Social Question

iLove's avatar

Should I be concerned that my new boyfriend opted out of Valentine's Day?

Asked by iLove (2339points) February 8th, 2011

I have been dating my new guy for a couple of months now. We have known each other slightly longer.

He confesses to me that he loves me, and I feel the same about him. However, he recently admitted to me he doesn’t want to “do the Valentine’s Day thing”.

I felt crushed initially. I thought the beginning stages of love were the times when you actually wanted to show your love for someone on Valentine’s Day.

However, I understand that the holiday is “played out” and in the past I have not had the best V-day experiences.

I would love some feedback. Are we really too invested in Valentine’s Day as a whole?

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38 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Is it an issue of the work involved? Like, if you organized it, would he go for it? Or is it just wrong if the woman does the work?

Seaofclouds's avatar

I guess it depends on what he means by “do the Valentine’s Day thing” and what you consider “doing the Valentine’s Day thing”. You could talk to him about it some more and see if he meant it as a heads up for you not to expect flowers, candy, and all that on that particular day, but maybe he’d do something else (like going out to a dinner).

I do think some people really take Valentine’s Day to be more important than it really is, but as long as the two people involved in the relationship agree on things, it’s whatever they want it to be. We don’t go all out for Valentine’s Day. We might have a nice dinner together and say “Happy Valentine’s Day”, but we agree that that is all we really will do for it. We don’t consider Valentine’s Day to be a reason to go out and buy candy, flowers, or whatever else. We’d rather do those things throughout the year whenever the thought comes to us than on a day that a bunch of other people think we should be doing it.

iLove's avatar

@wundayatta – I was so caught off guard by the statement that I didn’t really push much after he said, “I’ve done so much in the past for Valentine’s Day, and this year I am not up for it”

blueiiznh's avatar

I think your feelings aer right in wanting to have some observation of the day with something.
What does he mean by not wanting to “do the valentines day thing”?
I agree that it is a Day that is hard to live up to the hype that is created.
But, I do understand that you can get your feelings hurt and I feel for you.
A simple gesture of a card or whatever is agreed on. The gap here is you have some desires and potentially expectations and he has different ones.
Talk and find out how to meet in the middle.
Communication is key.

deni's avatar

It’s a Hallmark holiday. Show each other how much you love one another every other day…you don’t need one day to focus on it. At least that’s how I think a lot of people feel who don’t care much about it. I really could go either way. If it crushes you and he knows that and still won’t budge, then maybe that’s what you should be more concerned about.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@iLove I’d be mad if I heard “I’ve done so much in the past for Valentine’s Day, and this year I am not up for it” because I’d think what the hell does that have to do with me, you know?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It depends on the people involved.
I personally love Valentine’s Day and all that goes with it.I would be very disappointed if it wasn’t celebrated :)

wundayatta's avatar

Women seem to have this sense of entitlement about Valentine’s Day. I suppose that makes sense. Women seem to like romance much more than men do. Still… what if the shoe were on the other foot? What if you were expected to provide the experience every year? The restaurant, the sentimental card, the champagne, the chocolates, maybe even the romantic hideaway somewhere?

He’s a new boyfriend—maybe he has some bad memories from previous relationships? Maybe he’s just exhausted by whatever has been going on?

Like @blueiiznh said: talk is the answer. Ask him about his expectations, and why he feels that way about it. Try not to judge him. If he asks, let him know about your expectations, but don’t talk about them if he doesn’t ask. But you could ask yourself where your expectations come from and why it means so much to you.

iLove's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – that is exactly what I was thinking.

janbb's avatar

My husband and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day, except for maybe with cards. It’s a bogus commercial holiday. If people enjoy it, that’s fine but I wouldn’t put any stock in his not wanting to buy into it. If he shows his feelings for you other ways, that’s what matters.

iLove's avatar

@wundayatta – I was so caught off guard by the statement (that came out of nowhere) and I think this is what bothered me the most. I really haven’t had the greatest experiences with Valentine’s Day so I wasn’t feeling entitled to anything.

In addition, this man brings me flowers almost weekly so it wouldn’t even really matter if we pretended the day didn’t exist.

