Valentine’s Day is the ultimate celebration of love and relationships. It can be a recurring day of excitement and joy for those who are in a committed relationship, but for couples who are currently in the initial dating phase, this holiday can be anything but. Those in the early stages of a relationship may feel a mix of dread, confusion and – in the end – hurt. In fact, couples are more likely to break up in the weeks before and after Valentine’s Day.
To help new couples navigate their first Valentine’s Day together and avoid potential embarrassment, here are some tips from our professional therapists.
Communication is key. Talk about Valentine’s Day in advance. If you’ve been seeing each other for a few months and you’re comfortable, ask your new partner outright how they feel about celebrating Valentine’s Day as a couple. If you’re not yet comfortable broaching the topic directly, you could casually mention that February 14th is approaching and try to prompt a response in order to gauge whether they like the holiday.
Romantic movie gestures don’t always translate well. Remember that sweeping romantic gesture from your favorite date movie? In real life, exaggerated demonstrations of affection can turn out to be embarrassing at best and a relationship-breaker at worst. Again, talk to your new partner in advance about how you feel about the day and how you will celebrate your first Valentine’s Day to avoid any potential awkwardness.
Agree on gifting. When it comes to gifts, remember that the size of the gift is a perceived metaphor for what you want in the future, so be cautious. Agree whether you will exchange gifts or not, so neither of you are surprised or feel guilty for not gifting. You may also want to establish a price limit to avoid the scenario where your partner buys a card while you buy flowers, candy and a giant stuffed bear. If your relationship is new, it’s a good idea to keep the exchange simple, such as a trip to the movies or going out for dinner.
These tips can go a long way to keeping Valentine’s Day expectations in check. Although the conversation might feel awkward, it’s a better alternative to misunderstandings and hurt feelings later!
Schedule Counseling Services From the Heart
No matter what stage your relationship is in, couples counseling can help you and your partner become more loving and compassionate toward one another. To schedule an appointment for couples counseling if you live in Creve Coeur, MO, or surrounding areas, we invite you to call Sound Mind Therapy at (314) 499-9144 or complete our online form to get started.