruistic, since if we really examined ourselves we do what we do not only for that other person but because those actions make us feel better about ourselves. The desire to please and do for others are wonderful qualities, but if you go into it with expectations of the other person's reaction, you may be disappointed. Trying to understand why people behave the way they do, which may not be the way we think they should, will drive you crazy.
Perhaps that is why Valentine's Day can range from being a day of fun and fulfillment to tearful and heart wrenching. As long as men and women are wired so differently, men will be frustrated about what they did wrong and women will continue to hope their life can be as in an unrealistic harlequin romance novel.
Men need to remember that most of the supposedly irrational behavior of women stems from their desire to be noticed, appreciated and heard. It's the little everyday things that matter, not the seesaw of going overboard just because it's a Hallmark holiday, and then slipping right back down into the pattern of indifference. Repeat back to her what she says to you so she knows you are paying attention. Let her talk without trying to "fix" things right away. Men do that and then wonder why she gets annoyed. Just listen. Hearing oneself talk often solves the problem and relieves the pent up emotions.
Women need to remember to make their man feel like a man. Men need to feel needed, respected, and the king of their own home. In today's society where many women make their own money and deal with just as many stresses when they walk in the door, it is easy to overlook that fact. Women have the need to talk about the day, while men have the need to close the door to the world's craziness and enjoy some quiet. Just give them an hour to themselves, a hot meal, and be amazed.
Everyday life can get routine very quickly. Marriage, a home, children...they don't just fall into place if kept on the back burner of our careers. They are work, a job in themselves. A house doesn't become a home all by itself. Love is a verb, and it needs action on the part of both partners in order to move forward and not become stagnant.
Love is an ongoing stretch of effort; a series of highs, lows, tears, joys and rewards. What it is not, are fleeting feelings wrapped up in emotion and lustful passion. Feelings are fickle and just like the wind, they can come out of nowhere and disappear around the corner.
In order for romance to remain alive and full of hot energy we must periodically add some fuel and stir up the simmering ashes. The actual meaning of the word "passion" is an intense, burning desire for something. Those embers don't spark all by themselves. Throw some of yourself into the relationship once in a while and see how hot your fires can get.
A little imagination and you can create an evening worthy of any romantic novel. And you do not need to spend a lot of money to impress. Men may often say they don't need all the fluff to get in the mood but half the excitement is in the planning and the anticipation. Besides, sending the message that the other person is worth all the effort is rewarding for both partners.
Focus on the five senses:
Touch - Plan a relaxing foot or whole body massage and/ or a warm, scented bath.
Taste - A special meal is wonderful but wine and chocolate make a great combination all by themselves.
Smell - The sense of smell holds deep seated memories. Stir up a fantasy or two with a sensual
bath or massage oil containing true, therapeutic essential oils. These plant essences work on both mind and body to relax and release emotional blocks.
Hear - Music is food for the soul. Be sensitive to what is pleasant for both of you and make a playlist. Instrumental background music or soft soothing melodies can be a band-aid for the spirit. To lose oneself in music can really set the mood. The right song may get even the most reluctant dancer on his feet.
Sight - A visibly pleasing atmosphere and everything in it will be the first thing a man notices. Candles add a touch of magic and do wonders for that warm glow to your complexion. Remember ladies, the best accessory you can wear is a smile. That is a tidbit from my husband that I hear all the time.
Think you can't cook? The following recipe is a no-cook candy/bar that tastes like a cross between a Tastycake and a Reese's peanut butter cup. Easy to make with only five ingredients and can be done within fifteen minutes!
NO COOK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER TREATS
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 pound box (or 4 cups) confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 28 oz. jar chunky or smooth peanut butter
1 12 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups) or chocolate melting wafers
Combine brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter and peanut butter.
Mix well. May need to use your hands. Pat the mixture into an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly-roll pan. Smooth the top of the mixture.
Melt the chocolate and remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in the top of a double boiler or the microwave. To melt in the microwave set it for one minute, stir, set it for another minute, stir till creamy.
Spread chocolate over the peanut better mixture.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate. Allow to come to room temperature before cutting into squares or the chocolate topping will crack.
Store in refrigerator or freeze
If you want to bake this is a sure hit with your loved one or family for Valentine's Day:
CHOCOLATE HIDDEN HEARTS CAKE