Celebrating special moments in a new relationship
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
If you don’t view February 14 as a corporate hallmark holiday—rather as a celebration of all things love-related—Valentine’s Day may be what you consider a big deal. Valentine’s Day is a day that you can show love and affection to your best friends, your family, and even your pets. Most commonly, however, it is perceived as a day to appreciate a romantic partner.
Yet what if you have only just recently entered into a relationship (monogamous or not) with someone? The beginning of a relationship is a time where people try to put their best foot forward, playing jump rope with a line between showing intimacy and not being overbearing.
Valentine’s Day (or any occasion where you could be expected to do something special) is a stressful ordeal. Perhaps having the right idea of what to do may come easily if you have known this person for an extended period of time, but if you’ve just started dating, this is often not the case. My advice for new couples would simply be to communicate. Do you or your partner even like this holiday? If you both answer no, don’t stress too much over it. If you do, perhaps discuss what you like about Valentine’s Day, or maybe even discuss what you like about dates in general. Do they like the traditional fancy date with flowers and chocolates? Is their idea of a nice evening curling up with pizza and beer while watching a marathon of Bojack Horseman?
It’s also important to assess where you and your partner emotionally are in this relationship. Maybe you both fell head over heels for each other overnight and a romantic hotel suite in Whistler seems like a perfect Valentine’s Day. However, if you are both still testing the waters and prefer something more light-hearted, then go for something simpler instead.
Yet what if you are both on different levels? If you feel very passionate about your partner, but they are taking longer to become emotionally invested, don’t force some grandiose celebration on them. It doesn’t mean that you can’t show that you care or that you have to be dishonest about how you feel, but consider that making a big deal out of a single day so early on may be overwhelming or downright scary for your partner. Perhaps you are on the other side of this equation, where you’re just wanting to take things slow and your partner lets you know that they absolutely adore you. Communicate early on and stand your ground so that they may not get ahead of themselves, or get any wrong ideas, but try to understand that what they do is because they care about you.
If your relationship stands the tests of the first several months, days like Valentine’s Day can serve as cherished early memories. Every relationship is unique, so do something that is unique to all parties involved. Don’t stress out too much about it though, because after all, it is just another day of the year.