The question you should be asking instead is, “What do I want out of Valentine’s day? I’ve been in exactly this situation on Valentine’s day and it sucks because February 14 is a pressure-cooker of expectations. First, don’t assume you have to go big or go traditional (Italian restaurant, wine, roses: wallet-buster). “So if you two are madly in love and fully committed, even after three months, you should spend a little more and get a more personal gift.
” It could be an opportunity to take your relationship to the next level by demonstrating your communication, attentiveness, and creativity. If you’re not invested, it means you’re acting from a place of anxiety, defensiveness, or over-compensation. But, if you’re more casual and haven’t made much of a commitment (if any), then go for something less extravagant and less personal.” For the lightly invested, this could include organizing a group outing, invite her, and pay for her drinks.
As dating and relationship coach Jonathan Bennett points out, “Valentine’s Day is still very important in current dating culture.
Even though it’s pretty much a Hallmark holiday (e.g., the Catholic church took the day off its liturgical calendar), many men and women feel great pressure to have a date or be in a relationship on February 14th.” That pressure can be especially intense if you’re dating or in a new relationship and don’t feel super comfortable or secure yet. In David’s case let’s assume the following: Instead of trying to find some mythical Goldilocks gesture (not too big but not too small), we’ve enlisted the help of relationship experts to help you side-step the issue altogether. “The best course of action is to look at the investment you’ve both made in the relationship and apply that to your Valentine’s Day gift choices,” says relationship coach Jonathan.
Take the capitalism out of it, he seems to be saying; simple, unaffected, and thoughtful are the way to go.
The experience you choose can range from very simple (cooking together with fresh, high-quality ingredients) to sporty (bike ride picnic lunch) to heartfelt (volunteering at a food bank or animal shelter) to splurge-y (find a Groupon for race car lessons or take a hot air balloon ride).
In war, as in dating, there are tactics and strategy.
Tactics are the means deployed to gain an objective. Strategy is planning, positioning, and decision-making that shape what tactics are used and when.
Today, it's easy to make dinner at someone's house or go to a local show.
Whatever the case, when Valentine’s becomes an excuse to do something novel and fun it’s no longer about the appropriateness of the gesture, but simply having a memorable, top-tier date night.
In closing, I offer David this sage advice (and possible bromide): If this person really likes you, you kinda can’t screw it up.
Even if the outcome is painful, you have the satisfaction of knowing you handled things with open, mature communication. If the sparks are flying, it may be difficult to choose a moment when you’re both sober, relaxed, and not having sex to open a dialogue. In today’s dating landscape, communication seems to have gotten a bad rap. Or are they more passive, signaling they want you to show leadership and suggest something?
This is especially true on holidays, when it can feel like the first indicator of a guy’s thoughtfulness is how well he reads his date’s mind. Sure, it feels like you should just know what to do for Valentine’s Day. If you can be attentive and read their signals at this high-pressure junction in your relationship, no matter what the specifics of your Valentine’s day are you’re going to come out ahead.