Is Your Relationship Ready for Valentines

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Is your relationship ready for Valentine’s Day?                                February 2, 2016

By Alison Dyck MA, RP, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and with it often comes increased expectations between couples. Hints may be given such as “Remember, I do love roses” or “that restaurant looks like a nice place for us to have dinner, alone, soon!” Sometimes, one partner will expect the other partner to mind read their expectations, “They should know what I wish and if they love me they will meet them”. Uh oh, that sounds like a recipe for post Valentine’s fight! Years ago, I taught a seminar on relationships in elementary and secondary schools. On the board I would write down what the guys said girls would want in a guy. Then I would write what the girls said guys wanted in a girl. The floor was then open for discussion, and the results were often quite revealing. Girls didn’t always want what the guys thought they wanted, and guys didn’t always want what the girls thought they wanted. So, I wonder how well you know your partner. Chances are, they may have changed somewhat over the years. Your partner may not realize you are even interested in Valentine’s. It might be something that was once celebrated and is now seen as a media driven opportunity for certain people to make money. Other people do view Valentine’s as a time to honestly remember someone they really care about. Clear communication may be helpful such as, “I would like us to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year” for a start. Perhaps then, get curious, “would you be interested in celebrating Valentine’s Day as well?” If they are not interested, perhaps then, there is time to reflect with thoughts of, “I wonder how it is you are not interested.” To automatically jump to the conclusion, “they are not interested therefore they do not love me” may be unjust to the other person. Perhaps, this Valentine’s Day, may become an opportunity to explore who your partner is, what they like and don’t like, what they value and honour. And so, may this Valentine’s Day become an opportunity of growth for your most precious relationship. I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!