by Carin Goldstein
Let’s face it – Valentine’s Day is a lot of hype (thank you Hallmark). I’ve seen many women who report feeling very disappointed by the end of the day because certain expectations were never met.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy this annual festivity but making sure that you have realistic expectations of your loved one will definitely allow you to enjoy the day more.
That said, here are my 5 tips to a great Valentine’s Day:
1. Don’t make dinner reservations that night
That’s right, you read correctly. The restaurants will be crowded beyond because you’ll be dining with every couple on the face of the earth, and the pre-fixed menus will be jacked up to the sky. Instead, make it for the night before or the night after.
2. Remember who your husband is and set the standards from there
Unless you KNOW that your husband is a die-hard romantic and every year he enjoys going all out for you on Valentine’s day, then the two of you should have an agreement of what the frame is as far as celebrating Valentine’s Day.
For example, maybe you both agree to have a $50 limit on gift purchases for each other as there’s nothing worse than jumping through hoops to find your spouse the perfect lavish gift while the other receives a pair of socks. Or maybe you both decide on no gifts/just a card, and maybe even agree to write more than: Love, Bill.
By the way, if you have a wise-ass husband, probably a good idea to add to that “a 3 sentence minimum” so that “writing more” doesn’t result in Love ALWAYS, Bill.
3. Dump the Hollywood fantasy
Try to not get stuck in some magical thinking that St. Valentine is going to spread his magical love dust on you that day and that this is the day that your husband will finally express his undying love for you. It’s similar to couples stuck in a toxic marriage and think that having a baby is going be the magic pill (and we all know the answer to that: not happening).
Instead, be present with your husband or partner that day and engage in an activity with him. Remember that men are kinetic by nature, so if on V-day you want to feel close to him and vice-versa, go on a hike together.
4. Be realistic about sexy times
Just as mentioned in #3, the same thing goes for sex. If you feel like getting frisky and decide to go out and buy some hot lingerie to kick things up a notch, then all the more power to you! However, if sex has been pretty much non-existent, don’t think that Valentine’s Day is going to magically transform your sex life. The first thing that needs to happen is the CONNECTION between you two. Only then will you see a change in the sex.
5. Know that unconditional love does not exist (and that’s okay)
Remember the Beatles song, All You Need is Love? Here’s the deal: it doesn’t exist. When it comes to your marriage/relationship, the success of your connection with your partner is conditional! Your relationship is dependent on how well you BOTH own your part in the marriage.
So, if on February 13th you scream a “let me tell you all the things I hate about you” speech to your husband, do you think that on Valentine’s day he should unconditionally treat you like the sweetest little thing in the world? Um…I highly doubt it. It doesn’t work that way.
As an adult, things in life are conditional (which I truly hope you all are teaching to your children). I’m not saying that if you and your partner have a heated argument that you can’t still love each other…what I’m saying is that a satisfying relationship between two adults doesn’t just come out of thin air. Hence, it certainly won’t come out of thin air on Valentine’s Day if your relationship isn’t already a priority. Ladies, allow me to put it straight: if you want unconditional love…get a dog.
So that’s my top 5 tips to you. I hope you try them on for size and that each one helps you to enjoy a sweet and satisfying day of LOVE.
Carin Goldstein, MFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles and the creator/host of the popular video blog, BeTheSmartWife. Visit her blog to watch Carin give free video tips on how to improve your marriage and sign up for her monthly E-zine. You can also connect with Carin on Facebook at or on Twitter.