Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and most of us are already wound up in a knot trying to figure out what to give our other half on this special day. It is a time of love and giving. Yet, somehow commercialism seems to creep in and sometimes gets in the way of the very meaning of Love.
The art of gift-giving is quite a tricky one. While some may be quite satisfied with store-bought gifts others expect a personal touch. In any case, letting your better half know how observant you’ve been is always an added plus.
Bear in mind that when gifting is out of the desire to be people-pleasing, then it is more self-serving in the sense of making yourself look good than having anything to do with who the gift is for. And people-pleasing can get in the way of healthy enjoyment of the season of love.
Some feel the need to always outdo their partners, while others wallow in self-doubt wondering if their gift is “good enough”. A simple solution to this will be to agree on a budget for the gift that both are comfortable with. This can help couples can stop worrying about how much they’re spending and more about what the other person would like.
If your relationship is relatively in its early stages it could also help to pay attention to the kind of gifts your partner has gifted you with in the past. Because when in doubt, people are more likely to give the kind of gifts they themselves enjoy to those they love. If you have been receiving personalized gifts and photo collages you might want to consider spending some time and coming up with a personized gift for him or her and maybe include a handwritten love letter for brownie points.
Another way to spend Valentine’s Day is to take time off work and surprise your other half with a road trip to all the places that make your relationship memorable. Throw in a romantic and curated picnic at a place of significance to your relationship and you have a day to that will be etched in memory forever.
So this year before you pick out the gifts ask yourselves, what’s my goal in giving this gift to this person—for them to have fun, bring them joy, enjoy something like I’ve enjoyed it? Or is it to imagine them opening it up and liking me more, or out of fear that if I don’t get something of that level, that they won’t like me or I won’t reach a certain status?
It’s better when it’s about bringing joy to someone else just because we enjoy being with that person or when it’s about gratitude for that person in your life. On these occasions, it’s a reminder that you are enough and are grateful for that person.
Passion vs. Compassion:
As the saying goes “If passionate love is the cocaine of love, companionate love is like having a glass of wine”
So take it easy and be your true self behind the gifts and aim for something that brings joy to both your partner and you. Because when the high of all the texting, kissing, and the novelty wears away, and we inevitably begin to see a few things that are not-so-perfect in our partner, any hope for lasting love requires us to respond with patience and an openness to the possibility of loving this person. And gifting goes a long way into creating expectations. You can either hide behind a facade of expensive gifts that may at times put you in debt or show who you really are with thoughtful gifts that come from the heart.
Everyone wants a heartfelt Valentine’s Day gift to be thoughtful – something to let that special someone know just how much you value their place in your life. But the stores are full of flowers, chocolates and other things they don’t really need and might not want. So after years of giving stuff, what else is there to offer? Your Time!
Remember a little can always go a long way and you’ll feel good about it too! So, rather than letting the commercial consumerism of this simple holiday overwhelm you, this Valentine’s Day can be a time to show the people you love just how much you care.