What Not to Do on Valentine’s Day
By Ronald Yates
It’s February and that means three significant occasions, at least for me. First this month represents another complete trip around the sun for me (Birthday), second it is Black History Month, a time when we reflect on the sacrifices, achievements and suffering of our ancestors. Lastly, but not least is the day we show our significant other how much we appreciate them. According to legend the holiday began with the arrival of a mysterious little fellow that, by all outward appearances, is a baby. But this baby is like no other. This baby, named Cupid, has wings and a bow and arrow that he uses to shoot arrows into the hearts of those seeking true love. These arrows do not harm the intended victims, they make the heart more susceptible to love.
For most couples, Valentine’s Day means the proto typical flowers and candy. For some they will take a more nuanced approach by taking a getaway to some romantic location to bask in the sun. After months of extreme cold, snow and ice a few days in the sun sounds inviting. Others may stay closer to home, engage in activities they can enjoy together… like a couples’ massage, followed by a romantic dinner. For florists and chocolatiers, February 14th is circled on their calendars. It is one of the days they will be extremely busy filling orders. It has become a tradition that encourages us to express our feelings for one another by giving to our loved one something that expresses the depths of the love we feel for them. But does that work?
For couples that are just starting out should they begin their relationship by exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day? If your partner becomes accustomed to receiving gifts, there is a change in financial circumstance that could lead to the end of their relationship. Some will say NO, that love is so much more than flowers, candy, gifts, and trips. But once you have become accustomed to being showered with gifts some will find it difficult to adjust to the fact that being lavished with gifts every Valentine’s day or on a regular basis is not a reality. Then there is the question of is it necessary to give gifts on days like Valentine’s Day? If the only day your significant other shows you any appreciation is February 14th, what happens on the 15th, 16th or the other 364 days? Do you fall into a pattern of neglect that might leave you questioning why you remain in a relationship when you know you deserve so much more, that you are worth so much more.
I know the title of this blog is What Not to Do on Valentine’s Day, so here is my suggestion; don’t follow the old cliched pattern of flowers and candy. Do something that can benefit the relationship for more than just one day. Take time together to learn about each other. Yes, I know couples know each other, but after this past year of constant death, uprisings, demonstrations and the attack on the Capitol, life has taken its’ toll physically as well as emotionally on us all. Maybe each year on February 14th, couples should engage in a Relationship Evaluation. Yes, you heard it here first. Both parties should write down what they want, need and expect from each other for the remainder of the year. Goals should be set that are both obtainable and reasonable. Then you should have a comment section where you outline the things that irk, annoy, or you absolutely hate about the love of your life.
This exercise is not for the faint of heart or those who are overly sensitive to criticism from their significant other. Note (Some people are too emotionally immature to accept criticism from their spouse), so if you fall into that category… stick with the flowers, candy, and balloons. Lastly tell your spouse what you love about them, why you committed to them, why you are still with them after all of the ups and downs the two of you have experienced. Despite your flaws, faults, and failures, it’s a big plus for our partners to know why he/she is the only one we still want to be within these uncertain times. If this works out you might want to consider performing Relationship Evaluations every year on Valentine’s Day, and you can still give flowers and candy just to sweeten the experience.