I expect a partner to love, respect, and do special things for me every day, not just one day of the year. I know that that’s not what Valentine’s Day advocates for, but I can’t help feeling that way. I would rather get a dozen roses on a Tuesday just because it’s my busiest day of the week, rather than because it is Valentine’s Day. I feel like the first scenario means more. And perhaps a partner can do both, but I don’t expect nor want my partners to drain their funds in flowers.
I love when my partner picks me flowers while out on a run and brings them home and says, “Look what I got you!” I love when my partner asks to give me a backrub because I’ve had a long day. I love when my partner brings food into my work as a surprise because I often get hungry in the afternoon. I love when, even though we live in dorms, my partner makes me a nice dinner with my favorite foods.
All of these things mean more to me on random days than they would on Valentine’s Day, when there is a socially constructed demand on people to do special things for their partners. The actions I described are spontaneous, and that’s romantic.
I know that when I decide to do something for my partner on a random night, it means more coming from me than it would if I felt like I had to because of a holiday. Besides, all the pressure to make a holiday good tends to, in my experience, make it less romantic, and even make it tense at times.
This past Valentine’s Day, my partner asked if I wanted to do something. I said okay, as I usually do when a partner asks. We didn’t plan anything elaborate. We just wanted to spend time together and maybe have a little date. My partner decided to get a movie for us, and we stayed in, had sex, and watched a movie. During the movie, though, my partner said something that really offended me, and all of that pressure to make Valentine’s Day great made the problem worse. When you have an expectation that a day is perfect, the problems become so much greater.
Lack of spontaneity, pressure to make a day perfect, and also just the inconvenience of whenever Valentine’s Day falls can really put a damper on my mood. I don’t want to plan romance. I want it just to happen. I want to be brought flowers and a movie on a random Wednesday when neither of us has much work to do anyway. On a holiday, it just seems fake, like it did this past Thursday.