I guess it just hurt my feelings to have those words thrown at me. And upon discussing it I learned it was because of past relationships. Somewhere in there it made me feel like I was being punished for those failures.

And I never expected it to be one-sided. I had plans for him, too… but now it’s clear that we are not going to be experiencing that together.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@iLove He doesn’t seem like he thinks before he speaks. Personally, my partner and I can care less about Valentine’s day but it works because we both don’t care so there is no tension. We pretend we celebrate it so that mom can watch the kids and we can go have some alone time, lol.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m glad more people aren’t buying in to this day. People expect too much from their partners thanks to commercialism, and many feelings get hurt when they don’t get what they had hoped for. It’s not worth it. He brings you flowers almost weekly. You are very lucky. Remind yourself of the things he is already doing for you. I wouldn’t worry too much about this.

marinelife's avatar

I think it depends on how he behaves the rest of the year. Does he tell you he loves you often? Does he surprise you with outings or gifts?

If so, then focus on that. If not, then see how he is about your birthday or Christmas.

You can’t take the Valentine’s Day thing out of context. It could be he is sufficiently demonstrative in other ways. It could be that he is using the commercial aspect of Valentine’s Day as an excuse. Only you know for sure.

Cruiser's avatar

Valentines day is all about celebrating why you love the one you love! Why not just do it!

wundayatta's avatar

@iLove I wouldn’t matter if you pretended the day didn’t exist. But how are you to find out that from each other? Obviously, he didn’t do it in a very good way.

I can see how you would feel punished by his past. Still, it seems to me that one’s past is always carried with one, and you’re not the only one being punished. Maybe he feels so badly about it that he doesn’t even want to risk it in a new relationship. Maybe it’s something that stirs up deep stuff that he isn’t even aware of. I don’t know. He may not even know.

But you love him, so you’ll get past this. Maybe you can find out what’s going on. And like I said, negotiate a mutually agreeable solution to the problem. Communication is the name of the game—but it’s also one of the trickiest games I know. Maybe the trickiest.

ucme's avatar

Valentines Day is just a harmless bit of fluff & should be treat as such. Me & the missus much prefer our anniversary as a time to…..ahem, “show our love.” ;¬}

downtide's avatar

I can understand not wanting to go to the expense of cards and gifts, especially if strapped for cash. But romance is free and to do nothing at all strikes me as being a bit callous and I would question whether there’s any love there at all.

iLove's avatar

This is exactly why I asked! Thanks everyone!

Now I have to play devil’s advocate… to the Flutherites who answered that you don’t currently celebrate (or don’t care, etc) with your SO, what about that very FIRST VDAY? think back now :)

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iLove At the time of our first Valentine’s Day together, we had been dating for about 4 months. We didn’t exchange any gifts, but we did have a nice dinner together (he made it and we had wine with our dinner). We did this many other times as well though, not just for Valentine’s Day. Our first Valentine’s Day together as a married couple, we spent curled up on the sofa watching tv together, nothing else. He did make us a nice dinner that night and we had wine with dinner, but that is a regular thing for us, not something special for Valentine’s Day.

J0E's avatar

Most guys probably wish they could do the same thing. I wouldn’t be concerned.

Aethelwine's avatar

@iLove I was 21 and pregnant our first Valentine’s Day together. I had been brought up to expect the fairytale of the day. We had very little money and I believe my husband was only able to bring me a single rose. It’s been almost 20 years since that day and I have a terrible memory, but I do remember being disappointed. I was disappointed because I saw all these beautiful flower arrangements that my co-workers received and I felt envious.

There is no reason why I should have felt disappointed that day because the calender said I should expect romance on the 14th. If your partner shows you in other ways throughout the year how much he loves you, that should be enough.

