Few holidays rival the importance of Valentine’s Day for couples. Although some cynics discredit this holiday as nothing more than a marketing ploy created by greeting-card companies and chocolate manufacturers, the truth is that many women (and men!) can’t help but use this holiday as a way to gauge how successful their relationship is. No wonder couples feel so much pressure to make the holiday memorable!
If you want to survive the big day with your relationship intact, consider my Valentine’s Day Survival Guide.
Be your very own Cupid.
Too often people in relationships sit around and wait for magic and romance to happen all on their own. Many of us are especially guilty of this when Valentine’s Day rolls around. We want Cupid to materialize out of thin air and present us with a night of excitement and passion. Of course, if you sit around and wait for a half-naked mythical baby to bring fireworks to your bedroom, you are going to be waiting a very long time. Similarly, if you sit around and expect your partner to do all the work, you are going to be just as disappointed. Romance is a two-way street, so you have to put a little effort into a romantic Valentine’s Day. Rest assured, you will often find that the more romance you generate, the more romance you get back in return!
Push the Valentine's envelope.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be predictable. If you aren’t a candy-and-roses kind of girl, then you don’t have to have a candy-and-roses kind of day. Instead, think about interesting and fun activities that both you and your partner would enjoy, even if it’s a night of slasher films and pizza! Follow this same line of thought in the bedroom as well. If you don’t want to go the requisite pink-teddy route, throw your partner for a loop by dressing up in a completely racy and unpredictable costume, such as donning the uniform of his favorite superhero. Or forget clothes altogether and do something completely new and wild, like lubing up with liquid latex body paint and having a sexy wrestling match in your bedroom.
Combine the old and the new.
For many couples, Valentine’s Day is a holiday of traditions. It is a time for them to honor their unique rituals and blend them into their current lifestyle to create new memories. Indeed, the best Valentine’s Day activities are the ones that combine the old and the new, the ones that honor your past as a couple while infusing your present with excitement and passion. Perhaps you can return to the hotel where you first made love, or maybe you can rent the first movie you saw in the theater together. Find a way to celebrate your history as a couple, but make sure you also focus on the present as well so things don’t become too predictable.
For example, instead of eating at your usual restaurant, why not simply share a glass of wine there early in the night, and then head to a new hot spot for the actual meal? Again, make sure to follow this line of thought into the bedroom. Don’t just opt for your usual positions and foreplay routine. Enjoy your favorite moves, but make a point to switch things up, whether it’s by trying a new position you saw in the Kama Sutra or by taking things into the shower or into another room.
Keep your eyes on your own Valentine.
Valentine’s Day is often so rife with stress and tension because many couples can’t help but compare their own relationship to the relationships of those around them. For example, a woman might become angered when she sees her coworker receive a giant bouquet of pink lilies from her partner, or a man might become jealous when he hears a friend talking about the awesome new golf clubs his wife bought him. It is always dangerous to compare your relationship with other people’s relationships — but particularly on this day. Grand gestures might seem romantic and enviable, but it’s a good idea to remember that big gifts and public displays of affection are often used as a bandage for an otherwise troubled relationship. So, resist the urge to compare your relationship and the temptation to compete or “one-up” those around you. True romance need exist only between you and your partner alone, and it doesn’t matter who is there to see it.
Have fun with it.
Just as Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a cloying, cheesy affair, it also doesn’t have to be serious and dramatic. If dressing up for a candlelight dinner sounds like more pain than pleasure, then skip that and instead find out what works for you and your partner. Maybe you can get hands-on in the kitchen and cook your own V-day feast (it’s okay if you aren’t chefs, cooking with your partner can still be fun and sensual), or maybe you can do something fun and silly such as hitting up a local arcade or amusement park. Go back to the days when Valentine’s Day was a goofy, exciting time and you’d stay up late making a valentine for the cute boy in your fourth-grade class. Even better, break out the glitter and cardboard paper and make a homemade — and naughty — valentine for your partner. Bonus points if you slip in a sexy pic or a pair of panties to really take this grade-school activity to an R-rated level.
Don't break the piggy bank.
It’s okay if you are short on cash on V-day because romance easily lends itself to fun, inexpensive activities. Check your local paper for free events such as a jazz night in the park or wine tasting at a local restaurant. Or, grab a soft blanket, a mug of cocoa, and lie down with your partner and check out the stars (the prettiest — and cheapest — show in town). If the weather is frigid, you can hit the local ice-skating rink or you can make snow angels in the backyard. Later, you can warm up together with a hot bath and a bottle of wine. Romance isn’t just for the rich…in fact, you’ll probably have more fun enjoying these inexpensive activities than you would at a stuffy, five-star restaurant.
And, remember, when in doubt…just grab your partner and lead him to the bedroom!