The Scottish and I had been dating about three months when our first Valentine’s Day came around.  We sat down to talk about the upcoming holiday of flowers, hearts, candy, and gifts.  I told The Scottish that I thought Valentine’s Day was a stupid Hallmark holiday and that we shouldn’t celebrate it.  I even told him not to get me anything.  He agreed and it was decided there would be no celebration of any kind besides possibly going out to dinner.

Well when February 14th rolled around imagine my surprise when The Scottish didn’t get me anything!!!  Seriously, I was shocked.  The nerve of him!  Sure, I had told him I didn’t want anything but how come he didn’t surprise me with something fun?!?  Didn’t I deserve a surprise box of candy or bouquet of roses for being such a cool girlfriend and “letting him off the hook” on this ridiculous holiday?!?  Apparently not.  He got upset because I said one thing and then I expected another.  Humph.  To be completely honest, I had fully convinced myself I didn’t care about getting a present but when Valentine’s Day actually showed its red and pink face, I suddenly felt otherwise.

image via someecard

image via someecard

This is an example of what NOT TO DO.  Tell me I’m not the only one who’s done something like that!  And if you can’t relate to my shenanigans, well then aren’t you just super special and straightforward? 🙂

I learned a lot about myself that first Valentine’s Day.  I still think it’s a dumb holiday but now I know that I want my husband to treat me special even if it’s forced upon him by obnoxious advertising and years of tradition.  The Scottish is a busy man, and he doesn’t have time to be imaginative with random surprises throughout the year so when Valentine’s Day comes around it’s a good idea if he takes advantage of it.  Last year we weren’t able to be together on February 14th due to my last dress fitting before the wedding so he sent flowers to my parent’s house.

Valentine's Day 2013

Valentine’s Day 2013

In the same vein, The Mother told me something that has stuck with me.  She advises The Father to remember special events in their relationship and to celebrate them so their children get to see their parents happy and romantic even after decades of marriage.  It’s a good message to send about remembering to treat your spouse special even when life and everyday redundancy get in the way.

I also want to point out that I do NOT think gits and surprises should be a one-way street in a relationship.  I try to plan special things for The Scottish randomly throughout the year because surprising him and making him happy gives me a lot of joy.  Over the years I’d done quite a few fun things that have had nothing to do with his birthday or a holiday; I’ve framed his favorite Chicago skyline photo as a surprise, taken boudoir photos for him, had his favorite wedding photo of ours made into canvas artwork, booked us massages, and bought him things ranging from smoothies to video games to clothing.  Not too shabby!

The dilemma is this, how do you maintain an independent, feminist stance on such a stupid holiday when you secretly enjoy when your sweetheart buys you flowers or takes you out to a fancy dinner?

image via someecard

image via someecard

The answer is different for every couple.  And the key to making it a happy holiday is communication.  Talk about it!  Tell your partner what you expect, don’t make them guess, and don’t confuse them like I did years ago!

I have communicated to The Scottish that there are three times per year where I would really appreciate some extra love and attention.  My birthday, our anniversary, and Valentine’s Day.  Everything else is up for change or being ignored, including Christmas, our dating anniversary, our engagiversary, and others like Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.

But your list may be completely different from mine.  Maybe you two go crazy planning a getaway every 4th of July because that’s when you had your first kiss.  Or maybe you both shop for months before Christmas each year to top last year’s gift because creative and unique gifting is a fun hobby you both share.  Whatever is important to you, just make sure it’s discussed ahead of time.  No one is good at guessing!

Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day with your partner?  Your BFF?  Your kids or family?  What holidays are the most important in your relationship?

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6 Responses to “The Valentine’s Day Dilemma”

  1. Chelsea

    We started dating on February 10th and by the 14th, we still were trying to keep it pretty casual, so he made dinner (baked mac and cheese) and we watched ‘Casablanca’, which I’d mentioned having never seen at that point. We repeat that (although we switch up the movie) every year to this day, even as a married couple. The four-day-stretch of that and our dating-anniversary are still pretty important to us both, just because there are so many nice memories attached.

  2. Erin

    Oh this is so me. I really despise the holiday, yet I still want (expect?) something. Last year, I got the hubs an expensive-ish bottle of beer and he got me a box of chocolates that contained 3 chocolates (ok by me-I eat candy slowly and don’t need a lot). But, the problem came a couple of weeks later when he ate my LAST chocolate WITHOUT asking me! Oh that struck a nerve-it was my gift after all! We got into a fight about it and I pretty much complained to him about his crappy gift. He showed up the next night with flowers and a bottle of wine! We’ll see how this year goes…

    • Stephanie

      three chocolates?!!? That wouldn’t be enough for me, haha! And he ate the last one? Terrible. 🙂 At least he tried again the next night. I’m rooting for him this year!!

  3. Kellis

    I get flowers delivered on my birthday and valentines day. I LOVE IT. Coincidentally enough, I just told my fiance that he was “off the hook” for flowers this year because we’re saving for our wedding and we have to start back on the Long Distance soon, and he scoffed at me. I loved it.


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