Valentine’s Day is an occasion that celebrates love and relationships. However, as romantic as the festivities may all be, there’s no question that the month of February has traditionally caused more than the usual amount of stress and anxiety among couples and single people alike.
As soon as the pink paper hearts, red roses and cut-out Cupids begin emerging in shops, restaurants and all other establishments, many men and women actually admit to feeling that familiar sensation: pressure.
Valentine’s Day is considered a day to go all out on demonstrating the depth and extent of your love for your partner. There’s a societal pressure that drives men and women to put together the best Valentine’s Day ever for their significant other — this includes being able to make a reservation at the fanciest restaurants, buy the most spectacular gift, or pull off the most extraordinary surprise.
For those who happen to be single when Valentine’s Day rolls around, the pressure can be just as severe. You get a feeling of being left out of all the celebrations simply because you don’t have a partner like the rest of your friends do.
How to make Valentine’s Day truly special — without the madness:
In the frenzy to be hailed as the Best Husband/Wife/Boyfriend/Girlfriend Ever by your peers, it’s easy to forget that Valentine’s Day is meant to celebrate the special connection between two people — and that this celebration does not have to be extravagant or Instagram-worthy in order to be considered valid.
You don’t need to gain other people’s approval or admiration of your over-the-top proclamations of love in order for your partner to appreciate it. If you wish to truly take the occasion’s message to heart, there are a few simple things you can do — and these can help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your partner without suffering an upset stomach or racing heart because of all the pressure.
Here are a few suggestions:
Engage in a sincere discussion with your partner. One or both of you may be secretly hoping that your partner would be pulling off a grand gesture of love, and then feeling disappointed when the day’s events don’t quite meet your expectations.
The key is to communicate effectively with your partner. You could talk about what Valentine’s Day means to each of you and how you would truly want to celebrate the day. You can lay down your own ground rules; say, you will give each other a surprise that falls within a specific price range — it’s up to you to make the most out of the allotted amount.
Alternatively, you could make plans to spend the weekend in a new location or perhaps get into a new experience together, like taking a dance class or trying a restaurant that serves cuisine you’ve never tried before.
If you talk about your Valentine’s Day plans together, you can have a reasonable idea of what to expect or be fully aware of what’s in store so that there are no disappointments misunderstandings.
Create a “no social media” policy. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your thoughts, photos and videos, but the excitement of letting others know how you’re spending the special day right now can put a damper on the moment. Focus on each other and on having a good time together above all — and you may just end up being too blissful and content to feel the need to give hourly updates online. You can log on the next day.
Focus on the little things. Rather than buying things or splurging on exciting new adventures, try to see the beauty in simply making each other feel loved in little ways. Staying home and working together on fixing dinner, offering a relaxing shoulder or foot rub, reliving your sweetest moments together in the living room sofa over tubs of ice cream or coffee mugs filled with wine, laughing at each other’s jokes — these sweet moments may be all you need to truly feel the spirit of Valentine’s Day.