The big American love holiday is right around the corner. If you believe it is all about marketing or you enjoy in the day to remind yourself of your affection for another person, it is really about the ritual. We are habitual by nature and we feel a sense of safety when we can look forward to something positive on a regular basis. Valentine’s day isn’t a negative or a positive, like most things it depends on what it means to you, as to where the emphasis comes from.
I will say this though, around this time of year I start having people talk about a desire for something romantic. Okay, I’m going to generalize here, but usually one person wants a special date and another is looking forward to sex. This too isn’t a positive or negative approach, it simply exists within a system of how people balance out within relationships.
So you have a holiday reminder of love and we approach it perhaps with different meaning and intention. What to do about this situation? As one might expect, as a therapist, I’m going to tell you to verbalize your emotions, thoughts, and desires on love rituals.
If you are a person that wants to go out and make an occasion out of Vday, then you should. If you are someone that wants your partner to make a big occasion about Vday, then you should tell them. If you are a person that hates the holiday and/or it makes you feel negative, then you should also mention that. The point here is not to assume that the other people you are dealing with (romantic or otherwise) share your same values.
We so often mind read and just want the other person to magically know what to do. Then when this doesnt’ happen, we are upset. Instead of playing this game, how about directly talking about why such a day like Valentine’s is meaningful or not to you? The people you are exploring this topic with do not have to agree or disagree, but they will begin to understand where you are coming from on the idea.
So for all of those that are single, within a coupled relationship, or are enjoy multiple partners, talk about your desires. Explore what it is about love rituals that matter to you and those that do not. This way everyone knows how to make the day, week, month, and year something to connect with and grow closer.