I am going to paraphrase something I read about food over the holidays: That everyone worries about what they eat between Thanksgiving and New Years, and instead should worry about what they eat the rest of the year. It's the same with Valentine's Day: Too much emphasis put on love and romance on one day; what about the rest of the year?
It's still early enough in 2012 to make the remaining days more fun and filled with romance. Of course, everyone's definition of what is romantic is different; my husband and I, for example, tend to be silly. For example, we have a running joke about (don't ask) that has gone on for at least a decade, maybe longer. But every time we make a joke, it reminds us that our relationship is exclusive, that we love each other enough to say such things, and lets us flirt in a matter of moments.
What can you do daily in your life to make every day more like Valentine's Day? Instead of a big box of (possibly unwanted) chocolates, when you are out and about and spot your love's favorite shop, run in and buy a piece or two of their favorite. (I can see See's from my window in the Riverside office!) If you see a book, hear about a concert, or read a restaurant review that makes you think your partner would enjoy that, go ahead and take the steps to procure the item or make a reservation.
Affection should be a daily occurrence. It can be a hug, a snuggle, a kiss that's more than a peck, a massage, or a statement of love and admiration. Verbal or silent, giving your partner a bit of love keeps your relationship alive and makes time together something to look forward to.
Beyond the more superficial ways of showing love are deeper ones, such as making a genuine effort to listen, really listen, to your partner without being defensive. If your partner has a request, or even a complaint, if you listen in the spirit of wanting to help your partner, you will have a much more peaceful and loving connection.
What about adopting a spirit of cooperation? When your partner has a problem, ask how you can help. When there are tasks to be done, pitch in. If your partner is going through a difficult time because of work or family obligations, take over their chores for awhile. Being a help mate may not seem sexy, but consider the alternative: Be demanding, uncooperative, or entitled, and see how far that gets you in the bedroom.
Finally, Valentine's Day isn't the only day of the year to try something novel. There is no law that says red panties or briefs can only come out of the corner of the drawer on February 14. Keep your partner surprised throughout the year. Then when Valentine's Day rolls around, you won't have to dish out big bucks to appease your guilt for neglecting your lover the rest of the year!