Valentine’s Day was a few days ago, and just like last year and the one before that, it was a rather usual day at ours. The culture, or lack of it, began 5 years ago.
At the time I had a new boyfriend of two months, well at least according to him we were an item. After all we had gone on several dates and he had stated his intentions… never mind that I had not consented yet. I suspect though, that he did see right through me because he was relentless albeit in the most gentle way. You see, my heart and my brain were in a serious clash! My heart would perform cartwheels whenever I spent time with this man or every time we spoke. My heart had it really bad for him. However, I am a girl of logic and there was nothing logical about why my heart was misbehaving. This man lived in another country. I had attempted long distance dating before and that had not gone very well. Since then, my brain had coerced my heart never to fall in love beyond borders again yet here I was, again! Moreover, I had only recently met him and my sensible brain once persuaded my heart to avoid having romantic feelings towards people I just met, and instead explore possibility of friendship first. Because of these and other logical reasons, I lingered in denial for a while.
A few days to lovers’ day, the man casually mentioned that he was not a Valentine’s-kind-of-guy and he hoped that we would not make a big deal of the day. Initially I was disappointed. How would people know that he was my boyfriend…. who really was not my boyfriend…. if he would not get me all things sweet and beautiful on Valentine’s Day? He had already set precedence by regularly sending flowers to my work place and a few colleagues were really keen on finding out how extravagant he was going to get on this special day.
I never made a big deal out of the situation though. The truth is, I had never really cared much for Valentine’s Day- that’s just me- but at the time, peer pressure and people’s expectations were pushing me to feel like I needed to. In my opinion, it is not necessarily wrong to treat it as a special day. I know of ladies who are genuinely interested in celebrating the day whether in a big or a small way, and that is fine. My caution is only the need to examine our motive. My motive was not right. I only wanted Hun to go out of his way just so that I could match the expectations of others- vanity.
With that said, men also do have a responsibility as far as the day is concerned. Sometimes ladies make demands on Valentine’s Day simply because the men in their lives barely express affection during other days. You say, “but I provide for the family, is that not the ultimate expression of love?” I agree it probably is, but ladies also need some penultimate expression….. a little less than ultimate. You could learn her love language and respond to it accordingly, be it gifts, acts of service, physical touch, quality time or words of affirmation. If she desires to celebrate Valentine’s Day, agree on what works for both of you. It does not need to be an expensive affair. Get creative. She would appreciate breakfast in bed or home made dinner, or give her a back rub and a foot rub to sooth her sore feet after a long day. A single red rose is also very romantic especially depending on how you present it to her, and the words you use. It can be an excellent opportunity to re-affirm your love.
For those dating and the newly weds, it is important to talk about Valentine’s Day expectations early on in the relationship to avoid disappointment and undue pressure in the event that you hold different views about it. The important thing to remember is neither of you should base your argument on other people’s standards. At the end of the day, we are all different people with different preferences.
How did you spend Valentine’s Day this year? What is your ideal Valentine’s Day like?