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New Relationship? How to Handle Valentine’s Day

Don’t let the pressure and sky-high expectations of V-Day sabotage a brand new relationship.

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February 10th, 2012

If you do have plans, things have been going amazingly well from the get-go and your guy has “emotionally available” written all over him, it can be appropriate to give him a card, suggests Kirschner. “You’re not pressing on the relationship to make it more than it is,” she says. “It’s something small, sweet and endearing that will pull the person closer to you without pressuring them or scaring them off.” Just be sure to steer clear of cards with the word “love” anywhere on it.

QUIZ: Do You Get Too Attached?

If you've been together for three to four months…it’s reasonable to expect you'd spend Valentine's Day together. On the flipside, it’s understandable to question the seriousness of your relationship if he seems to develop amnesia about Valentine’s Day and doesn’t acknowledge it, even if it’s by saying, “I’m not big on celebrating Valentine’s Day, so let’s pick our own night to do something together.”

Now that you’re a few months in and you’ve gotten to know each other better, you should feel comfortable enough to speak up that you’d like to celebrate the love fest together. “Use the magic phrase, ‘I would really love it if…’ and then fill in the blank for Valentine’s Day, such as a dinner out,” suggests Kirschner. “You can’t expect mind reading.”

MORE: Relationship Communication

As far as gifts go, exchanging something small can be thoughtful, but don’t expect jewelry, which is more appropriate for a serious relationship that’s further along, notes Kirschner. And don’t hold your breath that he’ll blurt out "I love you" on Valentine’s Day when you’re still relationship newbies. “If you’ve been together for a few months, it would be nice to get a card or even a rose or some chocolate from a guy, but ‘I love you’—I don’t think so!” says Hendrick. “’Love’ is a word used too often, too early and unwisely.”

Instead, release the pressure valve, keep your expectations in check and focus on enjoying your time together—however you two new lovebirds choose to spend it.

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