Love And Life Toolbox
Valentines Day: 8 Ways to Make Your Partner Feel Cared For

Simple Valentine

After Valentines Day, people often ask each other, “What did you do?” eyes wide with anticipation to hear the big reveal…

“We spent a weekend away in the wine country.”

“He bought me a sparkly, expensive necklace.”

“We went to a spa and had a mud bath, couples massage and champagne with strawberries.”

“He bought me a dozen roses and huge heart  shaped box of chocolates.”

All of those are lovely and wonderful ways to celebrate your love on Valentines Day.  But for so many people, the anticipatory build up and the actual meaning of the occasion gets a little confused, creating inadvertent pressure on couples to try to jump through hoops to meet each other’s expectations or as I noted above, the expectations of others.

Society puts a lot of pressure on those in relationships or dating on this holiday.

What if a co-worker asks you tomorrow, “What did you?” and you responded, “We got takeout and sat by the fire with a bottle of wine.”  Can Valentines Day be ultimately about taking a moment to paying homage to your loved one and the relationship itself?  As many beautiful and expensive ways there are to lavish each other, is it not equally as valid if it’s pared down into the simplicity of quality, uninterrupted time spent?

Consider what a healthy, happy relationship means to you.  Maybe there is more simplicity there than you even realize. True, that some people resonate with gifts as a love language and that’s ok as love languages are unique to individuals.  Perhaps one (or both) of you truly values receiving tokens of affection and material things matter!  We all honor and feel love differently.  Also consider the long-haul bonding aspects of time spent together, communication about things that matter and mutual kindness.  These are some of the foundational elements of emotional safety.

The commercialization of Valentines Day gets to a lot of people who feel the meaning has been cheapened or are simply highly annoyed by the sudden spike in the cost of flowers and chocolates.  Though Valentines Day ambivalence is a real thing, it still can offer a reminder that sometimes keeping things simple can have a meaningful impact.  Despite any ambivalence, the day can still be special.

After Valentines Day, if you are asked what you did or how you and your partner celebrated, remember it’s not a competition. How you chose to honor this day is a very personal choice where a “simple Valentine” can have just as much meaning as lavish experiences and dollar signs.

If you have chosen to go the route of “go big or go home,” contemplate how you might choose to celebrate this day as a couple if expectations were not a factor.  Would it be different?

Happy Valentines Day.  May you and your sweetie enjoy what you have and each other.

And if you are single, may you reflect less on not having someone today but rather self-love on Valentines Day.

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of LoveAndLifeToolbox.com with emotional and relationship health articles, guides, courses and other tools for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in CNN.com, HuffingtonPost.com, MensHealth.com and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.

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