Terry Sloan

Licensed Professional Counselor at Your Service

Real Q&A

Dear Terry,
My least favorite holiday is coming up again – Valentine’s Day! I don’t think the holiday is fair because no matter what romantic thing someone does on this holiday, it can’t seem to live up to the hype! Worst of all, i’m caught in the trap this time too! It all started when I thought of a movie my new husband and I would enjoy watching together. Innocent enough, right? But then it occurred to me that we could watch this movie for Valentine’s Day. THEN it occurred to me how sweet and thoughtful it would be if my husband bought this movie as a Valentine’s gift with the thought that we could watch it together. I daydreamed about us making dinner together, having wine, and enjoying the film on the couch. Now i’ve had this idea and while I won’t necessarily be disappointed if it doesn’t happen, I wish I had zero ideas / expectations! I’ve already bought us tickets to a show for the ‘holiday’ or I would buy the video myself. The whole thing puts me on the fence – do I buy the movie and plan the evening myself? It would be enjoyable but not a surprise. I get the same result from telling my husband the idea. If I don’t tell him, he probably won’t guess it. He’s not telepathic, after all. But if I DO tell him, then i’m taking away any opportunity for him to have his own ideas or surprise me. The same thing goes for daydreams about coming home to a clean kitchen, being surprised with flowers, waking up to breakfast in bed, or a dozen other wonderful gestures. What am I to do?!

Day Dreamer


Dear Dreamer,
A couple of positive things stand out in your letter:
Your hubby is not telepathic and giving him an idea will decrease your suprise/enjoyability.

Having said that, my suggestion would be:

1)  Tell your hubby what you told me – this is NOT my favorite holiday; however, since we are a Mr. & Mrs. I DO want us to surprise each other lovingly.  (then leave him to his own devices for that surprise).
2)  Decide what you want YOUR Valentine’s Day celebration to consist of.  If you want to the experience of the movie on the couch, buy it and invite him to join you there (maybe in a special Valentine Day outfit?).
3)  Engage him honestly in what he thinks a Happy Valentines Day consists of – and make sure he knows that his ideas are just as special as yours.
4)  On this holiday, especially, it is important to remember the gender differences between males and females.  Romance to one is not necessarily romance to the other.  Aim for a balance!  After all, sweet & spicy can be fun!!

Hope your holiday is sweet, romantic and surprising!  ~Terry~