• Keeping Friends

Valentine’s Day: 7 ways to nurture your friendships

Published: February 14, 2014 | Last Updated: February 14, 2014 By | Reply Continue Reading


Antique Valentine's Day Card

Antique Valentine’s Day Card

As a young kid, when February rolled around, I remember my mom buying me packaged Valentine’s Day cards to share with my classmates at school. Admittedly, I saved the ones with hearts and flowers for my girlfriends, and gave the ones with giraffes and monkeys to the boys. Sometimes I tucked “conversation hearts” (small candy hearts with sentimental messages) inside the envelopes, too.

We signed the miniature cards, wedged them into tiny envelopes with hearts on the outside, and dropped them into a big box (wrapped in red paper with a slit on top) that our teacher had placed at the back of the room.  On Valentine’s Day, two students delivered the cards to each of our desks. What fun it was to receive them.

As I grew older, for reasons I’m not sure about, Valentine’s Day seemed to veer towards romantic rather than platonic love. Yet for many women (and some men), Valentine’s Day means much more than hearts, chocolates, and roses; the affection they feel on that day extends beyond lovers to their close friends and relatives, too.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or the Día del amor y la Amistad (Day of Love and Friendship)—as do many Latin Americans—February 14th offers a perfect opportunity to show affection to your close friends, who add so much to your life.

Since even the strongest of friendships needs to be nurtured, here are 7 ways to let your closest friends know how important they are to you on Valentine’s Day (or any other day of your choosing):

1 – Say it in words

Text or call—or write her a card, note or email—expressing how much her friendship means to you. After all, Valentine’s Day gives everyone license to act a bit more affectionate than usual.

2 – Remind her visually 

Send her a photo of a wonderful time you had together in the past and tell her how happy it makes you feel that you’re still friends after all these years.

3 – Give the gift of time 

Instead of always saying, “We have to get together,” make concrete plans. Get out your smartphone or calendar and set up a time to get together—even if it’s just over a cup of coffee or a drink. Or, agree to read the same book or go to a movie together so you can talk about it afterwards; these can be great springboards for sharing your feelings.

4 – Plan a getaway 

Perhaps you’ve both been busy and haven’t seen each other for a while. Your lives have diverged although you still feel like kindred spirits. Commit to spending uninterrupted time together on an extended visit or on vacation so you can reconnect and forge new memories. 

5 – Weave her into the fabric of your life

If she’s single or divorced and you’re married with children, invite her to join one or more of your family traditions. Introduce her to one of your other friends or to your mother, sister or cousin.

6 – Apologize if you should

If something has recently gotten in the way of your friendship and you think you may have been at fault, don’t be too big to apologize.

7 – Express your love 

Tell your closest friends how important they are to you and give them a big hug or a kiss. You may even want to send them flowers or candy.

This is a revised version of a post that appeared here previously. In memory to my Dad who died on Valentine’s Day, 2006, the day of my parent’s 60th anniversary.

Tags: , , ,


Leave a Reply