Valentineâs day is a day dedicated to celebrating LOVE with those closest to you. However, for a lot of us without relationships this can be a day filled with fear, anxiety, and sadness because we might feel like we donât have anyone to celebrate with. Even for those of us in a relationship, this day may create a lot of stress and anxiety. It can be confusing to have these thoughts and feelings when you are in a happy relationship and feel pressured to be happy and exude feelings of love. I will be exploring some of the reasons for these thoughts and suggesting ways to combat them to prevent them from becoming harmful to you/your partner.
1. You FEEL pressured to be a perfect couple and have the PERFECT date.
Both in the mass media and on our social media feeds we are constantly being flooded with pictures and images of âhappyâ couples, decadent gifts, extravagant dates, etc. These images can make us feel like we need to live up to these standards in order for our relationship to be worth something. Trying to live up to these high standards is unrealistic and can be a source of stress and anxiety. Just as in other aspects of the media, the misconceived notion that happiness is about money and material wealth is a lie. I encourage you to stay true to yourself and your partner and do something you both want/love to do, rather than trying to show the world how âperfectâ your relationship is. That could mean going to the movies, going out for dinner, or even staying in and ordering a pizza in your PJâs. At the end of the day, whatever you end up choosing, you will always have fun together!
2. You FEEL pressured to show your loved one you care.
The very reason for the day is to express the love we always feel for our partners (also, family, friends, etc.). For some of the same reasons as above, Valentineâs Day can put pressure on us to find a way to go above and beyond in expressing our love. We have to plan the perfect date, pick out the perfect gift, and even ensure that the âI love youâ message we give or send to our partner is perfect. Some of us rely solely on the material objects to convey this message, while others also want to say it or write it in a note or card. Donât get hung up on what to say or how much to say, just write down how you truly feel. Remember that this isnât a test or a contest between you and other couples, or even between the two of you. Anything you could possibly say in a card on Valentineâs Day, Iâm sure youâve already said to your partner and will continue to express through the course of your relationship. Valentineâs Day should not be a day to measure your commitment to your partner, but more of a fun day to self-indulge!
3. You FEEL like a bad partner if you donât do something for them/you donât know what to do.
Wanting to do something nice for your partner isnât a bad thing at all. The only time this can feel uneasy is when you feel uncertain of what theyâd like or uncertain if theyâll receive the message that you care and want them to feel loved. My advice would be to NOT overthink it. If you know your partner well enough, youâre bound to know a few things or dates that theyâd like. All in all, Iâm sure your partner will be happy simply with the idea that you thought about them and put time into planning a date or getting a gift, regardless of what you choose. If your partner is hung up on what you chose, there could be a reason for this. Do you express feelings solely through gifts, did you both set a limit that was or wasnât met, or do they value your relationship only on gifts and dates, and not actual feelings? These are all questions that hopefully you donât need to answer, but can be helpful if your partner is really unhappy when you try to do something nice for them.
The bottom line is: KEEP IT SIMPLE and HAVE FUN! If youâre single, take the day to treat yourself and relax! And if youâre in a relationship just tell your partner what you always do, that you love them, and be authentic if you are giving them a gift or going out. Happy Valentineâs Day!
By:Â Sarah Morrone
Sarah Morrone lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is an aspiring teacher and Registered Early Childhood Educator. Life has taken her on a little detour and is currently managing a cosmetics shop while writing, painting, and getting to know herself.