Just in case you missed our early warning signal, it is now really time to make your Valentine’s Day plans. Depending on your perspective, it is either your favorite or most dreaded day of the year. Soooo, when I called up all my shrinks in Beverly Hills (you know the one, Dr. Everything’ll Be Alright), they provided fabulous Valentine’s Day tips for singles and couples alike. Rather than spending oodles on something hokey, utilize their professional recommendations below. Embrace the day and make a plan now to celebrate yourself and the people you love.
LORI WEINSTOCK, LCSW, SPECIALIZING IN COUPLES COUNSELING
Since the 14th is on a Saturday this year, I would suggest that people make use of the daytime hours. A picnic and hike is a wonderful way to celebrate! L.A. has the most amazing hikes, so people should pick someplace that they don’t usually go. I also think it’s a good day to visit a great spot that most of us don’t usually go to. Make an adventure out of this! There are wonderful exhibits all over, and if you’re like the rest of us, you usually don’t make a point of expanding your cultural horizons often enough. Our weekends usually get swallowed up by routine errands and commitments. Maybe go for a couple’s massage, or have someone come to the house. Take a cooking class or hire a teacher to come to the house, and invite two other couples. Hire a sommelier and have a wine tasting at your own home. I love the idea of an experience! Building memories is critical. Hiring a chef to come to the house to cook is a unique way to dine, or maybe you could do that and invite one or two other couples.
And, if you want to find a gift, here are some ideas:
TableTopics for Couples: This is my favorite! My husband and I sat with a bottle of wine after dinner on our 20-year anniversary a few years ago and read through a ton of these and talked about them—it was the greatest night! We couldn’t wait to wake up and read through more of them. The questions provide the platform for you to share stories that might never have come up before. Such a great gift!
Getting tickets to an upcoming concert that you would both like. Or, if the wife wanted to get tickets to her husband’s favorite sporting event. Surprisingly, many husbands actually want their wives to join them. They only usually take their friends when the wife refuses to go. This will really surprise a man!
Frame a picture from the first year that you started dating—that really touches people. Make a list of realistic things you’d want to do over the next year that will make your partner feel loved. First, find out what would make them feel loved, and then agree to some of them that will really connect you.
It’s a hokey holiday, but everyone in their heart wants to celebrate, so let’s make it fun!
DR. CHARLES SOPHY, MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR THE L.A. DEPT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
Make a list of the top five strengths of your partner and get a small token gift representing each one.
LORI SUNKIN, MA, MFT, SPECIALIZING IN POSTPARTUM, INFERTILITY, AND LOSS
Take time together. February is a beautiful time for hiking, biking, or even a walk on the beach. Find an old favorite picture of the two of you and frame it. Cooking at home can be warm, fun, and sexy, too. Take the time to find out what your partner really loves to do in quiet time and do it together.
If you are not in a relationship don’t forget to celebrate the “love of life.” Try something that you’ve always wanted to do: a trapeze class, a new restaurant with a friend, a great facial. Valentine’s Day can also be about celebrating you!