Whether you’re in a couple or rolling solo, Valentine’s Day comes with expectation and pressure.
With #CoupleGoals as a consistently trending hashtag, countless pictures of couples on social media, the obsession of celebrity break ups and make ups and TV shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette serving up contrived romance sprinkled with drama, the way we think of love and romance has changed.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York Board Certified Neuropsychologist explains why so many people say ‘no way’ to Valentine’s Day and offers some alternatives that shift this negative mindset.
1) “Valentine’s Day is a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ and I’m still broke from Christmas.”
When money is tight many people may want to cut back on spending especially for things they feel are frivolous. “Financial stress is a common thing and when people are made to feel pressured to spend, they get resentful and want to claim their power,” explains Dr. Hafeez. Instead of boycotting all romance, put a $20 maximum on gifts and you’ll see how sweet, thoughtful and creative you can get.
2) “Every restaurant is crowded and the service is terrible.”
Nothing kills romance faster than crowds and a bad experience dining out. Since everyone goes out to eat on Valentine’s Day there will be a lapse in service. “One way for couples to celebrate is to call their favorite restaurant in advance and have a meal prepared they can pick up and heat up at home,” suggests Dr. Hafeez. “You can either break out the fancy dishes and dress up or you can put on sweats and eat while watching a movie. The important thing is that you enjoy yourselves and aren’t stressed,” she adds.
3) “We’ve been together for ages. Every day is Valentine’s Day! Do we really need to celebrate?”
“Celebrations and traditions are important in a relationship and when they fall away it’s usually a sign of trouble and disconnection. While you may not feel the need to do anything extravagant use the day to appreciate the love you have and life you’ve created, even if it’s in a small way,” Hafeez advises.
4) “I’m single so what’s the point?”
Rolling solo on Valentine’s Day again, all the more reason to turn it into a Self Love Day. Being single on Valentine’s Day can be tough for people, especially those still healing from a break up or divorce. “You want to really be kind and caring to yourself. Booking a massage, getting a haircut, or arranging a single ladies night with your single friends could be just what’s needed. Focus on creating your own happiness,” says Dr. Hafeez who often sees a link between break up depression and anxiety over holidays.
5) “I’m just to busy for love and romance and all that stuff.”
Some people are just focused on other things that are top priority in their lives. There are plenty of women who are turned on more by generating income for their businesses than concerning themselves with outside approval or validation. There has been a rise in female entrepreneurship with more millennials and Gen X’ers preferring to build empires than romantic relationships. For them it’s just February 14th the mid-way point to a short month. “There’s nothing wrong with women wanting to focus on their professional lives. They often feel to focus on business, romance, which may cause them to lose focus, has to be shelved for a while, this is more common these days,” Dr. Hafeez shares.
While many say ‘no way’ to Valentine’s Day there are millions saying I DO.
According to a 2017 survey of 1000 people done by James Allen, an online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer, 43 percent of millennials say Valentine’s Day is their top pick for proposal day. November – February is considered proposal season.
Some other mind-blowing stats that clearly show Cupid isn’t going away anytime soon are.
In 2017, the National Retail Federation (NRF) put the estimated total spending at over $18.2 billion. That's an average of $136.57 per person.
Jewelry is the most popular gift with 20 percent of consumers expected to buy jewelry, with a total of $4.3 billion on bling, the NRF said.
$2 billion will be spent on flowers, with roses being most popular. 250 million roses are produced for the holiday, the Society of American Florists said.
The American Greeting Card Association puts that industries pay out at $1 BILLION… yes folks $1 billion … for paper.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. Website: comprehendthemind.com/
Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc.). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr. Oz.
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com.