Breaking Down Valentine’s Day

Another year, another Valentine’s Day.
While there’s no mistaking that giving a gift or spending extra time with your partner is never a bad thing, the materialism of Valentine’s Day has grown to pretty immense proportions, with some pretty real implications. If your gift is lighthearted, it could be seen as not being serious about the relationship. If you spend tons of money and time planning out a whole schedule for the holiday, it could be obscuring what really matters. The whole idea of Valentine’s Day is to show gratitude for your partner, not just to fill the standard requirement of buying a gift or making dinner reservations.
So, what makes the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Well, like so many other things, it depends. What makes your partner happy? If your goal is showing gratitude (and it should be), then start by thinking about the differences between yourself and your partner. Too often, couples that have been together for a decent amount of time start to see their passions and even identities merge together. In choosing a gift or activity for this day, think about what makes your partner tick and what separates their interests from your own. In choosing something that follows this line of thinking, your gratitude will be apparent as you are showing that you understand your partner and what makes them happy.
What you may not realize about giving the right gift on Valentine’s Day is that you benefit more than your partner. Obviously, it is not possible for you to directly experience how another person feels about you and your actions. However, your own feelings about your actions will be quite strong. When you’ve taken the time to show your partner that you care and have acted in a truly loving manner, your own feelings about your actions will be very positive, regardless of how the gift is received.
One of the good things about Valentine’s Day is that it is meant as a time to break from the normal routine, which is certainly a good thing for many couples. It’s common to fall into a routine of pursuing the same activities, going to the same restaurants, and other similar patterns. They’re comfortable and humans value activities that provide that level of regularity and comfort. What an event like Valentine’s Day does is encourage you to think of things outside of your normal routine and implement them, even if just for a single day.
With this in mind, there are definitely good things to be taken away from Valentine’s Day. First and foremost, a couple should use the holiday as an inspiration to break away from their regular routines more often and engage in the type of exploration that leads to new shared experiences and can deepen a person’s understanding of their partner. Second, the act of showing gratitude, whether in the form of a gift or with words, is something that has a place more often than just a single day of the year. Take what you learn on Valentine’s Day and implement it more often to see your relationship grow.

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