Valentine’s Day 2022: Ruling February 14 before it rules you


Set realistic expectations 
Depending on where you come from and the way your parents celebrate this day for lovers, we in turn get inspired to shape our own idea of ways of celebrating and the gifts we wish to receive. If the reality turns out to be different, we can’t help but feel disappointed. 

Ladies, regardless of how high or low your expectations are, you need to talk it out with your partner. Get out of your fantasy world and get on the same page with your lover. I know talking it out might feel less romantic but you will be doing yourself and your partner a favour. 

My heart also goes out to men, as they have this impossible mission of guessing what you would actually like, and how they can make you ladies happy. 

Before having the talk with your partner, do another reality check. After all, this day is like any other day, so ask yourself if there are other forces at play putting pressure on you?

For instance, is wanting to post the best celebration picture on social media, and comparing it to your friends’, a priority? Know what drives you, so you can take control and set realistic expectations for the both of you. 

Don’t let it define you
I have been brought up in a family where Valentine’s Day was a big deal, and every year my dad would offer a grandiose gift and a massive bouquet of flowers to my mother. 

Seeing that model of celebration for many years gave me the unshakable idea that my partner, from years ago, had to do the same, because the contrary would mean that I am not as loved and appreciated as my mother. BOOM! 

The lovers day was set for an explosive romance. We had the perfect combo of me hoping for some specific Hollywood treatment and my partner feeling pressure to intuit my wishes. Instead of fun times we cooked up an unnecessary recipe for conflict. 

Valentine’s Day should not be the one and only day you check in on how the relationship is doing. The day usually takes different shapes based on whether people believe in doing something special, and not everyone does. To some men, it just doesn’t make that much sense. 

Plan something together
Negotiations take place not only in business, but also in love. Some people aren’t into the whole Hallmark holidays, so try to find some middle ground with your partner. 

Give each other space to express how you feel about this day: hopes, dreams, dreads and anxieties. You  can also share how your parents celebrated or ignored Valentine’s Day and the beliefs your parents held about the holiday. 

Listen to each other with no judgment. Listen without reacting. Do get specific, though. For example, maybe your ideal date would be picking three restaurants, and then your partner choosing one, making the reservation and bringing you a dozen red roses. 

Or if your partner thinks the celebration is just too cheesy, then find another day. After all it’s about you spending a lovely time together. 

Lesson for the ladies
A special note here for the ladies who would never, in a billion years, share that they do actually wish and desire for a special something on Valentine’s Day. Instead, they vocalise nothing out of fear of being disappointed or seen as needy. 

You might be out of practice with asking for what you want, and your partner might be used to you not really showing any interest in this day. But just this time, try! 

Try to share your desires with your man. He might not really get it the first time, but at least he would have tried and you would have opened a more honest dialogue in your relationship for the rest of the year.


Whether you’re single by choice, recently broken up, or you just haven’t found Mr or Mrs Right yet, you don’t have to sit out of the V-Day celebration just because you’re riding solo. 

Valentine’s Day is not a day reserved only for couples so instead of seeing it as one big reason to feel extra lonely, be the type of person who just finds any excuse to celebrate life!

Getting started!
Start by taking some time to acknowledge your ‘singleness’ and make it a point to not allow your relationship status to affect the way you feel about yourself. 

As psychotherapist Hilda Burke says: “Many singletons imagine their coupled-up counterparts are having a better time of it – particularly on Valentine’s Day. It’s human nature to think the grass is always greener. But the fact is that being single is no better nor no worse than being in a couple.” 

Whether you are single or in a relationship, it is crucial to spend time every day embracing the life you live. 

Make V-Day a day to celebrate the love you have for anyone special in your life – starting with yourself. 

Don’t feel bad
Feeling sad or lonely from time to time is normal. Even those in a relationship feel that way. But dwelling on those emotions can lead to self-pity and that’s not helpful. 

Gain perspective instead: most people are single, and you should look forward to meeting your future partner, not questioning whether it will happen. 

See potential, not limitations. Take this opportunity to take stock of your life – the good as well as the bad – and choose to be grateful for all the good things you have in life. 

You should not define the significance and value of your life by whether or not you’re in a relationship, but that’s what often happens on Valentine’s Day. 

Think of the dating life as an ecosystem: every day there are many single men and women that are going in and out of the market. 

Your future better half might be in a relationship right now, learning some lessons on how to be a better partner. And you should be learning how to be single and happy enough on your own.  

Celebrate the day!
While your first thought might be to cheer yourself up by overindulging with a bottle of wine on the couch binge-watching Netflix, this tactic is likely to have the opposite effect on your mood. 

Instead create a plan with which you can be productive: like doing something that you love, or trying out something you have never done before but always wanted to. This will help improve your confidence as you experience new things, and you will feel a great sense of achievement.

Then, throw in some self-care practices, such as a spa treatment, a massage, a mani pedi or a little sexy session with your toy companion for a full body care. 

Lastly, you can finish off the day with a night out with your single girlfriends. This will give you a great sense of belonging and a feeling of being connected to others. Plus, wherever you go, there are going to be tons of people who are not currently in a relationship, so go and mingle!

Just another day!
All of this is to say that you alone can choose what to make out of Valentine’s Day. 

Is it a day to celebrate life, nurture gratitude, enjoy good communication and take self-care to create a wonderful relationship with yourself and your future/current partner?

Or is it a day that bruises your self-worth and puts your relationship in jeopardy?

Which one is it going to be?

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