Picture this. You and your loved one feeding each other strawberries while sipping on champagne in front of a fire. It is the perfect evening! It also only happens on the Hallmark Channel. In reality, one of the hardest holidays for a dad is Valentine’s Day. We have to come up with a plan, think creatively and most important, make it romantic. What do all of these have in common? They are things most guys just don’t do well. A lot of pressure is put on dads on February 14th. One survey of women stated that 53% of them would end their relationship if they did not get something on Valentine’s Day. Now that may be a little high, but with statistics like this, no wonder dads feel pressure. I have come up with a few pieces of advice for moms from a dad’s perspective to make this Valentine’s the best one yet.
Acknowledge the Effort
As I stated earlier, most men are just not good at planning romantic evenings and pulling them off. 73% of all the flowers are purchased by men on Valentine’s Day. Over 36 million boxes of chocolates are purchased on average each year. What does this tell us? That men have trouble thinking outside of the heart-shaped box. So, this year, if your man does something different, out of the ordinary, or attempts to go the extra mile, give him credit. For a dad, it takes a lot of effort to do something that is out of his comfort zone.
Talk About How Much Each of You Can Spend
One of the top reasons for conflict in a relationship are finances. Last year, the average consumer spent $130.21 on Valentine’s Day. By communicating before the big day, it will help both of you to do something for each other without starting an argument over spending too much or too little. The key to every strong relationship is communication and as a dad, if we know how much money we can spend on our partner, the pressure of thinking did we do enough is answered much easier.
Don’t Set Your Expectations Too High
Many people build up Valentine’s Day to be this day to profess your love for someone like they never have before. The truth is, we don’t need one day to do this. However, it is nice to have a day to do a little extra. The trick is not setting your expectations so high he can’t reach them. For instance, 85% of people believe that being intimate is an important part of the holiday; 60% will be disappointed if they aren’t intimate. Now I am not saying that dads don’t want to be intimate, most do. I am just pointing out the fact that if it doesn’t happen, it is okay. You have 364 other days each year to do just that. By being appreciative of the time you are spending with him, when and if he surprises you with something amazing, it will make it even more special.
As a dad and a husband, it is tough enough balancing the kids, work and finding time to love my wife and then adding the pressure of a romantic evening on a night that everywhere is busy. So, this Valentine’s Day, be thankful for everyone that loves you. Let’s all put our phones away and spend some uninterrupted time with our better halves. Let’s not rely on a holiday to take the opportunity to tell someone we love them. Say it loud, say it often and say it from the heart. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Chris Beach is the Executive Director of the Relationship Foundation of Virginia. He lives in Henrico County with his wife of 15 years and four boys. He is a life-long Richmonder and loves to help couples strengthen their relationships, encourage dads to be active in the lives of their children, and teach youth about the fears and joys of healthy relationships. For more information about the Relationship Foundation of VA, go to www.rfva.org.