Here we go again. Heart shaped red ribboned candy boxes full of chocolate promises deck the shelves of the local CVS. A few days ago I noticed some harried looking males anxiously flipping through the stacks of Valentine cards in the supermarket aisle. The pressure is on to perform the mating ritual and renewal that Valentine’s Day heralds. TA DA!
Marketed as the year’s most romantic moment, Valentine’s Day is a hot potato of performance for many couples wary after disappointments of the past anticipating or planning activities together. Some rely on the “read my mind” solution – “By now he/she should know what would please me.” Or “Better not to expect anything and then I won’t be hurt.” Somehow none of these attempts at self-protection seem to pan out. Everyone is walking on little candy hearts and we know how easily they are crushed.
So here is a simplistic but possibly useful suggestion: how about together just figure out what would be a fun time. Fun here means sharing in an activity that both members of the Coupledom enjoy. There must be at least one, and probably many, that are attainable on a Saturday in February. Dictionary definitions of romance include the words mystery and excitement, which can be difficult to achieve in a long-term relationship, but fun can incorporate both without the sticky sentimentality that often makes a muck of the Valentine’s Day exercise.
Most successful missions in life are collaborations. Valentine’s Day should be one of the easiest to achieve. After all it is one day and with a budget that matches real life resources, a time frame that takes in the realities of children, sitters and work obligations, and an evenly shared amount of energy and time put into the planning, this just might work. Oh yes, and love.
Happy Valentine’s Day as in Have Fun.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2015