Surviving Valentine’s Day – A Guide for the Reluctant

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Let’s face it, not everyone eagerly anticipates February 14th.  Whether it is because you are single, unhappy in your relationship, or just don’t like being told when you should be romantic, Valentine’s Day is often the scourge of peoples’ calendars.  Instead of wishing your February days away or risk disappointing a partner, think about how to make Valentine’s Day work for you.  If there are Valentine’s Day cards for grandchildren or pets, it is pretty safe to say that that the day is yours to define.  Take the day and make it into something fun, creative, or indulgent.

If you are in a couple, consider:

  • Going dancing. Local venues offer everything from swing to salsa.
  • Baking together, and don’t forget the icing!
  • Taking a painting class. New sites are opening up where you can drink wine and paint together.
  • Sleeping naked.
  • Staying at a Bed and Breakfast.
  • Reading to each other. Short stories.  Erotic stories.    Or, tell each other a story about life together in the future.
  • Going Bowling. Wear matching shirts to add some humor.

If you are single, consider:

  • Eating at the bar of your favorite restaurant.
  • Buying your best friend flowers or handing a bouquet to a senior citizen.
  • Painting your bedroom a new color.
  • Binge watching the series you meant to catch up on.
  • Writing a letter to your future lover to summon them into your life. Maybe next Valentine’s it will be your card to them.
  • Signing up for online dating or Meetups.
  • Taking a group class in dancing, cooking, music, yoga, art, etc.
  • Perusing com. Nothing says unconditional love like a wagging tail or a purr.

If you are in a relationship that is having difficulty, consider:

  • Talking to your partner about what their expectations are for Valentine’s Day. You might not be the only one who wants to take a pass on the day.  On the other hand, you might be surprised about what your partner is thinking.
  • Looking at the ideas above and see if you can bring something new to the day.
  • Talking to each other. Talk about your feelings, your dreams, and your wishes.
  • Writing a list of all things that you made you fall in love initially.
  • Compose a story of how you first met in words, illustrations, or collage.

Like any other day, Valentine’s Day is another day on the calendar.  However, if you use it to make your life more meaningful, to mark your love for those you share your life with, or to share the tender thoughts too often keep to yourself, then the day becomes your day of celebration and not Hallmark’s.  So, use your imagination and learn to have a Happy Valentine’s Day, there’s another one coming next year!

Leslie Fabian, LCSW-R, MSW Couples Counseling and Individual Psychotherapy

Lighthouse Retreat and Wellness Center, Croton on Hudson (914) 589-7188,, & FB: Leslie Fabian, LCSW-R