Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Being a Real Valentine

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Feb 14, 2013 9:17 PM

Flowers and candy are traditional and, with the right card and a kiss, will do for almost everyone. Here are some other gifts, less traditional, but maybe even more meaningful:

1. No pressure, no nagging.Chnage your expectations. Let your sweetheart be him/herself, even if that's not what you really want for yourself. So, if she needs to shop, if he needs to play videogames, if he needs to feel like a hero, if she needs to feel like a sex bunny--whatever it takes, within reason, let it happen. Giving your honey what he/she wants is the best gift, even if it's not stereotypically romantic, it leads to true appreciation.You'll be loved back in spades.

2. Give the gift of taking graciously. So, if you receive some cheap clothes which you don't like, a watch you already have, or more food than you can possibly eat, say "thank you." No criticizing the choice. This isn't the time for total honesty. Be glad you're loved.

3. Don't give more than you can afford, and I don't just mean financially. You'll resent it. So, if your boyfriend wishes for undying forever commitment for which you're not ready, give sweetness and tenderness but not false promises. If your girlfriend wants an expensive diamond, and you are strapped, little earrings might be enough.If you're uncomfortable and awkward giving more than you want, it's not right.

4. To have a valentine, you need to be a valentine. Gving affection and truly caring for someone's happiness will get you cherished. It works both ways and it works well.

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