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February 12, 2010

VALENTINE’S DAY: BEYOND THE GIFTS

I don’t know about you, but sometimes Valentine’s Day feels more like a pressure to buy a gift than it does a day to honor your relationship.  Is it just me who feels this way?  It seems like year after year, people run out at the last minute to get something to show their partner they remembered.  If one partner forgets, there’s hell to pay.

Unfortunately, too many people are missing the point.  The point is not to remember Valentine’s Day; the point is to honor your partner and your relationship.  If you’re relationship is great, tell your partner you love having them in your life.  Show them in your every day actions that you cherish them.  Valentine’s Day itself should just be another extension of that—not a duty.  It’s a time to reflect on what you all have together and to show your appreciation for what they add to your life. 

If you don’t have a great relationship, then throwing a gift at your partner doesn’t make up for that. Take the time to talk to your partner about where you’re at regarding this relationship and what you’re willing to do about it.  If you’re miserable and unhappy with your partner—please don’t go buy them a gift because you feel you have to.  Buy them a gift only if you feel you want to…and you’re willing to work your side to change this relationship.  Be honest with them that you’re not happy yet you wanted them to know that you’re committed to making it work.  Ask your partner if s/he would be willing to discuss the relationship with an open heart and a calm spirit.  


If you’re not willing to work your side, tell them (before Feb. 14th) that you would prefer to not exchange gifts this year.  Buying a gift and acting as if everything is okay is crazy making.  Be honest that you’re struggling with the relationship and plan on putting time aside, on that day, to make some decisions regarding what you want to do about it.   Allow your partner to feel the seriousness of that statement and follow through with what you said: sit down and figure out your next move.

Valentine’s Day is a great reminder for couples to appreciate one another, cherish the relationship and give one another uninterrupted attention.  It’s a time to feel the impact of this relationship in your life.  It’s not about another holiday obligation.

CHALLENGE:  If you’re grateful for your partner and what s/he adds to your life—share that with your partner.  Share this from a genuine place.  If you both agree gifts aren’t necessary—don’t sweat the gift; however, don’t ignore the appreciation, cherishing and attention. 
If you’re struggling with your relationship, don’t pretend you’re not by trying to sugar coat it with a gift. Talk honestly about this struggle and decide what you both want to do about that.

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