Zaku's avatar

Ask your boyfriend if he’d like to do something romantic with you some other day…

downtide's avatar

@iLove my first Vday with my current partner was so long ago I can’t even remember it!

perspicacious's avatar

There doesn’t need to be a Valentine Day thing. If you want to buy him a card or a gift, do. Two months of dating is too new to make such a big deal about it. Do you tell everyone you date for two months that you love them. That’s just starting to get to know each other, but love?

tinyfaery's avatar

I met, pursued and married the love of my life before a Valentine’s Day ever occurred. When VD rolled around I told her I don’t do VD and in the 10 years we have been together we have never celebrated a VD. Holidays, cards, flowers and candy have nothing to do with love.

iLove's avatar

@perspicacious – I appreciate your insight. 2 months is dating is too new; maybe I should have been more specific and said we were friends first, then dated. Point taken though.

chyna's avatar

@psychocandy works fast. :-)

tinyfaery's avatar

@chyna I just knew she was the one.

VS's avatar

Speaking only from my own perspective, I am a helluva lot more concerned with how well I am treated the other 364 days of the year than on the one day that someone arbitrarily decided was the “day of love”. I don’t expect any flowers, dinner out, or sappy cards from Hallmark. I DO expect my box of Godiva chocolate but I want it for my birthday in May.

I think two months is a little too soon to “do” the whole Valentine’s thing, too. Maybe your new beau just needs to take things a little slower, but if the holiday is really important to you, maybe you could do something on a small scale to show your affection for him.

Smashley's avatar

Yeah, it’s a silly tradition. and seems exclusively invented to encourage the purchase of love. But all holidays are about as silly, and I don’t see anything wrong with desiring to celebrate them. That said, just like any holiday, you are free to choose whether or not you want to celebrate them, or to choose the manner in which you observe them. I don’t mind using the opportunity to do something romantic for someone I love, but I’ll be damned before I buy a heart shaped box of chocolates, jewelry, fancy dinner, teddy bears or other useless shit because someone else tells me this is the proper way and day to show love.

How would you feel if he didn’t want to set fireworks off on the fourth of July? (Or first of July, or fifth of November, or whatever is common where you are.) Would you balk at him opting out of this tradition? Would you question his patriotism?

If he doesn’t ever show his love for you, you’ve got bigger problems, but don’t equate love with “showing it exuberantly every fourteenth of February.” People show it in different ways, and though you may feel like Valentine’s Day is an immensely important tradition, he clearly does not. Express your feelings, try to understand his, and come to a compromise. The love will be all the stronger for it.

lemming's avatar

I wouldn’t say anything confrontational about it, you don’t want him to buy you a present because he feels he has to, after a fight you wouldn’t even want it. You could drop a few hints though. If he brings you flowers ‘almost weekly’ you should be happy on the presents front, that’s above the norm.

Austinlad's avatar

Not proof positive, certainly, but a ood indication this guy may not be The One if you’re looking for romance.

KhiaKarma's avatar

Every date with my hubby is like Valentines day! I don’t think my hubby and I have ever done the candy/cards/flowers thing….I don’t even think for the first year together…. Can’t remember. For me, it means more when it’s a random recognition of our love rather than a commercial holiday. We do usually use it as an excuse to spend quality time together, though…..

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Eeek. His statement about having done so much in the past and not being up to it now would have killed me if I heard it because I’d understand it to mean the guy doesn’t see me as any different that his bad past experiences. To me, this doesn’t have so much to do with V-day being commercialized as this guy being hurt, angry and not invested in you as an idividual he respects.

YARNLADY's avatar

Our very first Valentine’s Day came after we had been together nearly a year, since we met in May. We just looked at each other and said “Do you want anything? – No.”

jca's avatar

I think if both partners are content without doing Valentine’s Day, that’s great.

If one or both partners wants to do the V-day thing and the other is receptive, or both are happy with it, great.

However, if you want it you should have it. If he’s not into it you are going to feel deprived. I would hope if you told him you were into it, he would be willing to play along.

klutzaroo's avatar

I agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir. I’d be mad that I didn’t mean enough to him, and that he’s sitting there telling me that our relationship doesn’t mean much to him, to get past his past relationships and do something nice for me on our first Valentine’s. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but saying “I’m too lazy to care this year” is crap. You (and he) don’t have to do much, but saying that on this day I choose to do nothing at all to say “I love you” is crap. It doesn’t much matter if he does something every other day of the year if he’s going to sit there and tell you that you don’t matter enough for him to make any kind of effort like he has in the past for other people.

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