Ladies, I’m here to reveal a secret: Most guys deeply detst Valentine’s Day. At least, most guys I speak with say as much — and I speak with tons of men each week.
What may seem like a day showered with romance and champagne to you, is, for many guys, a day they feel obligated to bend over backward to please you with just the right gift and just the right choice of restaurants. And I pity any guy who does not get it “just right.”
Ladies, may I please remind you that he just spent a lot of money and effort finding that perfect Christmas gift for you. That was less than two months ago.
While you may think your guy spends most of his time thinking of new ways to please you, the reality is, to a regular guy, creating perfect romantic situations is not particularly easy to do.
Valentine’s Day is an enigma, and its true origins remain shrouded in mystery. Many credit it (and its signature love notes) to the martyred Saint Valentine, but the holiday more likely started as a Roman pagan fertility festival, where young maidens arbitrarily hooked up with hunky soldiers for a quick roll in the hay.
However, it was when a woman named Esther A. Howaland began selling mass-produced valentines in America (our country is known for our entrepreneurial prowess) that the holiday grew into the commercial behemoth it is today.
That’s right: commercial. This day means absolutely nothing to an average guy. It is not a day that commemorates an anniversary or significant event unique to his relationship with you. Instead, it is a day of mandatory giving — and not in a good way.
Cheap chocolate and cheesy cupid cutouts do not show love. Expensive dinners in a restaurant that costs a full month’s salary and requires reservations six months in advance are not a mark of his love, but rather that he fears your reaction if he does not publicly display his love adequately on the day that seemingly everyone else does.
Be honest for a minute: Do you really believe that a box of Godiva and a dozen overpriced roses given on this specific day really show his love — and that lack of either token is proof that your mother was right, he is a “no-good-bum” not worthy of your pinky’?
If you said yes, you’re living in a fantasy world. Good luck to you, Sleeping Beauty, on facing reality when you get that harsh wake-up call.
And by the way, I am not overlooking your friends, relatives and colleagues. You know, those lovely ladies who don’t miss a chance to compare the size of bouquets, the price of the gifts and, by extension, the colossal magnitude of their Prince Charmings’ love versus yours.
So, to compete with them, you have no choice but to drag your poor boyfriend/husband/partner through the ringer. Someone has to be the fall guy, right? Wrong.
There are ways you can have an Instagram brag-worthy Valentine’s Day without leaving your man in a poor house (or a mental institution). So, don’t ruin Valentine’s Day this year by demanding displays of his love on society’s terms.
Put some actual love into the holiday. Here’s how:
1. Do it yourself.
If Valentine’s Day is so important to you, tell him you will take care of it yourself. You make the plans — whether at home or at a fancy-shmancy restaurant that you like.
Do whatever it is that would make you happy, but tell him you’re taking the prep-work off his hands. He will appreciate this so much that he’ll more than happily buy you roses (or any other flowers you might like).
2. Spend a day in bed.
That’s right — the whole day. Take a day off and go for the lazy romp between the sheets. Order food in and watch old movies. Read the news out-loud to each other. Exchange sexy massages and take a bubble bath with a bottle of bubbly.
Create your own reality, without witnessing the rest of the world going mad.
3. Travel outside the country.
Go somewhere Valentine’s Day is not celebrated — like China or Brazil. Heck, you need a vacation anyway, why not in February? Trust me, you feel so taken with the new sights and culture, that you won’t even look at the calendar to remember this silly holiday.
Come on, ladies. I’m sure you’ll live without a another stupid-looking teddy bear. Besides, true romance happens in the most unexpected moments and places, not on demand on February 14th. Deep inside, you know your man loves you, even if he detests Valentine’s Day.
Remember how you feel on Super Bowl night? When you have to pretend to care about a sport you don’t really understand, rooting for a team you can’t even name? Boring and stupid, right? Well, it’s like that for him on Valentine’s Day.
So cut him some slack and let it go. You have better things to focus on, like how he’s going to celebrate your birthday.
Marina Margulis is a dating coach based in New York City. If your love life is stuck in a rut, or if you seem to be attracting the wrong people or no people at all, contact New York Socials.