Some of us look forward to February 14 as an opportunity to enjoy our partner’s company (along with possibly spice things up inside the bedroom). Others dread what they consider a commercialized holiday in which can put unrealistic pressure on their relationships.
With expectations like these, This particular’s easy to set ourselves up for disappointment. Fortunately, This particular’s possible to enjoy the day — along with night — without creating hurt feelings or breaking the bank.
“Valentine’s Day can serve as a reminder in which This particular’s so important to stop along with appreciate the closest relationships in your life,” couples expert along with sex therapist Ashley Grinonneau-Denton said. “To me, the holiday has always been a great reminder of the importance of love, attachment, affection along with closeness.
“The caveat is usually, however, in which if This particular special day stands in isolation, This particular will quickly become a distant memory along with will do very little for a couples’ relationship long-term.”
Here’s how to make the most of February 14, whether you’re coupled or single.
Make a plan
This particular may not seem so, although having a conversation about Valentine’s Day ahead of time can make the actual day much more romantic.
“Talk with your partner about what you’d like out of the holiday along with whether you feel Valentine’s Day is usually important to you,” sex therapist Sari Cooper said. “By beginning the conversation a week or so beforehand, you can co-create a celebration (or not) in which is usually a collaborative event, generating compromises for both partners’ desires along with creating a realistic plan to ensure both of you feel heard emotionally.”
along with remember in which the element of surprise isn’t the most important part of the day. “Don’t set your partner up to fail, along with don’t keep desires along with expectations to yourself,” advised Rachel Needle, a psychotherapist along with sex therapist. “Telling your partner ‘I could love to go to Pier 115 for dinner,’ for example, or ‘I could love sunflowers’ doesn’t make them bringing you flowers or taking you to the restaurant any less special.”
Surprise can be a Great thing. A little insight into your partner can go a long way by showing them you’ve listened to them. “Consider doing something your partner has told you inside the past they wanted to do: a picnic, a walk on the beach, a certain fresh restaurant,” Needle said. “This particular doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to be special, although rather This particular needs to be thoughtful.”
Spice things up
According to in which online survey, 55% of the participants indicated in which they were willing to try something fresh sexually on Valentine’s Day. Of course, what in which means for you along with your partner depends on your particular relationship. “One way to improve intimacy on This particular holiday is usually to take a different stance on things along with make This particular all about fun,” sex therapist Francie Stone said.
“You could put together a goodie basket of things like massage oil, a feather, a sexy dice game, a blindfold along with more. You can try them all or only the ones you truly like, or just use the fun to get started out along with leave the rest to your individual imaginations.” This particular helps make the night playful without necessarily the pressure of intercourse.
If you plan on having sex, try doing so before you go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, sex therapist Tammy Nelson said. “Lots of couples go out to dinner or cook a rich meal at home along with drink wine or cocktails to celebrate February 14,” she explained. “After a full meal along with drinks, This particular is usually less likely in which any sex — much less hot sex — will follow.”
Or consider taking sex off the table altogether. “There are so many nerve endings inside the lips in which are connected to the limbic system along with can help create the perfect foreplay for future intimacy encounters,” sexual health counselor Aleece Fosnight said. “A Great makeout session in which only leads to kissing can leave partners wanting more, creating more intensity for future intimate activities.”
If you’re single, Valentine’s Day can seem like a holiday for everyone else. although you don’t have to feel left out if you’re not in a romantic relationship. Instead, take the opportunity to practice a little self-love.
in which could mean indulging in a massage or a fresh sex toy, dining out with friends or even seeking out companionship. “If you’re single along with wouldn’t mind meeting someone although setting up a date on Valentine’s Day feels too staged, Meetup is usually a fantastic option,” sex therapist Holly Richmond said. “Hundreds of Meetup groups plan special events along with activities for Valentine’s Day, although they aren’t necessity geared toward singles coming together to meet additional singles.”
Whether you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day or ignore This particular, remember in which expressing love along with affection for your partner shouldn’t be limited to one special day. Take the pressure off the holiday by celebrating your relationship every day.
Ian Kerner is usually a licensed psychotherapist along with sexuality counselor in fresh York City.