Valentine’s Day encourages people to express love. Couples will often use this day to celebrate romantic love and to exchange acts of kindness towards one another as well as an exchange of gifts and romantic dinners. Just as the fall holiday seasons encourage us to give to others and to celebrate kindness and connection to family and friends, Valentine’s Day works much the same in couples. Valentine’s day allows couples to focus on the romantic part of their relationship and the day is entirely devoted to celebrating romantic love. I would equate Valentine’s Day to a couples anniversary where there are similar expectations of celebratory activities and gestures. Such a day serves as a healthy reminder for couples to make one another a priority and to focus on the romantic nature of their relationship that can sometimes get lost in the day to day routine. What a wonderful romance we all would have however if we treated our romances like every day was Valentine’s Day!
What are some of the positive and negative emotions that can be associated with Valentine’s Day?
Positive emotions that are common with the celebration of Valentine’s Day, especially with one has a Valentine, are feelings of contentment and security. Passion is often times reignited on this day and couples will often use the holiday as an excuse to find new and creative ways to re-inspire their relationship. Valentine’s Day allows each partner in the relationship an opportunity to feel appreciated and to be the focus of their lover’s attention. Although many couples feel loving towards one another regularly, if they are lacking in romance, the relationship can feel boring. Valentine’s Day allows the lovers to express themselves in new and exciting ways and to really consider the emotional and romantic needs of their lover.
In some cases however, Valentine’s Day can lead to arguments and feelings of disconnection. Where there are areas of concern however are when couples do not agree on what would be considered a romantic gesture. For example, a woman might have an expectation that her lover will present her with a bouquet of her favorite flowers, bring her a box of tempting chocolates, surprise her with a beautiful piece of jewelry and take her to a delicious and romantic dinner. If her lover instead shows up with a box containing a piece of lingerie and shares his desire to stay in for the night, the woman might feel as though her lover does not care for he is not romantic. The evening ends in feeling let down and most likely in conflict.
Valentine’s Day is filled with expectations which can present challenges to couples who may have differing ideas of how to spend and celebrate the day. Couples will benefit from an open discussion about what is romantic to them and what their own individual desires are for how their partner will respond on such an occasion.
Does Valentine's Day undermine true romance by focusing on commercial aspects? How can people deal with the pressures put on them to buy the "perfect" gift for their sweetheart?
The commercial nature of Valentine’s Day can leave many lovers contemplating what the “perfect” gift might be for their sweetheart. Television ads are riddled with advertisers depicting a happy couple on Valentine’s Day where the woman is receiving a beautiful piece of jewelry from her lover. Other advertisements focus on Valentine’s Day dinner specials where the couple can enjoy an extensive and elaborate 5-course dinner to celebrate their romance. For the person in the relationship who is responsible for planning the romantic evening, preparation must be started far in advance in order to reserve the right location. Some find the commercial nature of the holiday charming as the streets are alive with hearts and flowers and sayings of love for all to connect to. Others feel pressured by the commercial demands and it can at times result in a Valentine’s Day that feels stressful or forced.
The very nature of Valentine’s Day is to shower our lover with romance, connect emotionally and to devote uninterrupted time to one another. The commercial pressures of the holiday can detract from the simplistic inspiration of the holiday and instead morph the day into another pressure filled, gift giving holiday. Couples can avoid this dilemma by instead using the day to present each other with a poem, a love letter or a song; something that communicates a genuine expression of adornment for one another. When couples use the day as an excuse to celebrate the enriching effects that their romance has in their lives they are working to enhance their romance and to focus on the intimate bond that lovers uniquely share.