Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day where we show our love with a card or token to a person we care about. Men often feel pressured to create a perfect day. And as always, when faced with perfectionism the worry is “I may not do it right” (causing stress), or there may be hurt feelings (resulting in anxiety), which could possibly lead to a fight about our relationship (causing fear that the day will be ruined by dredging up old, unresolved issues)!
Society sets many expectations around Valentine’s Day. You’re supposed to be and feel loving. You’re supposed to get the ideal card and gift for your Valentine. You’re supposed to have a special dinner and a “perfect” day…or else. Moreover, certain common stressors like, “Will my spouse be hurt if I don’t buy an extravagant gift or plan a special Valentine’s event?” or “Will my wife be really happy with just a card?” or “My boyfriend and I are not doing very well, so should we still celebrate?” make us dread Valentine’s Day, rather than look forward to it.
1. Discuss how you want the day to unfold rather than how it’s “supposed” to be or how it “should” be. This will clarify each partner’s wishes and help you let go of the huge expectations surrounding the day, the gift, the dinner, the card or the perfect sentiment.
2. After the above discussion, express your feelings to your Valentine in your own unique way, not what Hallmark dictates. Do one special thing, rather than three or four.
3. Forget the dinner reservations at a crowded, pricey restaurant where you can’t even hear each other talk! Instead, either cook an intimate dinner together or order in for a romantic meal at home.
4. Use this day as an opportunity to remember what’s good in your relationship by telling your partner two things you appreciate about them. This will acknowledge how special you both are to each other.
5.Put the day it into perspective. When you feel anxiety, you’re usually over thinking something and making it bigger than it is. Remember, it’s only one day in the life of your relationship and doesn’t define it.
When too much pressure is placed on an event, it sets the stage for disappointment when the outcome isn’t what is envisioned. Initiate a discussion about the day in advance try to see it as an opportunity to express your love and appreciation to your partner in your own special way.