Some belated thoughts on Valentine’s Day

Did you notice that I completely skipped over Valentine’s Day? I didn’t post a romantic picture or professed online how much I love my husband or how we celebrated our relationship on Wednesday! I didn’t get any flowers, we didn’t go out for a romantic dinner, but we did get take-out and ate it together on the couch in our PJs. So there is that.

I know, most people either love or hate Valentine’s Day and I kind of fall in the later camp. Well, ‘hate’ is maybe a bit of a harsh word. I don’t hate a day where you’re supposed to express love for your significant other and other special people in your life and I would probably get on board if it was something that was important to J. BUT, as far as I remember, he and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day. I mean, I possibly might have given him a card once or twice ( just because I found a cute one when I was out shopping), but honestly, I could have given that to him on any other damn day (or not at all). In Germany, Valentine’s Day wasn’t a “thing” growing up. Of course now, as many other American holidays, it’s made its way over to Europe (if only to have just one more ‘holiday’ that companies can monetize) and apparently some people have jumped on the bandwagon. I, however, still don’t expect anything on Valentine’s Day.

I mean, J sometimes doesn’t even get me anything for my actual birthday (I heard the collective *gasp* going through the blogosphere just now, haha!), but he will surprise me with a thoughtful gift at other random times. And I am totally okay with that. After all, he’s usually the person I get to spend my birthday with, so the time together is much more important to me than any gift.

Admittedly, I am a little bit more particular about birthdays and make it a point to not forget people’s birthdays and to send cards (and gifts), but J is wired differently and prefers to show gestures of love and appreciation when he feels it’s the right moment. That’s why he has also never “adhered” to the Valentine’s Day’s rules.

My indifference to Valentine’s Day goes so far that I don’t even make Valentine’s Day cards for my Etsy shop (and I realize, that is severe negligence!). Maybe next year. If I think of it early enough. (Remind me! Ha!)

In all seriousness though, I feel like Valentine’s Day should be every day. I don’t need a “designated day” per year to tell people that they’re important to me. I share that freely and often, and randomly on February, 16.  I love and appreciate you all. Just so you know.

And hey, if Valentine’s Day is your thing, more power to you. Who am I to judge. I totally support you celebrating it to your heart’s desire. J and I are just not Valentine’s Day people.

We love each other nonetheless.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Would you be upset if your SO didn’t get you a gift for your birthday?

  1. I’m the same. Honestly, it came and went this year without any fanfare either, but we did the same–takeout and TV which was fine by me because I got to pick the Bachelor, a show that Bryan despises with a burning passion, ha! Anyway, I think it’s ridiculous how overblown some of these holidays are, but especially that they MAKE YOU FEEL BAD if you’d prefer to NOT give into the hype! At the end of the day, I think it’s incredibly sweet and romantic that your hubby surprises you out of the blue. That means more than any Hallmark holiday, any day :) XOXO and hope you have a wonderful weekend, my sweet!!

    1. Yeah, same. I think what bothers me most is that you feel ‘pressured’ into participating in one way or another. I try to REALLY not feel guilty about it.

  2. I’ve always kind of liked Valentine’s Day as I like that there is a day devoted to the celebration of all kinds of love. When I was single, I would usually spend it with my nephews who live in the Minneapolis area. I’d get a heart shaped take and bake pizza and then we’d have ice cream for dessert. You feel VERY LOVED when you are around little people so it was the perfect V-day for me. Now I am in a relationship, but we don’t really celebrate it. Usually we make dinner and spend time together and that is the extent of our celebration. I was hoping to make dinner on Wednesday but was in too much pain from my flare so I had a can of soup and Phil had leftovers. So romantic. ;) Phil is not big on buying flowers which really doesn’t bother me because if I want flowers, I just buy them for myself. He did buy me a bulb garden one year and that was awesome as it was fun to watch the flowers grow and bloom and it lasted longer than a dozen roses would have. What I don’t’ like about V-day is that it feels like a PR campaign for people’s relationships. I get a little annoyed with all the people posting photos of the flowers their spouses gave them and posting about how amazing their husband or wife is. I mean it’s sweet, but shouldn’t you be saying that to your spouse, not on social media? But Phil and I are like you and J and we are more private about things like that. Granted I did write a nice post about Phil on his birthday on Facebook but I don’t do that very often because I usually just tell him how I feel. :)

    Oh and we don’t exchange gifts at all for birthdays or Christmas anymore. Neither of us are gift people and I can’t even think of anything I would want. So instead we go out for dinner around birthdays and instead of getting each other gifts, we spend money traveling. We usually go somewhere around my birthday since we are both so over winter by the time February rolls around. But that couldn’t happen this year since I”m so pregnant! But hopefully next year we can go somewhere with our little one.

    One thing that Phil does that i appreciate more than flowers or candy is that he puts gas in my car nearly year round. I’ll take that over flowers any day – especially in the winter when it’s below zero!

    1. I understand that V-Day might feel different when you’re not in a relationship and all the couples around you celebrate their “day of love”. I love that you used to spend V-Day with your nephews! Funny that now that you’re in a relationship, you don’t feel like you have to celebrate it in any particular way…. but I am glad to hear that you and Phil have your own way of celebrating your love for each other.

