To Have a Great Valentine’s Day, Do This One Thing (2024)

To Have a Great Valentine’s Day, Do This One Thing (1)

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Valentine’s Day, like many holidays, is emotionally loaded. Very few people don’t have an opinion about Valentine’s Day. Some love and cherish it, seeing it as an opportunity to spoil their partner or themselves; others hate and avoid it, viewing it as a day riddled with unrealistic expectations or as a painful reminder that they’re single. Any and all feelings about this day are understandable. This post is for people who are in a relationship and generally like Valentine’s Day.

Even those who look forward to February 14 are prone to sadness when the day arrives. As wonderful as celebrating our relationships is in theory, in practice it can be difficult to do.

One reason is because we may set unfairly high expectations for what Valentine’s Day should entail. This has only gotten worse with the advent of social media, where we can see influencers casually posting their idyllic day with heart emojis: Breakfast in bed? A surprise horseback ride on the beach? A private chef cooking a romantic meal for two? I mean, who doesn’t celebrate that way?

Here’s What to Do

Sit down by yourself and take a deep breath. Think about the person you love and the times when you feel closest and most connected to them. Write down those moments—where you are, what you’re doing, how you’re treating each other. Now think of how you can have these moments during Valentine's Day. Maybe it’s a bunch of small moments you can string together, or maybe it’s a bigger moment you make time for. Aim for feeling connected and close instead of an activity that looks romantic or meets societal expectations for what a couple “should” do on Valentine’s Day.

Do you love cooking dinner together while dancing to your favorite music? Do you feel most connected when you're out walking the dog, undistracted by unfinished tasks at home? Are you happiest when you're snuggled up on the sofa together, indulging in a favorite episode or quietly reading side by side? Or, do you feel closest when you're dressed up at a restaurant? Don't think about what you "should" do (chocolates, red roses, etc.) or what looks good on social media; think about what makes you feel happiest and most connected with your loved one.

Sitting down to write down these moments and intentionally plan a day of connection is important. Relationships require work and effort, and being willing to invest in those things is incredibly romantic. It shows your commitment and love. Remember: This should be empowering; you have a say in how your Valentine’s Day unfolds. Don’t leave it up to your partner, hoping they read your mind or surprise you with something you didn’t even know you wanted. That’s too much pressure and you might end up disappointed. You are half of your relationship, and if you want to have a great day with your partner, you have a lot of power to make that happen.

To Have a Great Valentine’s Day, Do This One Thing (2)

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Remember That Love Happens Every Day

Celebrating love is a daily occurrence. We can’t load up one day with romance and expect our relationship to thrive the rest of the year. Love is built on many small moments that seem insignificant but aren’t. It’s not the long-stemmed red roses; it’s when your partner puts their phone down as you start talking about your day. It’s coming home stressed about all the dishes in the sink, only to find you’re your partner already took care of them. It’s a long, cuddly hug before you walk out the door.

So, as we should do every year, let’s lower the expectations on Valentine’s Day. It’s a lovely winter day to take a moment to cherish the people you love, and it doesn’t have to be a romantic comedy.

The Key to Happy Relationships

Decades of research by the Gottman Institute reveal that happy, long-lasting couples "turn toward" each other when one partner makes a "bid" for connection (Gottman & Silver, 2015). A bid is any attempt at connection, affirmation, or attention. It can be an attempt to find physical connection through a hug, start a conversation, or even just share a moment together.

THE BASICS

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Couples that stay together pay attention when their partners reach out. Happy couples put their phones down when one partner starts speaking; they listen and respond to even seemingly trivial comments ("Did you see that huge bird fly by just now?"); and they generally lean into any opportunity to connect and show love.

It's worth noting that research has not found that relationships require frequent, large, Instagram-worthy romantic gestures. Those romantic efforts are lovely, but they are not what makes a strong, long-lasting, happy relationship. Rather, the strongest relationships prioritize continuous investment in emotional connection.

Relationships Essential Reads

Debunking "The Five Love Languages"?

The Benefits of Long-Term Intimate Connections

Bonus Tip: Don’t Post

This will be controversial, I know, but try not posting your Valentine’s Day plans. Have a beautiful dinner without snapping pictures of your plate, or go for a hike together without posting a story from the summit. It’s wonderful to let the world know that you’re happy, but doing so doesn’t boost your relationship. Valentine’s Day is about your love for each other, not what your friends and family (and strangers) think about your relationship.

References

Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (2015). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work : A Practical Guide From the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert: Vol. [Second edition]. Harmony.

