Having a relationship with another person that takes your attention, time, energy, finances, or caring away from your primary partner is described as an "affair." I would like to suggest that a romantic affair is not the only time this energy, attention, and time is given to another. Sometimes couples must deal with an ex-partner who has some power in their relationship. Co-parenting can create issues with the step-parent if there is considerable time spent communicating with the ex. Perhaps the ex-partner uses this connection to purposefully drive a wedge between the new person and his/her separated spouse. Valentine's Day will be a time the new partner may be looking for validation that he/she is important, and the primary love interest in this relationship. This can lay the ground work for a disappointing Valentine's Day if communication about this issue is lacking. The partner feeling jealous or left out will want to be given a significant Valentine's Day. If this issue is not on the communication table, then the hurting partner may be setting him/herself up for disappointment, and the spouse expected to make everything right will not have a clue what has gone wrong.
Another aspect to the complications of Valentine's Day is the fact we all feel love in a personal and unique way. For one person, feeling loved may mean getting a gift, but for his/her partner, feeling loved could mean spending quality time together. So, the one who like gifts gives a gift to the one who wants quality time. The partner who feels love spending quality time together gives that to the loved one who needs a gift to feel loved. Neither partner feels truly loved, and both are disappointed with Valentine's Day. The relationship is not nurtured; it is harmed. I bet you didn't realize just how complicated a little holiday could become. The Five Love Languages written by Gary D. Chapman is a book that can help you discover your love language. Once you and your partner are aware of how you both feel loved, your gift giving and holiday celebration can become a time of relationship nurturing and growth.
If you are one of the people who has lost a love, then you could spend the day loving yourself. You could do nurturing things for yourself and do things that bring you joy. You could pick another person who is alone and create a day of enjoyment with him/her. If you are in a relationship with problems, try communicating your needs around this Valentine's Day. Listen to your partner for clues about his/her needs. Valentine's Day could be used to heal some hurt or start a tired relationship back on the road to health and happiness.
Have a Valentine's Day that nurtures your relationship and brings you joy. Communicate, care, and be intimate. Spend time creating your relationship; it doesn't grow on its own. Enjoy pleasure and be joyful!