Should You Expect a Gift on Valentine’s Day?

Should I expect a Valentine's day gift?

No Gift on Valentine’s Day? Think About This Before You End Your Relationship.

Are you expecting something this Valentine’s Day? Perhaps flowers? A box of chocolate? Maybe a bracelet (or even a diamond ring)? If so, you are not alone. Expectations run high on February 14th. In fact, the majority of women say they would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day wasn’t always a commercial celebration of love. For centuries, its extravagance didn’t extend beyond the exchange of cards. It was only around 1950 that things like roses and chocolates got added to the mix. And by the 1980’s jewelry was gaining popularity (promoted by the diamond industry, of course).

What’s next? A Ferrari? All expense paid trip to Bali? Seasons tickets to the Raptors?

Do you find it disturbing that anyone would end a relationship because their partner decided (or forgot to) buy them a gift? I do. Unless the relationship was already hanging by a thread, I just don’t get it.

But, if you are in the majority who would say good riddance to your partner if they didn’t buy you something on Valentine’s Day I’d urge you to re-consider. Here’s how to get some perspective.

Material happiness doesn’t last.

There is ample evidence that couples who put too much stock in material things are less likely to remain happy. Other things matter more. You know what they are. Respect. Support. Love. Would you rather be with someone who gave you expensive jewelry but criticized you constantly, or with someone who makes you laugh but doesn’t send a card?

It’s just one day.

Valentine’s Day is just one day in the year. There are 364 other ones. It’s foolish to ditch a good relationship because your partner isn’t perfect. Not meeting your expectations on one day is no big deal if they measure up the rest of the year. 364/365 days of meeting your expectations is still almost perfect – a score of 99.7% to be exact. Are you really going to flunk someone over .3%?

It’s rarely about the gift.

I’d bet dollars to donuts that pulling the plug on a relationship because you didn’t get a gift is not really about the gift. What does receiving a gift mean to you? Perhaps you think, “If he really loved me, he would have splurged today.” Challenge yourself to think rationally about whether this can really be the case or rather a faulty assumption.

Enjoy it anyway.

Valentine’s Day is about giving. And giving to yourself is one way to celebrate. If this day means a lot to you but not so much to your partner, pamper yourself. A hot stone massage sounds good to me! And just because your partner is empty-handed doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the experience of choosing the most decadent box of chocolates for them—because surely they will share!

It’s not a “test”.

Our partners are not mind readers so it’s best not to “test” them to see if they know what we expect on Valentine’s Day. Maybe Valentine’s Day is a big deal for you but your partner regards it as an empty Hallmark occasion. If you want to avoid disappointment, don’t be shy about asking for what you want in advance. That makes it a lot more likely your partner will deliver.

Of course, it’s nice to be surprised and spoiled with a heart-shaped box of chocolates or something else. But don’t blow Valentine’s Day out of proportion. After all, if you are showered with love the rest of the year that’s the best gift of all.