Week #125 – Valentine’s Day is February 14th! (Read this before buying that expensive gift!)

Valentine’s Day is February 14th!

Week #125 – Valentine’s Day is February 14th!  (Read this before buying that expensive gift!)

February has just arrived — and I wanted to take a moment for a little public service announcement to remind those of you who will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year:

PLAN AHEAD!

But before you pull out the credit card to buy that expensive gift — or pick up the phone to make a dinner reservation for 7:30p — take a moment to think about what the Valentine in your life REALLY wants.

I took an informal poll this week — and asked people:
What is it that you REALLY want for Valentine’s Day — but are afraid to ask for?

The answers may or may not be surprising — but one thing is for sure: most of them are not purchased at a mall or served in an overbooked restaurant.

Next to Mother’s Day — Valentine’s Day is one of the MOST stressful days of the year in restaurants.  It is NOT a good day to make last minute plans or “figure it out” as you head out the door.  It is also not a day to expect fast service so you can get home to your babysitter by 9pm.  If the love of your life LOVES to dine out — then by all means make your reservations now, preferably for BEFORE or AFTER the rush!  (But if you are an experienced diner, you already know this and have probably done it already!)

If not, take heart — and listen to what REAL PEOPLE told me they REALLY want for Valentine’s Day:

For Starters
– Words of Affirmation: 
the reality is, most people I asked did NOT respond with a request for a gift or money spent.  They wanted to hear good words from their partners.  You can start the day with a note, a card, or even a text (but don’t follow it up with a request!).
– Affection: from young to old, many people (women particularly), want some physical reassurance that you are their one-and-only.  Hold a hand, give a hug, plant a kiss (but again, don’t follow it up with a request for more!).
– Surprise at Work: one woman I spoke with initially told me she wanted dinner and dancing — but the confided that she and her husband always do that.  What she really wanted was for him to send her flowers to work.  In her words, “we know we exist when someone else thinks of us.”

The Main Course
– Dinner/Movie:
Dinner is a go-to part of Valentine’s Day — but most everyone I talked to didn’t want the hassle of going out.  Much of this depends on where you are in your relationship — but preparing a special meal at home (one young millennial mentioned grilling steaks for his girl) and settling on the couch to watch a movie (he lets her pick) was his plan for February 14th.
– Dinner/Dancing: Still, there are those who look forward to getting gussied up and going out on the town!  As mentioned, if this is you — make your plans early, leave plenty of time, and go all-out!  (And pay cash…you’ll both feel better about it the next day!)
– Gifts: Surprisingly, more men mentioned to me the desire for a gift!  A nice watch, electronics, or sports gear seemed to top the list.  However, more than one woman mentioned cash or a gift certificate to her favorite store or service.  (As far as gifts go, permission to splurge on oneself should not be overlooked!)
– Nature: Whether it’s a long walk, a beach day, a ski-day, or a lazy drive — the quiet of nature is a great place to get out and get connected to one another.
– Get-a-way: If it’s in the budget and wouldn’t cause additional stress — make plans to slip away for a weekend or even just an overnight for a little one-on-one time.  A snowy lodge, a flashy casino, or a quaint B&B might be just what you need to remember what brought you together in the first place!

The Sweet Stuff
– Conversation: 
Both men and women reported wanting to “really talk” with their significant others.  And as one young man said to me: “if I could have anything, I’d just want him listen to me.”
– Cuddling: Sorry guys…but top ‘o the ladies’ lists is a good cuddle!  I know you may not be able to understand it…but the ability of a man to selflessly provide affection can be very erotic!
– Sex: Sorry ladies…but the one thing your guy is really hoping for is that you still dig him.  If you really want to surprise your guy, let him know it!

Bonus
– Couple’s Challenge: 
One young man I asked told me that he would love for his partner to commit to a challenge with him!  Whether it’s to get in shape, quit a bad habit, build a new one, redecorate that spare office or basement, or plan for a vacation — some couples thrive on encouragement and teamwork!  Working together to achieve a goal can be a great way demonstrate your love and commitment throughout the year!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Valentine’s Day is February 14th!  Do you know what the love in your life REALLY wants?  Use this list to jump start the conversation!  Present him/her with a menu of options and have them circle their favorites.  You might even be able to team up to make sure you BOTH get a little of everything you want throughout the day.  The most important thing is to PLAN AHEAD!  Whatever your love wants — don’t leave it until the last minute.  And if it is reservations — please make them now (and be sure to take care of your servers, chances are it’s their Valentine’s Day too.)

Above all: Remember that Valentine’s Day is available every day — not just once a year!

[A big THANK YOU to all the brave souls who let me put them on the spot — and whose honest sharing made this post possible!]

Spread Happyness — PLAN AHEAD!  And share your Valentine’s Day ideas in the comments!

PS: I realize that for some, Valentine’s Day may not be the happiest of holidays this year.  Death, divorce, disagreements, or decline can bring about mixed emotions.  If this is you, you are not alone.  Many people report similar feelings.  Their advice?  Seek refuge in the comfort of safe friends, the company of like-minded people, or in the things that you really want for yourself!

2/3/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
grace@spreadhappyness.com

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