Valentine’s Day naturally triggers stress for givers and receivers in relationships.  Questions about whether we are meeting our partner’s needs rise to the surface.  Expectations about what we want to receive also become important during romantic holidays.  These questions and expectations tend to turn this romantic holiday into a make-it or break-it moment in relationships.  Rather than putting so much pressure on one day, try reducing the stress of meeting and exceeding romantic expectations with these ideas:

Eliminate the Romance Guessing Game

Take a proactive approach in understanding your partner’s expectations by asking questions that reveal their ideas of romance:

  • What can I do to make you feel special?
  • How can I show my love better?
  • When do you feel most cared for?
  • How do you like to be pampered?

Express Gratitude for the Small Stuff

Encourage your partner to repeat things that make you feel good by letting them know what makes you feel special and cared for.  Find something they do each day that adds extra joy and spark to your life and relationship.  Tell them how much you appreciate what they do each time they do it.  Let them know it’s means a lot to you.  The more they know about what you like, the easier it is for them to repeat what makes you feel good.

Understand Each Other’s Love Language

When you know your partner’s primary and secondary love language, you can more easily know what romantic gestures will be most appreciated.  This saves heart-ache on both sides of the giving and receiving equation.  Even if you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it may be good to take another look at what love languages resonate most now.  Just as people change over time, a partner’s love language may also change as your relationship has evolved.

Choose What Day You’ll Celebrate in Advance

Take a look at your calendar.  Does Valentine’s Day fall on a particularly stressful or busy day for you?  Your partner will be more understanding if you discuss this issue in advance rather than forcing yourself to show up and be romantic on a stressful day.  Let your partner know that you’d like to have a relaxing celebration together, with plenty of time for each other, and suggest the date that would be best for making that happen.  When your partner knows in advance, they can adjust their own expectations appropriately rather than expecting you to be in a romantic place just because of a date on a calendar.

Let Us Know How it Goes

We’d love to hear how these tips work out for you!  Did you learn something new about your partner?  Did it help reduce the stress on Valentine’s Day?  We’d love to hear from you.

For more information about our services click here: Couples Counseling