Stress Free Valentine’s Day Tips

Stress-free Valentine’s Day tips.  As a Marriage Counselor, I’ve noticed some married couples tend to downplay Valentine’s Day.  It could be because they’ve been married for so long they may unknowingly be taking each other for granted.  Perhaps that’s one of the reasons they are receiving counseling. When talking to the men in my practice they say Valentine’s Day is a very stressful Holiday for them. Plans they have made or gifts they have given in the past were unappreciated or criticized and sometimes they feel they can never get it right.  Women say their partners don’t care for all that “lovey dovey” stuff and just want sex.  Seems we’ve lost the sentiment of what Valentine’s Day is all about being so commercialized taking away the simplicity of what it is intended to represent.Red Valentine Heart Rose with arrow

It’s a celebration of Love.  Love shouldn’t stress you out.  If it does take a moment to slow down, be mindful (stay in the moment), and refocus.  Turn the day into an opportunity to look at your relationships in a new way.  Valentine’s Day is a reminder to show appreciation for the people we care most about.  And it can be a day to do something special for yourself too.

A stressful Valentine’s Day can look like this:  Buying expensive roses that you can’t really afford. Spending money on a card that cost $8.00 and a box of chocolates at $25.  Dinner reservation where everywhere in town cost double or triple.  You rush home from work to get to that reservation.  Get redressed so you look refreshed.  Hit traffic.  Pay for parking.  Stay out late.  May or may not have sex. End the evening late.  Work the next day.  Tired.
A more joyful and relaxed Valentine’s Day can look like this:  Give something thoughtful, personalized, and meaningful to someone you care about.  A hand written note with a list of things you appreciate and are thankful for about those loved ones.  It shows you are paying attention and care.  And you can’t go wrong with candy.  If you want to do the dinner thing, the day before or day after always makes for a stress-free evening as there are fewer crowds and the pricing is reasonable.
Being married for 21 years Valentine’s Day can tend to be just another day for me, as well.  In the past, I planned a special dinner for friends and relatives of those with no significant other as some became widowed or had recent breakups.  I thanked them for their friendship and told them something about them I appreciated.  They left with happy memories of stories from our past and party favors to reflect the evening which included chocolates and handwritten Valentine’s Day cards.  The event not only made me and my family members happy it brought joy to our guest and made for a wonderful celebration of love.
If you’d like more information about how to make your Valentine’s Day a more enjoyable experience please call me at (858) 735-1139.

 

Valentine’s Day For The New Relationship

Valentine’s Day For The New Relationship.  As a Couples Counselor in private practice for over 20 years I’ve helped many relationships during this romantic yet somewhat highly commercialized day of expectations for what to do on Valentine’s Day.  Even when you’ve been in a long term relationship preparing for the day can be challenging.  What more when you’ve only been dating your new love interest for a short period of time?  What do you do?

I remember when I was newly married and my then husband sent me a beautiful bouquet of red roses.  My entire office thought I was a princess.  I shared that with him and he thought I was a little embarrassed about all the attention and the following year I didn’t receive the bouquet.  Needless to say I was disappointed and angry.  The years we were married he was quite the romantic and did shower me with flowers and chocolates.  But, what if you were dating your new love interest for a short period of time, say a few weeks?  What would be the appropriate thing to do on such an occasion?

New relationships can be wonderful but you don’t want to rush into anything that can put pressure on it make people feel uncomfortable.  Here are some suggestions for a Valentine’s Day for a new relationship:

 

  1. Have a dialogue with your partner of what you want to do for that day.
  2. Make a plan based on what the two of you agree on.
  3. Keep it simple.
  4. If you decide to give a gift – suggestion: give your favorite book or movie; bake something
  5. If you decide to give a card – suggestion: give a cute rather than romantic card
  6. If you go the Classic route – suggestion: flowers, candy, wine, champagne.
  7. If you want to plan an event – suggestion: go out to dinner (maybe another day outside of Valentine’s Day as restaurants are crowded and high priced that night), cook dinner, grab drinks, coffee, picnic, Theme Park. 

Remember Valentine’s Day is only special because the culture acknowledges it to be, but it’s really just one day out of the year. Don’t worry about it too much if your relationship is new. If it’s meant to last, you’ll have many Valentine’s Days ahead to celebrate your feelings for one another, though you can also celebrate it every day you spend together.

For more information on how to nurture your relationship please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

Couples and Valentine’s Day What To Do And What Not To Do

Couples and Valentine’s Day What To Do And What Not To Do.  Valentine’s Day is that special time where lovers have the opportunity to express their fond felt emotions toward one another.  Marriage Counseling brings about many discussions about disappointing Valentine’s Days.  Often times expectations aren’t met and emotions come up that need to be shared so individuals can know what to expect for future event planning.

 

Top 5 Things to Avoid on Valentine’s Day:

1.  Forgetting About The “Day”

Acknowledge the day.  The world around us will be surrounding ourselves with pink hearts, red roses, and chocolate candy.  Don’t make your partner feel left out.  Validate their existence and show how they make you feel during this day of Love.

2.  Just Showing Up At A Restaurant

Make sure you have a dinner reservation.  Valentine’s Day is the busiest night of the year.  If you don’t have a reservation you chance not getting into a restaurant of your choice or can wait over an hour to be seated which isn’t very romantic, shows poor planning on your part, and makes for an unpleasant evening.

3.  Having Other Engagements

Keep your calendar clear that day.  Even if you plan on working for just a few more minutes on a project, you can run into a time crunch and become late for your evening plans and create unhappy feelings toward your partner.  Eliminate any risk of things that could interfere with a successful outcome.

4.  Avoiding Discussion About Overwhelming Gifts

Even though you may feel strongly about your loved one, especially if you are still in the “New Love Phase” of your relationship, it would be good to talk about appropriate gifts of affection so that one partner doesn’t go overboard when the other may plan on doing something simple.  This eliminates any embarrassment, hurt feelings or awkwardness because one of you is feeling like what they contributed wasn’t enough.  Even if the day is a surprise, it would be good to talk beforehand, in terms of a general feel about your Valentine’s Day plans.  That way both can of you can enjoy the experience and eliminate unhappy or guilty feelings.

5.  Buying into Marketing Messages

You don’t have to spend tons of money to show your love and affection.  It’s not about getting the biggest bouquet of flowers or most expensive box of candy.  Even jewelry doesn’t have to send you over your credit limit.  It’s about showing your loved one behaviorally, what they mean to you.  Enhance the experience by expressing thankfulness and appreciation, as well, as you spend your special time together.

And remember love and romance isn’t just for Valentine’s Day….keep the “in-love” behavior ongoing and you’ll continue to feel like being “in-love.”

If you want to learn more about how to do that, call me now at (858) 735-1139.