Valentine's Day comes with a boatload of expectations, but no built-in rituals. And as we all know, expectations can lead to disappointment, and no one wants to be disappointed on Valentine's Day (especially me).
So, to make this Valentine's Day the best possible, I designed a strategy to embrace it.
Understanding What Valentine's Day Is:
Valentine's Day is simply a Hallmark Holiday placeholder on LOVE. And it's up to YOU to figure out how best to claim it. How you choose to celebrate this "holiday" is grounded in your own personal style. That begs the question of your character -- as a lover and a partner.
Understanding What Kind of Partner You Are
After dialoguing with a few friends on the topic of how we celebrate V-Day, as we sipped our Chardonnay and nibbled a few pounds of dark chocolate, we came up with a little Valentine's Day quiz. We figured out that it all comes down to this basic question: What kind of partner are you? You might want to take this fun little quiz with your partner or with a group of your girlfriends.
- Are you the Giver? You love to plan little surprises for your partner. You make your own card, plan a special meal and orchestrate a memorable evening.
- Are you the Romantic? Do you initiate the romance? Planning the music, buying some new lingerie and planting little trinkets under the pillow.
- Are you the Receiver? You lay in wait -- hoping your partner remembers to make you the focus with a romantic evening of adoration and perhaps a gift.
- Are you the Cynic? You hate Hallmark Holidays and plan to continue along with your daily routine ignoring this manipulative revenue generating promotional day.
- Are you a Hedonist? There is no end to your love of gifts, chocolates, dancing and bubbly. Partying all night long with your partner is a gleeful indulgence.
- Are you a Control Freak? Do you need to know exactly what's going to happen ahead of time and need to start the planning process weeks ahead? Concern about not having a plan makes you anxious so you start peppering your partner with lists. You want to make sure there's something on the calendar.
I've designed a strategy to rein in my V-day expectations, which honors all of my attributes as a partner, including the (quite weighted) #6 "control freak" attribute. So, here's my DIY Valentine Plan (all the while knowing that if by some chance he comes up with his own -- I'll dump mine. After all, I am nothing if not flexible, and my plan is exhausting!)
- The Giver: Call/text my #1s and tell them I love and appreciate them (this could take awhile). Hug my dog and then take her on her favorite 5-mile run. Write a romantic poem to my husband, and give him something he can unwrap that shows him I love him (no idea yet what that is).
- The Romantic: Tell my husband to expect a text from me later in the day with a plan to meet me in a special location. I will have a plan in place as to where and when, but he'll be the last to know. Surprises are so romantic.
- The Receiver: This is where I get into trouble. I will set an intention for the day that whatever is offered will be embraced with the utmost gratitude. I will repeat this mantra throughout the day so I don't screw up. I will probably screw up anyway.
- The Cynic: This does not apply to me.
- The Hedonist: I will start the day right: breakfast will include a large piece of my favorite dark chocolate. Then, I will put a bottle of bubbly in the fridge, put together a special romantic playlist and candles will be on the ready.
- The Control Freak: I wrote this DIY V-Day Plan to ensure my own happiness. I think I got this one covered.