Am I the only one who always feels like Valentine's Day is stressful?
I went to an all girl's high school growing up, so I never really had the opportunity to receive a valentine, but I used to fantasize about what it would be like. I thought it would be so incredibly romantic and meaningful. When I did receive my first valentine, it was sweet, but it wasn't magical. Why would it be? It's a lovely thing but, depending on your relationship, it's not unique to one day a year.
The reason Valentine's Day is stressful is because there are expectations. And there really shouldn't be! Think about it like this: we celebrate our birthdays every year, we celebrate our anniversaries (of which there are usually multiple: the first time you went on a date, the first time you said I love you, when you got engaged...the list could go on), and yet, we still expect this age-old day to tell us what to feel and when to feel it. Hopefully, if you're in a good relationship, you don't need a calendar to know when to celebrate your partner. You celebrate them every day just because you're so happy that you're together. My husband buys me little things all year and big things on the days that are unique to us. Do I need him to buy me something for Valentine's? No. Do I like it? Of course!
Valentine's Day in its romantic form has been around for a while - it was mentioned in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and then became the version we're more familiar with in the 1800's. But it's not a holiday in the same way Passover is a holiday. It can be celebrated, but it doesn't have to be.
So here's how to get the most out of your Valentine's Day.
1. Celebrate it only if you want to. Maybe you're just not thrilled about having to shell out $100 for dinner this week because you celebrated your birthday ten days ago. Or you don't really connect with Valentine's Day and would rather chill out on the couch with your partner than do anything else. Those are perfectly fine excuses to not do Valentine's Day. Don't feel pressured to do something to prove that you love your partner or your partner loves you, for the 'gram. If you and your partner agree that this isn't something you care about, then don't do it!
2. Do something that fits YOUR relationship, not something that you feel like you have to do to be romantic. You guys hate flowers. You hate splitting chocolate cake. You hate champagne and you hate jewelry. So plan your perfect night of romance! Maybe you listen to a true crime podcast together while rubbing each other's feet. Or maybe you read together in the same room. It doesn't matter! Just be romantic the way that works for you as a couple.
3. Don't make it into a bigger deal than it is. Your partner told you that he doesn't know if he can make plans for the night of Valentine's because his meeting will run late. Don't hold it against him. You can always celebrate Valentine's that weekend. It's not like a religious holiday that falls on a certain day, and that's that. This is more flexible, and you should be too.
4. Understand if your partner isn't as excited about it as you are, but don't compromise too much. You want Valentine's Day to be special, but your partner really doesn't care much for it. First off, forgive him for that. Valentine's can sometimes feel like an obligation that's being enforced on you by a random calendar day, and if it's not something you're excited about, it doesn't mean much. But if you really want to celebrate, ask your partner if you can come up with a plan that works for both of you! Maybe it's slightly more low-key, but that doesn't mean it can't be special. Just find something that works for you both (refer to number 2).
5. But if you are on the same page as your partner, feel free to be totally cliché and romantic! Love Valentine's? Your partner adores the flowers and the presents and the romance? Then you should absolutely enjoy it! Don't give up on a day that means something to you if it means something to you. The fact that Valentine's is important to you is what makes it special and gives it that special place on the calendar. So celebrate it in the most cliché, lovey-dovey, romantic way possible.
So there you have it! The main point I'm trying to make is that romance doesn't have to be cookie cutter. It's whatever fits your dynamic and your lifestyle. So don't try to impress anyone, and just do you!
What are your plans for Valentine's Day? Do you like celebrating, or couldn't care less? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, if you have any relationship questions, please feel free to post them - I'd love to answer in my next blog post!
Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!