  3. I agree that Valentine’s Day should be every day. Spread the love all year long!

  4. I don’t love V-day and I don’t hate it. Normally we get each other a card and candy or something. But this year Paul didn’t get me anything because he had FOUR TEETH PULLED two days before. So I got him a card and a 6 pack to drink after he was done with all of his Vicodin. :)

    I would be hurt if Paul didn’t get me a birthday gift because it is our tradition to get each other something. If it wasn’t a tradition, I don’t think I would expect it! That being said, we don’t get each other BIG things. Like maybe I will get him a funny cat t-shirt and he will get me a new puzzle or something like that.

    1. I often get cards and gifts from friends on my birthday, that I don’t really mind not getting a gift from J…. because he’s the person that I actually get to spend the day with :)

  5. I don’t really care about Valentine’s Day at all. I actually felt really bad when my husband got me something this year because I hadn’t gotten anything for him!

    1. Ha! I guess I would feel a little bad too in this case… but hey, you can make it up to him on another random day!

  6. I think I’d expect something for my birthday over Valentine’s Day, if I was dating/married to someone, but it depends on the person or our circumstances. We’d have to talk about it though! Personally, my love language is giving people gifts…so I’m more happy GIVING than getting. :)


    1. I definitely think it depends on the person and circumstances. Like I said, I would probably embrace it more if I had a partner who really loved V-Day, but since we both don’t really care about it, I feel it’s ok.

  7. The first year we were dating, my husband made a huge deal of Valentine’s Day. He ended up flying in to see me for 26 hours. Luckily, since then we’ve pretty much ignored it. I don’t hate it, but we don’t really celebrate any holiday on the actual holiday (thanks military) so none of that is really our thing.

    We don’t do gifts in the traditional sense either. We do a lot of trips instead of things and we also label big purchases as gifts. So, this past Christmas we each bought a new computer and we took a trip in January. As long as my husband acknowledged my birthday (seriously take me on a hike and I’m a happy girl) I don’t need a physical gift.

    1. I love that during your first year of dating, B made this big gesture for V-Day…. but I think that might have been more because of the newness of your relationship ;) I think we both feel the same way that spending time together is the greatest gift!

  8. As you said Valentines Day is not a big thing in Germany at all and therefore we never celebrate it. However since we never do, one year I got a big surprise I wasn’t expecting: a proposal! It came so out of the blue and was so uncharacteristic that it still makes me laugh. Can’t top that so I will never expect anything on Valentines Day ;-)
    Birthdays is a big deal though. I would be heartbroken if I don’t get any gift there.
    Happy Sunday, Tobia

    1. Ok, a proposal for V-Day is definitely an exception I can get behind :)

  9. We don’t celebrate Valentines Day at all really – I’m frugal by nature and the thought of my husband spending money on overpriced flowers and eating in a crowded restaurant with an inflated prix flixe menu does not appeal to me at all. We are good to each other all year round and certainly don’t need Hallmark to tell us how and when to express that. We’re also low key for birthdays too. Even Christmas we don’t buy gifts for each other. Instead, we buy a something nice for our home.

    1. Being good to each other all year long is so much more important IMHO!

  10. Valentines Day is not a special celebrated day in our household. If it’s on a weekend I might do a fun breakfast, and I do like any excuse to make crafts :) I like having a gift on my birthday but I prefer to plan out my own day.

    1. I am never opposed to a fun breakfast :)

  11. High five to you and J – we are exactly the same!
    Last year, my husband sent flowers and chocolate (no card) to the office. I had to call him to make sure it was really him – lol. I just could have sworn he would NEVER EVER do something like that.
    We love to share our appreciation more randomly and way more often than ones a year :)

  12. We used it as a nice excuse to make a good dinner at home, but honestly we tried to make it more about family love – including our kiddo. I don’t hate it, but I don’t go over the top with it either. I think love should be celebrated every day too. :)

    1. I love that you make V-Day a ‘family day’! ;)

  13. I completely agree that Valentine’s Day should be every day. We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day and prefer to stay home. However, Valentine’s Day is a bit sentimental because my husband proposed to me on Valentine’s Day.

    1. Hey, that makes V-Day kinda special for sure…

  14. I’ve never liked Valentine’s Day. It just seems silly to me and I hate how the price of roses doubles for a week. I agree that love should be celebrated all the time, not just one random day in February.

  15. I was going to post on Twitter that in order to not get disappointed on Valentine’s Day “lower your expectations,” because it’s so true. I wouldn’t say I love or hate Valentine’s Day, but we do always celebrate it, with cards and usually (because we both would rather spend time sharing experiences together rather than receiving a physical gift) a date night. It could be that we’re just wired that way because we’ve always celebrated Valentine’s Day (before we were together, with other SO’s). And we BOTH make a big deal out of birthdays! I remember one year my friends didn’t do anything or even say happy birthday and I was so distraught that I started crying until one of them finally had to tell me they were throwing a surprise party!

    1. You know, I like that you celebrate V-Day with cards and date night. I mean, why not? If that’s what you’ve been used to doing…. I think it’s fine. Birthdays are definitely much bigger for me (and I am disappointed when people forget it), but I always do something fun with my husband.

      I had to chuckle that your friends had to tell you about the surprise party because you got so disappointed thinking that they’d forgotten your birthday ;)

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