Are you hearing this from your guy?
“Valentine's Day is just a made up holiday to try to get me to spend money.”
“All of this hearts and romance stuff turns my stomach.”
“Sorry, honey, I'm just not much of a romantic.”
“I tell you 'I love you,' why do I need to buy you expensive gifts too?”
It seems that the Valentine's Day haters (including men and women) grow louder and louder every year. Are you in a relationship with one?
Perhaps, to you, February 14th is not such a big deal. You don't expect your partner to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts for you, but you would like to do something special together. You'd enjoy a romantic dinner followed up with some sexy intimacy for dessert.
Or, maybe Valentine's Day does mean a lot to you. In your opinion, it is THE prime time to express how deeply you love and care about one another. For you, this holiday is an important day to celebrate your love.
When your special someone disses this celebration of love, you feel hurt and rejected. It could seem like your partner's hatred of Valentine's Day is a reflection of how he or she feels about your relationship!
You might take the anti-Valentine's Day remarks as indicators that you and your relationship just aren't all that special.
If you do, we understand AND we bet you've had a lot of frustration, disappointment and conflict as a result.
If you're tired of the relationship war you and your partner have been in around Valentine's Day, try this...
Talk expectations-- in advance.
Don't wait until February 14th to talk with your partner about expectations. Well before the day, have an honest and open conversation.
It is probably not going to feel good to either of you if you merely list off the gifts or gestures you expect your partner to present to you as a show of love. Don't guilt trip or demand because that will only breed resentment. You may end up pushing your partner farther away in the process.
This talk is a chance for you and your partner to set aside your argument about whether or not Valentine's Day is a legitimate or necessary holiday. It's an opportunity for you both to stop insisting on being “right.”
Instead, you and your partner can shift the conversation away from a date on the calendar and back to what's most important... your love for one another.
It's reasonable for you to want to feel special and to infuse more romance into your relationship AND it's reasonable to find ways to show your love to one another that are meaningful and authentic to both of you as well.
We're not asking you to give up Valentine's Day or your desire for romance. We are encouraging you to re-focus on connection and love by opening up to ways to bridge this difference.
During your conversation, you two could come up with some ideas-- that appeal to you both-- for spending passionate quality time together. Make a date (which may or may not be on February 14th) and schedule it on your calendars.
While some people like to be surprised, if you're with a partner who detests Valentine's Day this might not be the time to expect one. Be upfront with one another about the gifts. Will you exchange them or not?
Make a clear agreement about what you each will do and then stick to it. Don't say, “I'm okay with no gifts” and then get angry when you don't get a physical gift from your partner.
Don't take it personally.
Above all, do NOT make your partner's Valentine's Day hatred about you. Chances are, his or her aversion is about over-commercialization, insecurity, financial worries, beliefs about self and relationships and any number of other things that truly have nothing to do with you.
You may never fully understand exactly why your partner dislikes February 14th and that's okay.
When you hear your partner say something negative about romance, sappy cards or other Valentine's Day topics, notice it if you feel triggered and pause BEFORE you say or do anything.
Breathe and bring your thoughts back to what you know about your relationship. For example, think about a recent time that you two spent together when you felt close, intimate and maybe even romantic. Remind yourself of that moment.
Acknowledge to yourself that your partner can be both against Valentine's Day AND show his or her love for you in meaningful ways.
Don't give away the day.
Ultimately, you are the one who determines whether or not you feel special and have an enjoyable Valentine's Day.
Yes, it can feel wonderful to be presented with a big bouquet of flowers...if it's given from the heart. That same gift can also be given grudgingly and the effect isn't wonderful at all.
Don't make your experience dependent on what your partner does or doesn't do.
Treat yourself with the special pampering and love that you are looking for. Don't treat yourself well because your mate “won't” or “can't.” Do it because you deserve it.
You deserve to lavish yourself in all of the hearts, flowers and chocolates you desire and it doesn't mean that your partner loves you any less because you gave these things to yourself.
(By the way, if you are consistently dissatisfied with your partner and he or she is unwilling to work with you to make some improvements, maybe it's time to re-assess the relationship.)
Be true to who you are and meet your own needs. This frees you to connect in with your partner where he or she is. What you might discover is that your partner is not as anti-romantic as you think.
Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the relationship they desire. Click here to get their free ebook, Passionate Heart-Lasting Love.