Make This Valentine’s Day Truly Meaningful

I don’t know about you, but I really like Valentine’s Day. Growing up, my mom always made a big deal out of it. Not for my dad, but for us kids. She made a fancy dinner, decorated, and gave us all tasty treats and thoughtful small presents.

It was great!

I’ve tried to carry on the tradition with my own family, and from the parent perspective, I’ve also found it to be very fun. Picking out cute little presents, littering the dinner table with candy, serving sparkling cider in wine glasses, making an extra-special dinner. And all of this on a weeknight! It’s kind of awesome….

I’ve never really thought of Valentine’s Day as a holiday to celebrate the love between me and my wife. It’s more about connection and appreciating those I care about.

But there is a dark side to Valentine’s Day.

Duh, duh, duh….

The main thing I hate about this holiday is the pressure it creates to do just the right thing to show (prove??) you love your partner. Whether that is going out to a fancy restaurant, buying a huge heart-shaped box of chocolates, giving a dozen roses, performing in bed, or any other cheesy, schmaltzy, meaningless gesture. And don’t even get me started with what’s on the holiday aisle at the store!

I say don’t do any of it!

Of course, if any of those things bring you truly closer to your lover, then by all means…. there’s nothing inherently WRONG with any of it. We just seem to have lost track of what’s really important.

And in my work, I’ve met so many people who feel Valentine’s Day is nothing but a source of stress or pain. There are all these expectations to be with someone or do just the right thing to make your partner feel special. This type of pressure can be genuinely damaging.

So stop! Take the pressure off….

Yes, Valentine’s Day is all about love, but it’s really a chance to deepen your connection with those you care about. Stay home, bake cookies (dyed red and shaped into hearts?), talk about something that matters to you, go for a walk together, play a game. Get creative!

Above all, be together in ways that are meaningful and fun.

Happy Heart Day from all of us at the Salt Lake Relationship Center!