I don’t know about your experience but there have been so many jokes and memes this week about Valentine’s Day that it got me thinking; what is it about this day that gets people so excited, so worried and everything in-between?
The actual day may have passed a few days ago but this is the main Valentine’s weekend so I’m wishing you a Happy Valentine’s weekend all the same.
For those who love this so-called ‘day of love’, it is an opportunity to give or receive the sort of attention and affection that reaffirms or proves that they are loved. Some people feel it is an opportunity to be/feel ‘claimed’ by their beloved.
Those who hate this day report resenting the feeling of being hounded, manipulated, forced and/or coerced into proving something they either don’t want to prove, or perhaps does not require proving. I have even heard people say they would rather “show love every day” than feel pushed around by “a fake holiday designed to fleece people’s hard earned money.”
Whatever the case, the day is here and it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon so…how can you make the most of it?
Don’t apologise for being #TeamValentines
If you are in Team Valentine’s Day, go for it! Don’t apologise for wearing red, carrying flowers in public, buying a box of chocolates or splurging on a special meal or doing something special for your someone special. In fact, make it a point to go the extra mile in your celebration. Just because there’s some negativity among some folks does not mean you should temper your excitement.
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As for sex, have lots of it and make it memorable. Perhaps there are positions that you have been hoping to try; take advantage of this weekend’s festivities and lean into your adventurous side.
Some ideas on the sex front include making up games that you can play throughout the day, making up some sex coupons to give your partner as part of their gift (terms and conditions probably won’t apply), combining non-sexual activities with sexual ones e.g. doing dishes in provocative clothing, or none at all, and how about some food play? Enjoying dessert on your partner instead of just with your partner?
Even something as simple as eating fruit drizzled in honey off their hand can be sensual and fun for both of you. Focus on the fun, games, laughter, connection and less on the pressure and ‘sexpectations’ of the day. The weekend is less about performance and more about fun; it’s a celebration, not a competition.
Beyond the tangible, celebrate the intangible as well. Make it a point to appreciate your partner’s contributions in heart, mind, body and soul. If you love how they cook, how they listen, how safe they make you feel, how cherished you feel because of having them in your life…whatever it is, make it known. Enjoy the present and plan your future, reveling in the potential of what could be.
Valentine’s hater? Don’t waste the weekend
I know by now you’re probably feeling ‘sick’ from all the red roses, chocolate, hints and outright messages that have become part and parcel of this day. Perhaps you resent the idea that you have to do anything to prove something to someone in your life. Perhaps you recently ended a relationship and really don’t want to deal with the drama. You may even be single and not thrilled to have your nose rubbed into a celebration you feel you can’t have.
Whatever the case, I have one question for you: why not reclaim this day for yourself? Literally saying, “I do not want to be a part of this celebration - and so I won’t. Instead, I will do - as a gift to myself, in and out of bed.”
The main question is really about you and what sort of responsibility you can take over a day whose existence you have little control over. In essence, what I’m really saying is this: when it comes to your survival or even enjoyment of this day, the buck really does stop with you; why not choose yourself, your partner, your happiness and sense of fun, in rebellion to the pressures of the day instead of allowing a harmless day to irritate you to the point of ruining it for yourself?
You could, for example, do all those ‘Valentine-y’ things for yourself e.g. have a special meal, enjoy a nice bottle of wine or champagne or buy yourself a special gift or allow yourself an indulgence on that day.
Single or coupled, you could choose to avoid other humans this weekend by staying indoors and indulging in a ‘sex marathon’ of your own choosing. Why not turn this weekend that you hate into a sex bonus for yourself and your partner. In fact, turn it into a game; one fun sensual act for every Valentine’s-related content that you see e.g. one kiss for every rose or one complete sex act for every Valentine ’s Day commercial on TV or radio.
How about card games, where you get to choose the ‘consequences’ for both the winner and the loser? You will soon realise there are plenty of benefits to be had by reclaiming a weekend that could have annoyed you and turning it into a weekend where you get to indulge your senses and your fantasies to your heart’s content.
The bottom line is, make a ‘choice’ according to your desires instead of feeling trapped in festivities that you would have rather skipped. Either way, it will pass and life and love will resume so, no matter which end of the spectrum you fall under, I wish you a happy, choice-full Valentine’s weekend.
Maggie Gitu is a Marriage, Family and Sex Therapist. She can be reached at [email protected] and via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu