11 Reasons Strong Couples Don't Need To Celebrate Valentine's Day
It’s a pretty arbitrary day, after all.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to go all out for Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re in a new relationship and everything feels fresh and exciting. But if you’ve been together for a while and your relationship is solid, V-Day doesn’t have to be a big deal. According to experts, strong couples don’t need a specific day of the year to validate their love and there are several good reasons why.
“Many of us, single or coupled, can feel a bit of dread about the day because we’ve decided that on an arbitrary day in miserable, cold February, we will all test the strength, validity, or happiness of our relationships,” Brooke Bralove, LCSW-C, psychotherapist and relationship expert, tells Bustle. “This is really absurd if you look at it through that lens. However, many have learned to put a lot of stock in Valentine’s Day in both how they behave and how their partner behaves — i.e. ‘He doesn’t know me at all since he bought me dark chocolate when I only eat milk chocolate. It’s confirmed: he doesn’t love me.’”
When surrounded by hearts, chocolates, and flowers, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. But as Bralove says, “Couples who are actually secure in their relationship express love, appreciation, and commitment regularly and spontaneously, and don’t need to prove anything. Their love can be celebrated on Feb. 13 or 15 just as easily as Valentine’s Day and without the pressure.”
After spending a long period of time loving someone, there are so many other things to celebrate than a calendar day that dictates how to demonstrate your feelings. But real love and unwavering commitment to another person should be celebrated far beyond a dozen roses and a pair of Cupid boxers. Here are all the reasons why strong couples don't need to celebrate Valentine's Day if they don’t feel the need to.
1. They Don’t Need To Flaunt Their Relationship Status
With TikTok and Instagram, some see Valentine’s Day as a way to flaunt their relationship status. Because of this, Feb. 14 can feel like a performative holiday where people compare their happiness to others, Bralove says. But when you’re part of a strong relationship, you may get to the point where you don’t need to show about your love from the rooftops. You and your partner both know that you’re doing well, so there’s no need to announce it online.
2. Spontaneous Affection Is Way More Fun
Many long-term couples like to surprise their significant other with gifts and love notes unexpectedly, which means Valentine’s Day doesn’t really feel necessary. A sticky note here, a love note there — these are the moments that are ultimately cherished and remembered, instead of a random Tuesday in February.
3. The Holiday Comes With Unfair Pressure
Since Valentine’s Day can put couples under a lot of pressure, you might decide to spare yourselves by skipping the holiday altogether. That way you won’t have to buy each other gifts or make dinner plans and risk getting it wrong. After all, “how many long-stem roses your partner gives you for Valentine’s Day has little to do with your commitment, level of intimacy, and overall satisfaction in your relationship,” Bralove says.
4. There Are Many Other Special Days To Celebrate Instead
If you want to celebrate a special occasion, you can celebrate the day you met, your first kiss, or when you finally both said “I love you.” These are the days that should be marked on the calendar and celebrated between the two of you. Strong couples know this, which is why Valentine's Day can feel like the least important love day on the list. It’s even more important to celebrate days that are unique to your relationship.
5. They Know Romantic Love Is Not The Only Important Love
Self-love is an important factor in romantic love. It’s why it’s recommended to learn how to love yourself before you try to love someone else. Strong couples understand how hard it is to practice self-love, and they value it above all else.
6. It's Just A Day Like Any Other
Strong couples probably wouldn't be bummed if they realized they missed Valentine's Day. “Doing something for your partner or celebrating your love for one another doesn’t need to be done on one specific day,” Maggie Drake, LMSW, a relationship expert with Cobb Psychotherapy, tells Bustle. “Strong couples commit to celebrating their love in big and little ways throughout the year, not just on one day that society has chosen for them.” In fact, the day can come and go and you might not even realize it.
7. Strong Couples Are Clear On What Valentine’s Day Means To Them
When you’re in a strong relationship, it feels easy to talk about what holidays mean to you, so chances are you’ve already discussed your feelings about Valentine’s Day. If not, set aside some time ahead of Valentine’s Day to explore what the holiday means. “If there is a strong desire to celebrate in a specific way, the partner should communicate that,” Bralove says. “Then, like most things, there can be a negotiation around the holiday and perhaps a greater understanding of why or why not Valentine’s Day is important.”
8. Sometimes It's More Fun To Boycott Societal Norms
Rebelling against something as superficial as Valentine's Day with your love by your side is romantic in its own way. For some couples, it’s their way of celebrating the day together. This is when you can have an anti-Valentine’s Day, invite friends over for a get-together, or go about your evening as usual.
9. Having A Valentine Shouldn’t Be A Goal
There are so many things in life that are more important than having a date on a specific day each year. Strong couples know the value of the truly important things, and know how lucky they are to have the things that matter. If you’re thriving as a couple, spending quality time together, and working to understand each other more every day, that’s really all you need.
10. It Detracts From Their Connection
“For some strong couples who value the love and connection they share, the emphasis on buying gifts can detract from the true meaning of the holiday,” says Dr. Lindsay Popilskis, a licensed psychologist with Pathways of Rockland County. If it feels silly to buy a card or a box of chocolates just because of the date on the calendar, that’s fine. According to Popilskis, forgoing the material side of things can make way for what’s truly important in your relationship.
11. They Know It Doesn’t Solidify A Relationship
To truly make a relationship work, you can’t just do nice things on a holiday. Strong couples know that a true connection takes work every single day, says John Carnesecchi, LCSW, CEAP, a psychotherapist and founder and Clinical Director of Gateway to Solutions. “Chocolates and flowers do not solidify the relationship,” he tells Bustle. “Love is work, it takes time and patience, and it can help in times of conflict and open the door to open communication.” It’s also something you have to constantly work for, and not just on V-Day.
Brooke Bralove, LCSW-C, psychotherapist and relationship expert
Maggie Drake, LMSW, relationship expert with Cobb Psychotherapy
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