How Your Valentine's Day Celebrations Change Over The Course Of Your Relationship

If you've been in a long-term relationship that has spanned more than one Valentine's Day, then I'm sure I don't need to tell you that how couples choose to celebrate the day of love is likely to change over the course of the relationship. But if you have yet to experience a Valentine's Day or two with someone, then you may wonder how Valentine's Day changes in a relationship.

When you're moving through life single, it's almost impossible to avoid mentally torturing yourself over all of the romance and fun it seems like everyone else is partaking in come Feb. 14. All of your paired-off friends are being lovey-dovey on social media, posting mementos of drool-worthy dinners and dazzling bling. But what most people don't realize until they're in a long-term relationship is that, for most couples, Valentine's Day festivities tend to evolve as the relationship progresses.

And while every person feels differently about Valentine's Day celebrations, their expectations when it comes to planning, and the execution of said plans, rest assured that there really is no wrong way to celebrate Valentine's Day with your bae. The most important thing is that both of you are happy with how you choose to observe the holiday as a couple.

1. Your First Valentine's Day

Depending on how long you have been dating before Valentine's Day rolls around, the first Valentine's Day spent with someone new is either going to be super stressful or super chill. If you're exclusive, then at this point in most relationships, both partners will definitely be under some pressure to figure out the best way to impress their new bae. And since you're probably still getting to know each other, this will definitely take some forethought and more than a bit of guess work. On the flip side, though, if you've been dating for less than two or three months and aren't yet exclusive, then a more casual — but still thoughtful — approach is usually totally appropriate.

2. Your Second Valentine's Day

If you manage to survive your first Valentine's Day, congrats! This pretty much guarantees that the second V-Day you spend together will be way less stressful. At this point, couples usually have a much better idea of what their partners' expectations are, and they're likely more communicative about it, too. And since you're no longer a "new" couple, you don't have to be coy about making plans. You can more easily gauge a fun Valentine's Day experience you both want to have, and plan it together.

3. Valentine's Day When You're Engaged

If you happen to spend a Valentine's Day as an engaged couple, first off, yay! But also, you probably don't have to expect much. (That is, unless you and/or your bae are serious about the holiday and both like to go all in full force.) But anyway, chances are that either you or your bae have already dropped some serious dough on an engagement ring and are now in the midst of planning one of the biggest events of your lives. Needless to say, this likely leaves very little energy and resources to worry about Valentine's Day. A night out at your favorite restaurant or a home-cooked meal are probably more than enough at this point.

4. All Subsequent Valentine's Days

Once you're married, how you choose to spend Valentine's Day will likely depend on how you and bae felt about previous Valentine's Days. If you're both hopeless romantics and see V-Day as an opportunity to keep the romance alive, then you'll probably continue going all out (and there's nothing wrong with that). Many married couples, however, choose to forgo the razzle-dazzle for the sake of practicality.

Valentine's Day celebrations are likely to vary from year to year in most relationships, so if you're worried that you and your bae of four years have lost the drive to woo each other, don't panic. The evolution of your celebrations is natural. But there's nothing wrong with letting your partner know in advance that you'd like to make V-Day more of an occasion or not.

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