Ah, Valentine’s Day — the day of ~love~ and the day before one of the greatest chocolate sales of the year. Valentine’s Day can be a lot of things to a lot of different people, but even if you’re in a relationship with the someone you’re in love with, it can still be stressful. Do you do something big, or small? Stay in or go out? Give a nice gift or no gift at all? Honestly, the question of whether or not you should exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day can be tricky depending on the seriousness of your relationship, your financial statuses, and what you and bae decide you want to do. But the good news is, according to experts, it’s up to you and your partner to make up your own rules, which means you two get to do whatever the heck you want.
"I don’t think that people should be pressured to do grand gestures or spend a ton of money," Trina Leckie, Breakup BOOST podcast host, tells Elite Daily. "I feel that romantic ideas such as a handwritten love letter or a special surprise date that carries memories for the couple are the types of things that should represent a day like Valentine’s Day." However, that doesn’t mean you and bae can’t gift each other something special on V-Day. After all, it’s about you and your relationship, so do whatever you feel is best. The important thing is not to feel pressure to give your significant other something extravagant if you don’t want to or can’t afford to right now.
"Rituals and traditions are the emotional mortar of relationships," Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author of the new book Training Your Love Intuition tells Elite Daily. "When your partner forgets your birthday, you feel that your foundation has slipped. Happy and secure couples create and select their own rituals. Not all couples, for instance, make a big deal of Valentine’s Day. They might exchange cards or buy a special dessert — but they know to celebrate other key days such as their birthdays and anniversary."
The key here is, again, to make sure you and your partner are on the same page. "Discuss expectations before Valentine’s Day," Anita A. Chlipala, dating and relationships expert, tells Elite Daily. "You can also share why the day is important to you or why it isn’t, and if gifts are important or not." Just because your bestie and her bae are giving each other fancy jewelry or watches or expensive flowers, that doesn’t mean you and your partner have to follow suit. "Discussing the significance will help each partner understand the other better. Make compromises if you don’t see eye-to-eye. So if one partner would love to spend extravagantly but the other doesn’t care about Valentine’s Day, you can set a smaller budget that works for both partners," Chlipala adds.
Try to make sure that you and your partner are communicating, and don’t be afraid to be honest. Don’t tell them that you really couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day if you’re secretly hoping they can read your mind and magically know that you actually want a four-course meal and a new pair of earrings. Similarly, take your partner’s wishes into account. If they say they really don’t want a gift, assume that they’re being honest. Nothing sucks more than feeling like the person you love ignored your honest desires.
It’s up to you and your partner to decide what’s best for your relationship. However, if you decide not to exchange gifts, then matchmaking and dating expert Stef Safran says to "find a way to celebrate each other in a special way, even if it’s only in the bedroom." Do something special, even if it’s just hugging each other extra tight.
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