Valentine’s Day is one of those days that can bring up a range of emotions. If you are in a relationship, it’s important to understand your partner’s feeling about and expectations of the day.
For some people, Valentine’s Day is an important celebration and recognition of an important relationship. Others believe it is an unnecessary and commercial exploitation, or may be completely ambivalent to it. However you feel about Valentine’s Day, if it is meaningful to your partner, recognising and celebrating it will show that you have paid attention to what is important to him or her. Equally, your partner needs to acknowledge this gesture.
If you are both clear about each other’s expectations and respond accordingly, your Valentine’s Day is likely to go much more smoothly.
The fact that Valentine’s Day brings relationships into focus can be a good excuse to take stock of your own.
Relationships experts agree that valuing your relationship, and acknowledging and celebrating the good things about a partner is important – not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year.
Just like your health, fitness and finances, relationships need attention and maintenance and can’t be taken for granted. This includes the different parts of being in a relationship; the ‘me’, ‘you’ and ‘us’.
Like most things in our lives, when things are going well we don’t necessarily feel the need to put a lot of effort in to keep things that way. It’s only when things begin to slide that we feel the need to take action, and sometimes this can be too late.
Conflict and negative feelings such as anger are normal in relationships. The difference between happy, stable relationships and unhappy, unsuccessful relationships is the way that conflict and problems are managed.
In happy relationships, partners:
Research by Relationships Australia and the Australian National University has shown that couples who participate in relationship education courses are more likely to be happier in their relationships, find it easier to communicate their concerns and deal with conflict.
Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) offers relationship programs at centres across Victoria.
RAV also provides a free online relationship course, Good Connecting.
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