Valentine's Day

 Photo by sunemotion/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by sunemotion/iStock / Getty Images

Valentine's Day. The Hallmark Company, Godiva, Victoria's Secret and 1-800-FLOWERS want you to believe that this is the most romantic day all year! Sexy lingerie will guarantee a hot night with your significant other (S.O.). A dozen long stem roses will assure him that he is out of the dog house...at least for awhile. That $8 papyrus card and $40 box of Godiva will let her know how much you love her. Can I let you in on a little (not-so-secret) secret? This is all B.S. Valentine's Day, although well-intentioned, ends up being a day about bribery and point-keeping. The real focus of the day, LOVE, gets totally lost in all of the pressure, unmet desires and let downs. Statistically speaking, couples are more likely to end up in a fight  than getting hot and heavy under the sheets. But Valentine's Day doesn't have to be a total wash. Valentine's Day can be amazing. Here's how:

  • Take The Focus Off Of Sex: 

We have all seen the movies. Woman walks into her apartment, dimly lit, with a trail of rose petals leading to the bedroom..... Bam! Hot, heavy, kinky, passionate sex. That's great in a movie, but it isn't realistic for many people out there. Many of us force ourselves to have sex on the V-Day, because that's what we're supposed to do, not because we actually want to. Instead, make a commitment to work on improving sexual connection and increasing intimacy throughout the year- not just on one day. Instead of assuming that sex is going to be part of the evening why not just focus on pleasure? Eat a yummy meal. Feed each other some of those chocolates. Exchange massages. Make Out! Moving the focus to pleasure instead of sex allows both of you to feel good (who doesn't want that???) and it eliminates the expectations.

  • Focus On Giving... Not Receiving

This can be a very hard thing for many people. "Why should I go out of my way and do something nice for my S.O. if I am not going to get anything (sex, a gift, appreciation) out of it?" The short answer is: Because you love them. And you want to show them that you love them. But remember, don't just go with the generic teddy bear and chocolate routine. Tell your S.O. that you love them in their language. If she likes music, take her to a show. If he loves his car, take it to get detailed for him. If they have a favorite restaurant, treat them to a night out. Show them that you actually thought about them this V-Day.

  • Eliminate The Pressure

"I have to get a card/ flowers/ lingerie/ go out to a fancy dinner/ be super romantic/ have great sex/ etc". That's a lot to jam into one little Tuesday! Try having a conversation with your partner about what you want on Valentine's Day. Maybe you both decide to have sex the day before so the pressure isn't so heavy. Maybe, instead of gifts you exchange letters of appreciation to one another. Get creative and do something that both of you are interested in doing. Also, make it a team effort. Don't expect your partner to do all the work!

  • Don't Just Celebrate Love on February 14th

know, this is a little redundant, but this is the most important thing! I think Valentine's Day can be a great reminder to set an intention for love and gratitude in your relationship. But don't let it be the only time that you express your love to your partner. It isn't feasible to expect everyday to be this passionate romance. I know this. You know this. But waking up each day and asking yourself, "what can I do for my (girlfriend/ boyfriend/ husband/ wife/ etc.) To make their day a little bit better?" A simple gesture that shows how much you care and love them. This is the point of Valentine's Day!