Valentine’s is tough
by Dustin Woods
February is here again and along with the bitter cold temperatures we get to look forward to a holiday meant to warm the heart: Valentine’s Day. I don't think there is another holiday that is as loved and hated so simultaneously. Expectations are high for Valentine’s Day and for those without a significant other those expectations are already unobtainable.
For those naturally romantic people Valentine’s Day is a day to hit even higher levels of outward representations of love. However, for those of us who are not naturally romantic but are in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is a stressful time trying to live up to heightened societal influences on our partners' expectations that we already find difficult to achieve on any regular day of the year.
Then there are those poor souls who are not naturally romantic, have partners who are natural romantics and have been in their relationship for more than a couple of years. Not only do they have someone giving them an awesome present but they also have probably already gone through a few of their own great gift ideas and may be beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
For those people who aren't naturally romantic and don't come up with awesome gift or date ideas on the drop of a dime, I sympathize with you for I am you. This Valentine’s is my third with my boyfriend and I used up all my romantic prowess on the Christmas gift I bought him last August. This gift was the pinnacle of the romantic gift. It was jewelry, it had special meaning that brought memories of a past experience we shared and it was creative.
We are both nerds and I like going to see meteor showers so in the past I have made entire dates of going out and watching the shooting stars while cuddled up on an air mattress in the middle of nowhere. So, when I found a necklace made from a meteorite I knew I had the best romantic and thoughtful present I could think of. And that is my problem now, Christmas is behind us and Valentine’s is fast approaching and I've already spent all my romantic creativity on literally giving the stars to my man.
“What about the staple Valentine’s presents?” you ask yourself. Flowers, candy, dinner dates and jewelry are all great gift ideas 364 days out of the year. But for Valentine’s Day the expectation seems to be that thoughtfulness is key and even those great presents should have an added touch to them. For those of you who are lucky enough to have a partner who enjoys those staples, half of your task is already complete. Pick one of those and jazz it up with something they've shown interest in.
However, my boyfriend doesn't enjoy flowers unless you picked them yourself and February isn't the proper season for that activity. He also doesn't eat candy or normally wear jewelry. These things may be options for many, and if you can get one of the staples for your partner and remember to make it somehow thoughtful as well, there are usually bonus points for thoughtfulness.
If flowers are your Valentine’s gift of choice don't forget to make sure it’s a species your partner enjoys. Roses are great and they are the true staple but knowing that your partner loves calla lilies and getting them some might be the difference between a good gift and a great one.
Also, don't forget that vases are important and spending the effort to find a special one to go with the species of flower your partner enjoys most means that you spent the time to consider your partner’s interests beyond just going through the motions and buying some flowers. Even if it is the thought that counts, the added effort gets the glory.
This year to get a present that shows how much you love your partner, give them something that shows how much you thought about them when coming up with the idea for the gift. Show them that they are always on your mind in some way or another and having those thoughts are the highlight of your life. Show them that they are the ones you can't get off your mind, especially since you've already been fretting about what to get them for Valentine’s Day.
Not as easy as it sounds? Well, start early if you are like me because I'm still drawing a blank. But the goal sure is grand.
Copyright 2017 The Gayly – February 11, 2017 @ 10:35 a.m.