Pressure on Valentine’s Day?

If you are in a relationship, do you feel pressured to make special occasions “perfect” for your significant other?

I was reading something recently about the anxiety some men feel on Valentine’s Day. They know their wife or girlfriend has really high expectations and are worried they won’t get the day “just right” for her. I asked my husband if he felt that way. He said he felt some pressure the first Valentine’s Day we spent together, because we’d only been dating since November and he wasn’t sure what I expected.

I remember that first Valentine’s Day, of course. He offered to make dinner for me at my new apartment. I said that would be nice and suggested he make a pizza and bring over some beer. Yeah, I’ve always had pretty refined tastes ;).

I found some pictures from that first V-Day S and I spent together, back in 2000. They aren’t the greatest because they are scanned from prints I’m pretty sure were taken with a disposable camera! But it’s fun to look back and remember the cute balloons, bear, and roses he brought me.

Valentine's Day balloons 2_2000

Valentine's Day flowers and bear 2000

And of course the meal he prepared!

Valentine's Day pizza 1 2000

And here I am, looking rather young and quite pleased with my slices of pizza and can of beer. I can’t fool myself into thinking I still look that young (alas!) but I like to think I still look that happy :).

Liz 2.1 Valentine's Day 2000

I find it interesting that in the beginning of a relationship, every little thing a man does for you can seem like such a big deal, but then, over time, you can start to take things for granted. It’s just human nature. But that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. It’s always good to remember how lucky we are to have special people in our lives, whether they be spouses, SO’s, friends, or relatives, and it’s also good to remember that we don’t need to give each other fancy presents to prove we care about one another.

As for my husband, he assured me that nowadays when it comes to holidays, he “doesn’t sweat it.” Ha, ha! He said it helps that I’m easy to please, and that we haven’t exchanged gifts on Valentine’s Day for years now, anyway. We just exchange cards and look for a way to spend time and have fun together (and he does still get me flowers). We usually do not even go out on the actual holiday, as every place is packed and neither of us loves crowds. This year we plan on picking up some takeout (Pad Thai, perhaps?) and eating it here at home. I’m also making these skinny red velvet cinnamon rolls tonight, so we can have them for breakfast tomorrow. I’m excited about them and really hope they turn out!!

I hope you have a pressure-free Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Whoever you decide to spend it with, I hope you will thoroughly enjoy that person’s company and take the opportunity to try and let them know they are loved; that is the quickest route to happiness, anyway, is by making someone else smile!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Elizabeth

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