You most likely hold unspoken expectations for Valentine’s Day when you are involved in new dating relationships. However, do not assume that your new partner can read your mind and simply expect him or her to meet your desires. In new romantic relationships, it is normal for each person to have very separate concepts of what relationships tend to look like.
TIPS on how to approach “the talk”:
1) Ask him or her what is the expectation for the holiday. Do not take it personally if Valentine’s Day is not something your partner wants to celebrate in your new dating relationship. It is essential to identify why you might get triggered in your dating relationships. Both you and your partner will begin to use unhealthy defense mechanisms as a way to cope with emotions. These are difficult to break, however with conscious awareness both of you can begin to verbalize your triggers to one another.
2) Define the real issues, identify the cycles you both get stuck causing the issues to continue, and take action to destroy the automatic behavior patterns. To your behavior patterns, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be helpful to identify the antecedents causing your reactions. This approach focuses on changing irrational thoughts into reality-based positive thoughts. Both of you will begin to improve your behaviors as well as the consequences of those actions.
3) Seek advice from other successful couples that have non-bias viewpoints. Consider relationship counseling or peer counseling groups if your issues continue despite your efforts.
Just remember your new romantic relationship is not about candy and flowers. Relationships must be based on the interpersonal connection and emotional bond you have with your partner. Regardless of the misunderstandings, set aside time to allow open communication for growth in the relationship and mold it into what you both want for the future.
If you and your partner struggle consistently with communicating your needs and desires, be sure to reach out to a mental health professional to guide you both on the right path. If you know other couples struggling with similar issues, share these strategies on how to decrease stress on Valentine’s Day.