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Advice from Dr. Stanwix – Hopeless Romantic

Advice from Dr. Stanwix – Hopeless Romantic
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Dear Dr. Stanwix,

Another Valentine’s Day is here and, just as on previous Valentine’s, my boyfriend has not gone out of his way to do anything special.  We’re probably going to either eat at home or at an unromantic location like a sports bar because he hasn’t bothered to make a reservation anywhere. I also doubt he has bothered to buy me flowers or candy.

Thankfully Valentine’s falls on a Saturday this year. I wouldn’t want my co-workers to see that once again my boyfriend was too cheap to send flowers to my office. It really is difficult to see all of the other women receiving gifts when I don’t.

He tells me that he doesn’t like Valentine’s Day because it was concocted by people who work in the greeting card and flower industries. I am simply not that cynical and would prefer to enjoy this day to celebrate our love for one another and our relationship.

What can I do to make him understand how important this day is to me?

Sincerely,

Hopeless Romantic

 

Dear Hopeless Romantic,

At the risk of sounding biased, I can’t help but agree with your boyfriend. This stems more from what seem to be your priorities than my desire to take sides in your quarrel. I think there are a few things you must consider about your difference of opinion regarding this day.

Just why is it so important that your love be celebrated on Valentine’s Day? There are 364 other days out of the year when you could celebrate your relationship.  It just doesn’t ring sincere if a person is emotionally blackmailed into celebrating a day that he/she doesn’t want to celebrate.

Another question to consider is, why is it so important that your colleagues see that you have received a Valentine’s gift? Do you want your boyfriend to buy you something merely so you can show it off to your co-workers? My view has always been that if you need to prove your love to anyone other than the person you love, there is a serious problem in the relationship.

The real question is, does your boyfriend treat you well on the other 364 days of the year? If not, then you certainly have an axe to grind with him. Romantic or not, you have every right to expect that your boyfriend will not take you or your relationship for granted. While your boyfriend may be cynical about Valentine’s Day, he certainly shouldn’t be cynical about your love for each other.

Relationships are strongest when we have the attitude that any or every day is special. An unexpected gift, a spur of the moment date, a spontaneous bout of love-making, a warm hug or a tender kiss. These are what keep our relationships alive.  If romance is prepackaged from Hallmark or forced on us by our significant other, then it does not have the same effect.

If your boyfriend doesn’t make you feel special at other points during the year, then you certainly have cause to be upset. Being the hopeless romantic, you should even consider whether you are right for one another.

However, this Valentine’s Day, why not give him a pass? If he isn’t pressured into anything, he may just surprise you with that dinner or flowers you never expected.

Best of luck,

Dr. Michael Stanwix

 

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