By Melanie Mar

Congratulations, you survived!  During the past couple of months you plowed through the relationship equivalent of a marathon.  You survived the agony of choosing the perfect gifts for your loved one during the holidays, then rang in the new year with great cheer, good spirit and much love.  So, now it’s time to sit back, relax and take it easy on the romance front, right?  Wrong!

Before you can even catch your breath, Valentine’s Day is upon us, the most romantic day of the year –  so we are told.  Contrary to what popular culture wants us to believe, for many people, Valentine’s Day is less fun and flirty and more stressful and sad.  Maybe it highlights that another year has passed and you’re still not in a relationship, or recently have suffered a hurtful separation.  Perhaps you just simply don’t know what to do to make this day as special and romantic for your partner as societal pressure dictates.  Talk about unneeded anxiety!

There is no escaping this pressure, either.  All the shop windows have comical, over-sized hearts displayed and cheeky cherubs pointing their arrows at you, not to mention the red bows and the red ribbons and the cute cards and the cute teddy bears … STOP!  Take a deep breath — we will get through this together.

If you are single, I want you to create your own ideal Valentine’s Day.  View it as the one opportunity this year that you can truly pamper and spoil yourself.  Whether you buy flowers, light candles, listen to music, get a massage or find a jaquzzi and relax, make this day about romancing yourself.  This is your special day!  Do it for you, because you love you and try not to get too wrapped up in the hype.

Another way to enjoy Valentine’s Day as a singleton is to celebrate those you love.  Your lucky valentine can be your parent, your friend or your dog whose day you have chosen to brighten.  It’s a fabulous excuse to show extra love to those you care about.

When you are in a relationship, one of the biggest pitfalls is gift expectations.  I suggest you buy a joint journal — you may even call it your dream journal.  You both can write in this journal at anytime, expressing anything that either of you would like to receive from the other.  These dreams can be both sexual and non-sexual; they can be a highly sought after material item or a simple request that costs nothing.  Whenever the fancy takes you, jot down these thoughts, ideas, things, web sites or photos, knowing that at some point they will be seen and read by the other person.  Do not expect anything of each other and you may well be pleasantly surprised!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love, Melanie

For more information, visit Melanie’s Mar’s Facebook page or contact her at info@melaniemar.com.  A complete overview of her services can be found at www.melaniemar.com