Even though Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the day of romance, not many days of the year can have such a negative impact on singles and couples alike.

If you are single, you might be dreading February 14th.  

The approaching day can heighten feelings of loneliness and trigger feelings of hopelessness and depression. 

If you are in the process of healing from a broken relationship, or from the loss of a partner, Valentine’s Day can be especially painful.

This day, of all days, needs some planning to cope as a single.

If you are really struggling, individual counselling can help.  

A registered professional counsellor can: 

  • help shift your thinking to a more positive outlook.
  • remind you that you are not alone. 
  • help you raise your self-esteem and self-worth.
  • refocus on the benefits of self validation and inner strength. 

If you are managing well, don’t stress over the day and plan something to do with your other single friends.  They will appreciate it as much as you will. For some great ideas check out this website. It is for kids, but the ideas are great.  Who wouldn’t have fun handing out Valentines?? 

Ironically,  if you are in a relationship, you might be dreading Valentine’s Day as well.  The truth is, it is a day that can suck for both couples and singles alike. 

 

Part of the reason is because Valentine’s Day is big business. According to the National Retail Federation, spending projections estimate Valentine’s Day sales will reach $27.4 billion in the US this year. 

Yes, that is billions!

 

The average spending per person is just shy of $200.00. That’s a lot of cash right after the holidays!

To break it down further, US shoppers are projected to spend $5.8 billion on jewelry, $4.3 billion on an evening out, $2.9 billion on clothing, $2.4 billion on candy, $2.3 billion on flowers, $2 billion on gift cards, and $1.3 billion on greeting cards. 

Respondents also report projected spending of 1.7 billion on Valentine’s gifts for pets.  – Not going to lie – I get that. 

The commercial competition to get YOUR dollars is fierce and the hyped up ads contribute to the pressure to spend more than you can afford.  This might lead to feelings of inadequacy and guilt when your income doesn’t match what you THINK you should be getting your partner. 

When did Valentine’s Day get so crazy?!! That is a LOT of pressure!  No wonder it can be such a dreaded “holiday”! 

If you are in a relationship, consider a few tips to avoid disappointment and a future couple’s counselling session or two. 

De-commercialize Valentine’s Day – Don’t get me wrong – if you are in a loving relationship and want to celebrate the day, go for it.  

What I am suggesting is that you ditch the hoopla, and have a discussion with your partner in advance about things you can do for each other that don’t involve the commercial aspects associated with the day.  

You may think that coming up with a surprise for your partner is the romantic way to go, but planning and executing a surprise can be very stressful. 

Not only that, anticipating or imagining what this “surprise” is, might be anxiety provoking for your partner as well and end up a disappointment anyway, resulting in a lose-lose situation. 

Making plans together will help you avoid stress, anxiety, and disappointment and give you an agreed upon something special to look forward to.  

If you need some ideas: 

  • prepare a favorite meal together
  • light some candles and relax together
  • go for a refreshing hike together 
  • give each other a relaxing massage 
  • have a good conversation about the future 
  • download the Gottman app (it’s free) and go through some of the cards together
  • hold hands 
  • cuddle on the sofa
  • watch a favorite movie

Important – When the day comes, put your technology away and truly spend some time with your partner!

These experiences can all add depth and connection to your relationship and will have bigger rewards in the long run than spending money you may not have at your disposal.