As a hopeless romantic, romance writer, extremely happily married gal, and general love bug, it may burst your love-bubble to know that Valentine’s Day is not exactly my bag. In fact, in my dating years I used to refer to it as Valendoom’s Day for the epically disastrous and disappointing outcomes the day always seem to bring as opposed to flowers (that die), chocolates (moment on the lips, forever on the hips, and still no, I'm not going halfsies--my present), and little blue boxes (keep on dreamin’, sugar).
In my married years Valendoom’s day has simply become Valendate night. Essentially, it’s an excuse to enlist a sitter and have a-slightly-less-casual dinner date with my hunk of burning love. It’s never been a drastically romantic, sweep-me-off-my-feet affair. It’s a lovely dinner. Eight years of marriage and I still enjoy dating my man. But the hype of the day itself can often make a perfectly nice meal seem a bit less …special.
That’s not to say that my husband got it all wrong, but he didn’t exactly spend a month and a small fortune planning some Hollywood-staged princess moment. When you write romance it can be hard to remember that our men’s words and actions aren’t scripted by a woman who knows exactly what would make her feel extravagantly loved for a day, if not a lifetime. Real life is messy, not always charming, and definitely not story-book perfect. But it’s even better because you get to live it, sink into the role you were born to play and ride out every high and low, bump and bliss.
Now, I still believe men should put in the effort for their sweetheart and really swing for the fences from time to time. Just because you’ve locked that down doesn’t mean you stop wooing your lady, got me?
But this year I decided to give my husband a year off. A break from the often unfair expectations and last minute scramble to appease my overly-romantic nature. I’ve hijacked Valentine’s Day, took over the plans (swanky dinner and dancing reservations at a unique venue), the gift exchange (new wallet for hubs, new purse for me—personally I think I got the better end of that deal!), and a special surprise for later (my lips are sealed <3). I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty stinkin’ excited about this. Probably more excited than the past few years of guarding my expectations, just in case.
Moral of the story, ladies: Sometimes, if you want romance, you have to bring it. Hijack those plans and make your man swoon for a change. ;) And men, be real and open. Say the things you might normally forget to mention about her dress and how much you appreciate her. Take a page out of a romance novel from time to time. (You're man enough to read one!) But know, without a doubt, it really is the thought that counts. You put your heart behind a gesture and you can’t lose.
Talk to me: What are your plans for V day? Do you have a tradition? And what side are you on… ValenDATE or ValenDOOM?
Love and Chocolate,
(and kisses... I never forget those) ;)