Valentine's Day can be a touchy subject, especially if you're in a relationship. What is it about this day that has everyone loving it, or downright hating it?! Adrienne C. Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, gives tips for having a successful Valentine's Day, even if you're one of the skeptical ones.
This is especially difficult when one partner believes in celebrating Valentine's Day, and the other partner is dead-set against it. Relationships are all about compromise, and this day is no exception. How can you celebrate this lover's holiday so you'll both feel comfortable and appreciated? Be sure to discuss expectations for gifts, spending limits, etc. and then actually put some thought into it. A little effort can go a really long way and hey, it's only ONE day out of the year!
It is NEVER a good idea to test your partner; to see if he/she will remember Valentine's Day (or your anniversary, birthday, etc.) and what you'll get out of it. Tricking your partner will never be a good way to gauge whether or not you are truly loved! It's really important to discuss your expectations so that your partner isn't set up for failure and you aren't set up for a very unhappy Valentine's Day! If you want something, be sure he knows what you want and expect, and also why it's so important to you.
Most of the time, one partner decides that Valentine's Day is a waste of time and money, while the other feels neglected and left out of this special day. Anti-Valentine partners typically say things like "it's just an excuse for Hallmark to make money" to avoid making an effort. If you're against this holiday, really think about what you're saying and what that means to your relationship. While Hallmark does sell Valentine's cards, they also sell Mother's Day cards, Father's Day cards, etc. Do you not celebrate those holidays based on this same principle? Valentine's Day is really about showing someone you love them… it's as simple as that. If you're completely resistant to showing your partner you care, there may be a bigger issue at hand.
Write each other a love letter, make breakfast in bed, plan a romantic dinner at home or arrange for a carpet picnic with your favorite movie. You can make a lot of effort without spending any money. If you've got money to spend, and a little time, plan ahead and schedule something for the weekend. Some ideas: A couples' massage, cooking class, wine tasting or day at the spa together. The possibilities are endless!
For more information on Adrienne's counseling services and free relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com.