Here are some suggestions for making this Valentine's Day unforgettable!
February 14th is fast approaching! We say "love is in the air" and reference Cupid. It has become a day when couples express their love and even reaffirm their commitments to one another. I believe every day can be an opportunity to celebrate your love for your partner. While many in successful relationships do tell their partners on many days how much they love and appreciate them, making extraordinary displays of affection outside Valentine's, for those who don't, the holiday becomes a good day to celebrate relationships.
Valentine's day does happen to be a time of extreme anxiety. There is a lot pressure on just one day. Those who are not in a relationship are reminded of this fact which often makes them feel down and lonely that day. For those in relationships, it can put pressure both on the relationship and on each individual partner to do, say, write, or buy something spectacular. It can also be a day that encourages people to celebrate their love for their partner and their love. To put it simply, there are a lot of expectations, which can lead to anxiety. The good news is that Valentine's Day is a reminder to get out of our normal routine and spend time and energy making our partners feel special, valued, and appreciated.
Here are some suggestions for making this Valentine’s Day your best one yet!
1) Don't set your partner up to fail and don’t keep desires and expectations to yourself. Communicate! If you want your partner to surprise you on Valentine's Day or if there is a particular restaurant you would like to go to, speak up! Telling your partner "I would love to go to Rocco's Tacos for dinner" for example, or "I would love Sunflowers," doesn't make him/her bringing you flowers or taking you to the restaurant any less special! Instead, it actually shows you that your partner is hearing your requests and desires and making an effort to follow through with something that will make you happy.
2) Think about what it is your partner might really want. Consider something s/he has told you in the past they wanted to do, a picnic, a walk on the beach, a certain restaurant that opened up. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to be special, but rather it needs to be thoughtful.
3) Make it a point to only focus on and talk about the positive that day! Don't spend time comparing your partner to your friend's partner or nagging your partner, but instead focus on the positive things your partner does as well as your appreciation of your partner—and vocalize them.
4) Do at least one thing out of the ordinary that will make your partner feel loved.
5) Perhaps stay away from social media, like Facebook, on Valentine's Day. People are going to be posting information about what their partner did, photos of flowers or gifts they received, etc. Don't spend your time comparing yourself to others or focusing on their lives. Instead, stay in the present focusing on your own world and relationship.
6) Don't wait until the end of the day. Use the entire day to set the mood. For example, take more time in the morning to connect than you typically would have; send sweet additional texts or emails throughout the day; leave sweet and sexy notes around the house for your partner to find.
7) Don't rush into the sex. Take time exploring each other's bodies and sensually touching each other all over.
8) Spend time emotionally connecting with your partner both before and after sexual activity. Just because the "sex" is over, doesn’t mean you can't continue to feel the high from it.
And remember—Valentine's Day is just one day out of the year! If you want to create a strong and healthy relationship, you should be doing these things and making your partner feel special throughout the year, not just on one day.
Dr. Rachel Needle is a Licensed Psychologist and a Certified Sex Therapist. She is in private practice www.cmshsf.com and is the Executive Director of a group psychotherapy practice www.wholehealthpsych.com. Dr. Needle has a personal website with a blog www.drrachel.com.
Dr. Rachel is on Facebook and you can also follow her on Twitter (DrRachelNeedle)!