Valentines Day means many different things to people. For some it signifies the love they feel for their mate. Others (whether they have a mate or not) see Valentines Day as a sham by the retail industry to milk that day for all its worth. Some people avoid it like the plague, even to the point of not going to work that day. Some romantics have high expectations of their mate, even expecting them to top last year’s thoughtfulness. I hear this more from women than men. And from men I will hear the pressure they silently feel to meet the expectations of that day.
Any way you view it, Valentines Day stands out among most of the other holidays. And it often involves a pressure: Pressure to meet the expectations of the mate, or society, or even coworkers, as either the recipient or the giver.
How to Survive Valentines Day in any Situation:
- If you are in a relationship, it is good to discuss expectations of the holiday, much like Christmas. Make sure you are on the same page with one another. What does it mean to each of you? If it doesn’t mean the same to you, then what will make it better for both of you?
- If you and your mate experience financial restraints, you can discuss other ways of demonstrating your affection. Do the best you can in the situation. Some people will go for a picnic, or romantic drive.
- If it is truly a difficult day for you, filled with dread and pressures as a giver or receiver, think of what will make it easier for you: use it as a vacation or personal day from work. Or if alone and not wanting to go out, make it a movie night for you or with a friend.
- Some people, for whatever reason, decide not to celebrate Valentines Day at all. Do whatever feels right to each of you, or if you are not in a relationship, then it is especially important to do what feels better for you.
- Remember, it is just one day out of the year. Tomorrow will be just another day. And yes, it can feel obnoxious to walk into the workplace and view a sea of floral arrangements or stuffed animals spewed across the desks. Try to de-focus on that and focus on your work and getting through the day.
- Valentines Day can prompt pressure to meet expectations, to please, to be reminded of feeling alone, whether in a relationship or not. But we do not have to give in to those pressures and feelings. We can act proactively to counteract the pressures and relieve the feelings.