How to Take the Pressure Off Valentine’s Day

Delaware Relationship CounselorValentine’s Day ads are everywhere. Sweet perfumes. Chocolates. And, of course, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds.

It can be overwhelming. You may feel a lot of pressure to go all out. To make it perfect.

As a relationship counselor, I have news for you: you don’t have to go all-out on Valentine’s Day. In fact, it shouldn’t be your eggs-in-one-basket day of romance any year, but this year, in particular, you should cut yourself some slack.

After all, this Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday. It’s harder to hire a babysitter for a romantic night out on the town, and most likely, you’ve both got to get up early the next day anyway.

That isn’t to say that you should cancel your Valentine’s Day reservations or skip gifts this year. The holiday is a wonderful opportunity to do something extra special for your relationship.

But trying to make the day “perfect” or creating a huge build-up in expectations is only going to serve to make things more stressful – the last thing you want when trying to express your love and create a romantic atmosphere.

So how can you relieve some of the pressure?

Start early.

Just because the “main event” of your Valentine’s Day is in the evening doesn’t mean you need to wait until then to get started. Offer compliments and appreciation as soon as you wake up. Tell them a massage is coming at the end of the night. Send flowers to their office during the day.

Basically, offer little gestures throughout the day. It will not only take the pressure off of your big plans, but also help you to set an example for celebrating your love every day of the year.

Communicate with your spouse.

Be upfront if you are feeling pressured to plan a big surprise for Valentine’s Day. Most likely, your spouse will understand your desire to have a low-key night at home.

But if you are not communicating beforehand, there might be some awkward tension on Valentine’s Day about what you do or don’t have planned. If you don’t have any surprises planned, don’t make that a surprise.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day throughout the year.

Sometimes, one partner expects more from Valentine’s Day than the other. And we should be encouraged to celebrate our relationship and the love that we share with our spouses or partners. But these celebrations do not have to be limited to one single day.

If you decide not to fuss over Valentine’s Day this year, but your partner still loves to celebrate the holiday, come up with a couple’s answer for how and when you celebrate your love.

Do you want to reschedule to the following Saturday? (All of the candy will be on sale!) Do you want to make a promise to have a date night once a month in 2017, thereby spreading Valentine’s Day over 12 days throughout the year? Or what about just picking a day at random that works for you both?

Remember: it’s not the specific date that matters; it’s the act of making time and effort to show your love for one another.

Need more advice on how you can celebrate your love every day? Contact a Delaware relationship counselor.

Walt Ciecko, Ph. D., BCB
605 Wynyard Rd
Wilmington, DE 19803