To Have a Great Valentine’s Day, Do This One Thing (2024)

FAQs

To Have a Great Valentine’s Day, Do This One Thing? ›

Sit down by yourself and take a deep breath. Think about the person you love and the times when you feel closest and most connected to them. Write down those moments—where you are, what you're doing, how you're treating each other. Now think of how you can have these moments during Valentine's Day.

What is the best message for Valentine's Day? ›

Valentine's Day Wishes for Partners
  • I love celebrating us! ...
  • You've filled my life with so much light and love. ...
  • I couldn't have picked a better person to give my heart to. ...
  • Especially today, I hope you feel how much I love you and how grateful I am to have you in my life.
  • Your kindness, your strength, the way you love me…
Feb 12, 2024

What is a good Valentine's quote? ›

Valentine, you take my breath away, every single day. It's just one day in the year, but you should know that I love you every day and every moment. The more time we spend together, the more we fall in love with each other. Happy Valentine's Day!

How to have a good Valentine's Day? ›

Unique Valentine's Day Ideas for Couples
  1. Take a Pottery Class. In lieu of spending money on gifts this year, put those funds toward a couple's pottery class. ...
  2. Get Dreamy at the Planetarium. ...
  3. Plan a Romantic Getaway. ...
  4. Go to a Concert. ...
  5. Book a Cooking Class. ...
  6. Buy Museum Passes. ...
  7. Head to the Movies. ...
  8. Explore Your Hometown.

What is the most common phrase used on Valentine Day? ›

  • I love you. (e)
  • You mean so much to me. (s)
  • Will you be my Valentine? (s)
  • You're so beautiful. (s)
  • I think of you as more than a friend. (s)
  • A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you. (s)
  • Love is just love. It can never be explained. (s)
  • You're so handsome. (s)

What are inspiring words for Valentine's Day? ›

Inspirational Valentine's Day Quotes
  • "Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever." — Audre Lorde.
  • "Love is when the desire to be desired takes you so badly that you feel you could die of it." — Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
  • "One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love." — Sophocles.
Jan 11, 2023

What is a small sentence for Valentine? ›

I love you so much. You're a kid after my own heart — totally sweet and completely unique! You make me laugh and smile every day. I love you!

What is a good verse for Valentine's Day? ›

1 Corinthians 13:4-8: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

What is a friendly quote for Valentine's Day? ›

Friends are medicine for a wounded heart, and vitamins for a hopeful soul.

How do you make someone feel special on Valentine's Day? ›

8 Ways to Make a Friend Feel Special on Valentine's Day
  1. Say it in words. ...
  2. Remind her visually. ...
  3. Give her the gift of time. ...
  4. Plan a getaway or trip together. ...
  5. Weave her into the fabric of your life. ...
  6. Do something together.
Feb 14, 2012

What is the best thing for Valentine's Day? ›

Best Valentine's Day Flowers

Everyone loves getting a big bouquet of flowers as a gift. We found 25 (non-bodega) options, including a classic rose-forward bouquet, a box of blooms that supports local growers, and a candy-pink potted anthurium that won't start wilting on February 15.

What is a cute saying for Valentine's Day? ›

Life is better when we're going through it together. Love you today, tomorrow and forever. Hugs, kisses and Valentine wishes. You may hold my hand for a while, but you hold my heart forever.

What are 3 Valentine quotes? ›

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY QUOTES
  • “I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul” – Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
  • "I don't want to live—I want to love first, and live incidentally." — Zelda Fitzgerald.
  • "I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you." — Paulo Coelho.

What is a good word for Valentine? ›

SWEETHEART
  • mistress.
  • ladylove.
  • lady friend.
  • inamorata.
  • sweetheart.
  • love.
  • beloved.
  • true love.

What is a simple sentence for Valentine's Day? ›

Happy Valentine's Day! I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate you so much! Valentine's Day is all about love, so I'm sending some of mine to you. Valentine's Day is as good a time as any to remind my best friend of how much I love [her/him].

What is Valentine's Day in simple words? ›

What is Valentine's Day? St Valentine's Day is an annual festival to celebrate romantic love, friendship and admiration. Every year on 14 February people celebrate this day by sending messages of love and affection to partners, family and friends.

How do you wish a Valentine on text? ›

I love you to the moon and back. Wishing you a lovely Valentine's Day my sweetheart! On this Valentine's Day, I want to remind you how much you are loved and appreciated. You bring so much happiness into my life.

References

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