As it’s only a few days away I’ve been thinking about Valentine’s Day and how for some couples it will be a lovely experience full of closeness and affirmation of their love for each and for others a disappointment and possibly a day of sadness and anger. How many of us have dreams of a romantic evening with a loved one doing all the things we most enjoy? And how many of us have ended up with a bunch of wilting flowers from the local petrol station and a box of your least favourite chocolates bought as a last minute gesture. Well I think a little planning and discussion before hand can make a difference so here are some simple tips that may help you make this year’s Valentines Day one that you enjoy.
Negotiate and compromise.
Firstly it can be helpful to begin by checking out that your loved one wants to celebrate St Valentines Day. Then let them know why it is important to you to celebrate. Next decide on something that you would both like to do. If their ideas are very different from yours you may need to negotiate a compromise around this. For example you may decide to go with your preferences this year and theirs next. Acknowledging and recognising the compromises you are both making is an important part of the process.
What is romance?
What do you expect from your partner or loved one and yourself? Are your expectations realistic? The place of romantic love in a relationship can vary tremendously depending on the background, upbringing and culture of the people involved. One person’s idea of romance is not the same as anothers. Find out from your partner or loved one exactly what their idea of romance is and what they would like to do. Make sure they know what you want too. Respect their right to want something different from you.
There is no mind reading!
Listen to their ideas and wants. See if you can really understand their point of view, test out seeing the world through their eyes. And remember, most people cannot read minds nor are they telepathic, we only learn how to please people from experience. So, no matter how long you have been in a relationship the chances are that unless you tell your partner what you want they will not know. So be specific. If you want flowers or chocolates, tell them what sort, how many, the colour. If you want a hug, let them know how you like to be held and how long for.
For some people asking for what they want or letting people know they have a need can be difficult. They may have learnt at some point that it is not okay to ask, or feel scared and vulnerable in letting others know they have needs too. Well, it is okay to ask and it is okay to have needs, this Valentine’s Day go ahead and ask for the romantic day you want.