Whether you love the romance of Valentine’s Day or you abhor the commercialism, understanding what it means to your partner can help you celebrate this day in a way that’s meaningful to you both.
Where did Valentine’s Day come from?
Historically many early Christian martyrs were named Valentine and are associated with 14th February. The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by the Church in AD 496. The day didn’t become associated with romantic love until the 14th and 15th centuries when notions of courtly love flourished. Finally, in 18th-century England, Valentine’s Day grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Today of course Valentine’s Day is heavily commercialised with gifts such as red roses, chocolates and more being promoted. Did you know in Japan on Valentine’s Day, it is the responsibility of girls and women to present the boys and men (partners, family, colleagues) with chocolates and not vice versa!
Ritual of Connection
Understanding your partner’s views on Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to develop a ‘ritual of connection’. These rituals are our unique ways of connecting. A tradition we can develop with our partner that we can rely on for respite in the busyness of life.
Check-in with your partner
Start by checking with your partner what Valentine’s Day means to them. Is it something to celebrate or to avoid? How might you celebrate in your unique way?
Ask plenty of open-ended questions to ensure you fully understand your partner’s stance. What kind of celebration would you like to enjoy? How about dinner at home? What would we cook? What would we drink? What’s our preference regarding gifts? A handmade card or a more traditional gift? Maybe you’ll celebrate by going for a run together or by taking couple photos. The options are endless.
Whatever you choose to do, check:
- How important is this as an opportunity to affirm your love for each other?
- What can you share with your partner that you cherish about them?
- How can you share it? E.g., writing, singing, poetry?
A relationship is more than one day
Maybe your partner doesn’t want to get involved with too much hoo-ha for Valentine’s Day and that’s okay. Using a gentle start up you can let them know it’s important to you and what you hope for on the day. Don’t forget to notice all the little ways your partner shows their love. Remember, a relationship is more than one day.
Are you considering if Couples Therapy is right for you?
You may want to consider undertaking a relationship health assessment. From here, we can work together to decide what is best for you and your partner to build and strengthen your relationship. Find out more here or contact us to ask a question or learn more.