If Your Partner Hates Valentine's Day, But You Love It, Here's How To Talk About It
Whether you like cats and your boo like dogs, or you share food and bae guards their plate like a rabid hyena — there may be some disagreements in your otherwise rock-solid relationship. No matter how in love you are, it's totally common (and healthy) for couples to have their own opinions and preferences. Yet, if you wait all year for Feb. 14 to roll around and your partner hates Valentine's Day — like really freakin hates Valentine's Day — you may be confused as to what to do with all your red and pink decor, let alone all the heart candy you just impulse bought from CVS.
"You and your partner do not need to see holidays the same way but it is important to hear your partner's perspective," Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. "A little give and take on the part of both can go a long way."
You and bae don't have to agree all the time to make each other feel heard or respected. When it comes to celebrating Valentine's, if you're Feb. 14 festive, and your boo can't seem to get far enough away from V-Day, there are plenty of ways to meet in the middle.
Adjust your expectations.
It's hard not to day dream about giant floral arrangements and romantic dinners on Feb. 14. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with wanting presents, attention, or a big celebration. But if you know your boo isn't into the gifts and glam, or that large Valentine's Day celebrations make them uncomfortable, try to be realistic and compassionate with your expectations for your partner.
"If you know that Valentine's Day is not your partner's jam, adjust your expectations from them and consider celebrating your friends and family as Valentine's if they are more into it than your partner," Richardson says.
Spending the day clad in red, and eating conversation hearts with your friends that are equally Cupid-struck as you, could be a fun way to be festive, without being resentful that you're your boo isn't as into V-Day as you are. Having realistic expectations for your partner that's not into Valentine's Day can take some major pressure off of them.
Talk about it!
Of course, if a large celebration would make you feel special and supported, it's OK to be honest and open about your wants with your partner as well. Having an open dialogue before Feb. 14 rolls around about both your expectations for Valentine's Day can help make everyone feel heard.
"Being silent and expecting your partner to just know what you would like to do to celebrate, not getting it, and then being silently upset is not going to do anything good for your relationship," Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach tells Elite Daily. "Have a conversation about how you like to celebrate holidays and be open to what your partner's take is as well."
Being open about what you want can be instrumental in finding the best ways to celebrate all holidays with your boo, especially Valentine's Day. Expressing how you feel, and why this day means so much to you, may help them to understand how to best support you and show you that they care.
Ball out on a budget.
On Valentine's Day, it's easy to feel pressure to send tons of flowers, go to a super fancy restaurant, or otherwise spend a lot of money. Let's face it: Money can be stressful. Planning affordable or even free things to do on V-Day can recenter the holiday to focus on your love, and spend time with each other, rather than spending a bunch of money or making big plans.
"You don't have to go crazy and spend a boat load of money, you can make your partner feel special by planning special time with them and calling it the Valentine's celebration," Richardson says. "At worst, it is a reason to spend some quality time together."
Planning the day with intentional time to hangout, rather than exchanging expensive gifts or hitting up a trendy bar can make you and your boo feel more at ease with Feb. 14. Doing an activity or spending quality time together can provide the V-Day celebration you want, while still feeling like an average sweet date night to your partner.
Make your own traditions.
If your boo would rather die of 1,000 paper cuts than take a romantic horse and carriage ride or go to a fancy restaurant on Valentine's Day, think of celebrating with low-key things you both enjoy, or unique things you both like to do.
"Come up with a non-standard, not cheesy version of a celebration, Melamed says. "Think of a way to create an experience that makes the partner who is super into Valentine's Day feel special but that doesn't make the partner who is not into it feel like they are going against some beliefs about the holiday. Come up with ways to experience them that will make you both happy."
Play a sick game of laser tag or watch a bad horror movie from the 80s. Make your own traditions and your own rules about celebrating Valentine's Day, that make you both feel comfy and strong.
Valentine's Day is not for everyone, but healthy communication and honesty can be! If you've been looking forward to Feb. 14 all year and your partner is the Scrooge of Valentine's Day, think of new ways to celebrate together. Be honest with your wants and needs, but try to see where they're coming from, and establish healthy expectations for this day together. At the end of the day, all the candy you didn't buy will be on sale Feb. 15, and that's something we can all look forward to.