To Celebrate or not to Celebrate, that is the Question

Do you surprise your partner?

Do you go out? Or do you stay in?

Should you plan an elaborate experience?

Or do you skip it completely because it’s, well, Valentine’s Day?

The answer to all of those questions depends on you and your partner. Valentine’s Day is as important as the couple makes it. Some people would rather ignore the overblown Hallmark holiday, while others revel in the opportunity to shower their significant other with love. So have a conversation with your partner about what Valentine’s Day means to them.

If Valentine’s Day is important to one of you, I’d recommend celebrating it. If it seems silly to both of you, skip it and schedule a date night for a less expensive and crowded day. But, under no circumstances, assume that your partner doesn’t want to celebrate it unless they have specifically told you that they’d rather stay home and go out another day.


Get clear on expectations

It’s worth having a conversation with your partner about how they like to spend and/or celebrate Valentine’s Day. Unmet expectations can be deadly for relationships. So if you’re expecting dinner and all you get is a box of chocolate, you’re likely to be disappointed. So I recommend clearing the air about expectations so that you can avoid the Valentine’s Day letdown. Getting clear on what your partner’s Valentine’s Day expectations are will set you up for success, rather than disappointment, this holiday.

“But Theresa, I want to surprise my partner and be surprised.”

You can still do surprises. But I have found that the best surprises are ones that are guided. If you and your partner share your expectations (dinner at a nice restaurant, a weekend trip away, a night without the kids, sexy time) then your partner can surprise you with the specifics and vice versa.


Valentine’s Day is a Chance to Prioritize your Relationship

Valentine’s Day can give busy couples a reason to pause and prioritize their relationship even for a night. Put down the phones, get away from the kids and housework, and enjoy time just the two of you. Relationships require attention to thrive and even to survive. So if you find yourself too busy to make time for the relationship most days/weeks, you might want to take advantage of Valentine’s Day this year.

When I work with couples, I encourage them to be intentional in their relationship. Really thinking through how you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your partner can be an exercise in intentionality. Holidays and anniversaries can be a good time to prioritize the relationship and make space for couple time. So even if you don’t do something on February 14th, maybe take this opportunity to plan something fun this week.