Skip to main content



Valentine’s Day can feel full of pressure and high expectations, whether it’s because of all the advertisements or romance movies. Couples can often feel overwhelmed by choice in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. The Gottman Institute recommends taking action to ensure the day is centered around connection and appreciation of your partner, rather than gifts or cliched activities.

Here is how to reduce pressure as a couple on Valentine’s Day:

  1. Set Expectations. Starting with a conversation about what you both want from Valentine’s Day can be a great way to begin. Knowing each other’s expectations and desires for the day can help set realistic goals that are meaningful and enjoyable for everyone involved.

  2. Be Open. Valentine’s Day is also a great opportunity to be open and honest about your desires and expectations for the day, while also listening to those of your partner. It’s important to communicate openly without any judgment or criticism in order to ensure both partners feel heard.
  3. Create Traditions. Creating traditions that reflect the couple’s interests can help form new memories together, as well as provide fun activities that each person can look forward to each year on Valentine’s Day. This could include doing something special like making a homemade meal together, going for a hike outdoors, or having an at-home spa night. Focus On Connection. Spending some quality time with one another is what Valentine’s Day should really be about. This could include enjoying activities you both love, such as playing board games or doing something new together, like taking a cooking class or going to an art museum. Even spending an evening talking and sharing stories can be a great way to create connections and enjoy each other’s presence.
  4. Make plans. Consider scheduling something special whether it’s just the two of you or spending time with family or friends throughout the day. It could be as simple as cooking dinner together at home or going out somewhere special, like an art gallery or museum – whatever will put your relationship first on this special occasion.
The Gottman Institute also suggests setting a theme for the day that is unique to your relationship. Think about all of the shared experiences and memories you have together, or what made you fall in love in the first place. This can be a great way to reconnect or just appreciate each other’s company, away from the commercial pressures of Valentine’s Day.
Finally, remember not to put too much pressure on yourself or your partner this Valentine’s Day. Even if things don’t go as planned, make sure to focus on each other throughout the day and show appreciation for one another in some way – even if it’s something small like breakfast in bed or an unexpected surprise!


The Gottman Institute encourages couples to focus on the small moments throughout the year and make them count. Celebrating an un-Valentines Day is a great way to do that!

Here are a few days to celebrate un-valentine’s day:

? Show your appreciation: Little things like making breakfast for your partner, doing their laundry, or taking the time to listen to them talk about something they’re passionate about can make all the difference in showing appreciation in a relationship.

? Be spontaneous: Spontaneous gestures of love can also be powerful, so consider surprising your partner with a small gift like their favorite flowers, or chocolates or taking them to see a movie.

? Plan a special day together: Why not set aside some time before or after Valentine’s day just for you two? Plan a date night out of the house, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, or even throw together a movie marathon and spend quality time with one another.

? Practice gratitude as part of doing Valentine’s Day “the Gottman way.” Taking the time to express your love and appreciation for one another can make a world of difference in any relationship. Letting your partner know how grateful you are for them and everything they do is always a great way to show that you care, no matter what day it is.

? Communicate regularly. Making sure communication is open and honest is key in any healthy relationship. Take the time to check-in with your partner, ask how their day was, and make sure you both feel heard.

Remember that Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating each other, not just buying gifts or doing something extravagant. Keeping it simple and meaningful will go a long way in showing your partner that you care about them deeply – after all, that is what it’s all about! So don’t forget to keep loving, communicating, and showing appreciation throughout the whole year – not just on Valentine’s Day. With these tips in mind, we hope you have a wonderful un-Valentines (or Valentine’s) Day!
For more relationship and anxiety advice, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter. 

Leave a Reply