People are either excited about Valentine’s Day, indifferent or dreading it.
For some, it’s a frustrating reminder that they are not in a relationship when they wish they were. For others, it’s a day to celebrate their singlehood and freedom with their friends. It can also feel like a day to celebrate their love and commitment; or a way to overspend on fancy meals and be stressed about a gift. And for many, it’s all about sex.
Are you avoiding going on a Valentine’s Day date so you don’t have to do something special or to avoid giving the other person the wrong idea about your commitment level? Or will you use this “romantic” holiday to your advantage – a reason for an extra special date or to increase your intimacy?
Valentine’s Day and love
Ultimately, this random day in February doesn’t have to mean anything to you. But if you and your partner choose to celebrate it, decide why you’re doing so and lean into it.
If it’s about love, here are some ways to show the person you love them.
- Find and book a restaurant you both want to try or cook dinner together.
- Write them a letter that lists all the reasons you love them.
- Put away your phone and make time for them (uninterrupted).
- Give them a foot or back massage with no strings attached.
- Talk about your future goals as a couple (regardless if you’re dating or married).
- Make them breakfast in bed.
- Do chores or tasks you know they don’t like doing.
- Surprise them with a weekend getaway (it doesn’t have to be fancy).
Whatever you decide to do, show them love and let them know you see and appreciate them for who they are. Let them know that you love the connection you two share.
For some people, Valentine’s Day is really about sex, and that’s OK too
If this day is about sex for you (which doesn’t mean it can’t also be about love), think of ways to make it a little different than other nights of the year. Here are some examples:
- Try a new position.
- Get some sexy outfits.
- Have sex in a space you usually don’t (e.g., shower, kitchen table, living room rug).
- Rent a hotel room.
- Give each other a sensual massage.
- Learn how to make cocktails together and find fun ways to do tastings.
- Play strip poker.
Regardless of what you decide to do with your partner, be clear about this being a day you would like to focus on sex (or sex and love).
You can also skip Valentine’s Day altogether
The thing about Valentine’s Day is that most people try to rush it or do the bare minimum, and if this is you, consider just not doing anything at all.
If this is a stressful time for you and your partner, consider setting some boundaries or ground rules to take the pressure off. For example:
- Are you exchanging gifts?
- Have you set a spending limit?
- Has the responsibility of planning this day fallen entirely on one person? Are they OK with that?
Before Valentine’s Day, try to answer the following questions:
- Why are you choosing to celebrate Valentine’s Day?
- What is the desired outcome?
- Does the holiday bring more expectations and pressures than joy? How can you change that?
- Is there a tradition you can start to make this day genuinely fun and something you look forward to?
- What does your perfect Valentine’s Day look like? Have you compared notes with the other person?
February 2, 20223 USA Today by Sara Kuburic is a therapist who specializes in identity, relationships and moral trauma. Every week she shares her advice with our readers. Find her on Instagram @millennial.therapist. She can be reached at SKuburic@gannett.com.