I read an interesting article the other day that proclaimed Valentine’s Day as the biggest break-up day of the year?!? Huh? Isn’t this the holiday designated to commemorate romance and love. I guess Hollywood, Hallmark and gender differences probably don’t help with the pressures and expectations imposed on this day that often send emotions running.
Some women, hoping for a commitment, are left analyzing what the heck a stuffed penguin signifies in relation to their future. I asked my friend what romantic gesture he did for his live-in girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. When he responded “nothing” my jaw dropped in surprise. And then admittedly, he revealed the bloodiness that transpired as a result of that misstep. Bottom line: assess the strength of your relationship on the other days of the year. Ladies: “in general”, men don’t view this Hallmark-created holiday the same way you do. Cut some slack on this one. Men: TRY to at least do something thoughtful, even small, that you may not normally do. Trust me, it will save you from a dreaded discussion and any necessary band-aids.
under Single Life
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the question becomes, “How do we as singles get through the day without letting it get the best of us?” I know for myself, I am going to spend the day with some of my single friends. We are going to have the ultimate girl day. Junk food, shopping and chick flicks.
I think this particular day tends to bring out the all-or-nothing thinking in most people. It is either you have someone special or you don’t. The way one approaches the day can make all of the difference. You can chose to become pessimistic and think about the fact there isn’t a special someone around, or you can think about the good aspects of being single and look towards the future with optimism. Having faith, in my opinion, is a very important way of looking at things. When the time is right that special someone will be there.
Dear Gems from Jen,
I’ve been dating a nice guy since October. One might think that by now I would know how to handle the upcoming Valentine’s Day in terms of the form a gift might take. However, he’s got a hard time accepting any compliments or any expression that translates to “you’re special.” Also, neither of us is into expensive gift giving. Typically, what’s the role of the woman for Valentine’s Day? I love giving to people, but in this case, I don’t know what to do.
Dear Valentine’s Day Gift-Giving,
I would be interested to know more about the difficult time this guy has accepting compliments. It sounds to me as if he has a difficult time validating how you truly feel about him. With this said, I can definitely empathize with your plight. I might be wrong, but it appears that you are walking on eggshells where this guy is concerned. If giving to people is your thing, why stop now? Part of being in a relationship is staying true to you. With that said, I don’t know if there really is a typical role for the woman when it comes to gift giving on Valentine’s Day. What do you want to give him? What makes the most sense to you? If he were able to accept your compliments what would you consider giving him? Ask yourself these questions and then make the decision. Gifts do not have to be expensive, but they should translate into how you are feeling towards the recipient. For instance, if he is into wine buy him his favorite bottle. If he enjoys basketball get him a couple of tickets. If he likes your cooking make him a homemade meal. Just remember, gift giving should be an enjoyable experience not one that causes anxiety.
Gems from Jen
under Date Night
If there was a challenge over who was the sappiest romantic, I might be up there with the best of them. I’m definitely a girlie girl. I cried without restraint as I watched The Notebook for the third time and I truly believe in happily ever after. Yet, regardless of whether I’m single or attached, having Hallmark dictate when I should be extra “romantic” does not sit well with me. I find it cliché and forced. Shouldn’t everyday be Valentine’s Day? Shouldn’t you aspire every day to make your significant other feel special? There is no real reason why flowers, chocolate and specials surprises should mean so much more on February 14th. I hate to be the Grinch who stole Valentine’s…but I think Hallmark and Godiva will survive regardless.
Dear Gems from Jen,
I was fixed up with an adorable guy who just lost his wife 6 months before. We date and sleep together but he constantly talks about his wife. For three Saturdays in a row, we didn’t go out. First Saturday, he had a family reunion, second Saturday, it was Valentine’s Day, which was a special holiday with his wife and the third Saturday, he said he had work to do for a play he was producing. Instead of allowing him to break up with me, I broke up with him in a message over the phone. I miss him – what should I do? Forget him or call him? We haven’t talked for 3 months.
Dear Still Mourning His Wife,
Mourning a loved one’s death is different for each person. There are no hard and fast rules; however, there are stages people tend to go through until they get to a place most commonly known as acceptance. The man you were involved with seems to have not yet reached the acceptance stage. Why do I say that? Let me explain. You acknowledged that he was constantly talking about his wife. He also was not able to spend Valentine’s Day with you because it was a day that was filled with memories of his late wife.
What is it you miss about him? If you knew this man was a widower, you believed he was going to break up with you, and the death of his wife occurred just months before you began dating him, what was it that you expected from this relationship? What would you like from him now, only a few months later?
It sounds to me as if you were competing with an ingrained memory. I question if he could be fully invested in a relationship with you, after such a brief and incomplete period of mourning. I wonder how he feels about being told you no longer were interested in dating him via a phone message. This man has lost his wife and has now had another relationship end without any choice or input from him, all in less than a year.
My best suggestion would be to move forward and leave him in the past. Find someone who is emotionally available and can become invested 100 percent in a relationship with you. Everyone has memories, but some are harder to let go of than others.
Gems from Jen