An Open Letter to Oblivious Partners as Valentine’s Day Approaches


Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Dear Oblivious Significant Others, 

Valentine’s Day is slowly approaching, which may prompt anxiety in new (and experienced) relationships. However, this article lays out a step-by-step guide for approaching the upcoming holiday without fear of disappointing your girlfriend or significant other!

If you haven’t asked your loved one to be your Valentine, the clock is ticking, so start preparing. No, this doesn’t mean sending a text asking. This means, at the very least, some sort of forethought and attention went into the process. 

If you’re long distance, a handmade letter would be perfect. No money is even required! Simply cut up some pretty paper or magazine letters, and make a DIY Valentine’s Day card before shipping it in the mail. Bonus points if you spray perfume or cologne on the letter or if you add any sentimental value to it (like dried flowers!). Just be careful you don’t overstuff the letter without adding the extra postage required. 

For relationships close by, you could pick up some flowers, your partner’s favorite food, and prepare a little movie night with some rose petals. Last year, my boyfriend baked me a strawberry cake and wrote, “Be my Valentine?” on it, bringing over flowers and a stuffed bear. 

I was so happy and thankful at that moment that I still tell stories about it today–and that’s why paying attention to your partner matters. The year before, he did the whole rose petal and charcuterie board shebang, and I fall more in love with him every year. 

One more time for the people in the back: asking your partner to be your Valentine and celebrating Valentine’s Day should be two separate occasions. 

Asking your partner to be your Valentine should happen at least a week before the holiday – like now! – and can be as small as just asking them face-to-face. Make it personal, and make it seem like it matters to you as much as it matters to them (even if it doesn’t).

Valentine’s Day dates don’t have to be extravagant; most people prefer sentimental dates that cost more labor than money. 

For gifts, please avoid cliche heart necklaces. I don’t think I have ever spoken to a girl that has been happy receiving one; they are simply a metaphor for being blissfully unaware of your significant other’s hobbies and interests. Instead, find your girlfriend’s favorite crystal or birthstone, and find her jewelry that fits her lifestyle. Homemade gifts are often appreciated, as sentimental value goes a long way. 

If your girlfriend wears the same necklace daily, she won’t want another one. Rather, find her a ring or bracelet that could compliment her current jewelry. She’ll notice and be appreciative that you considered her interests while purchasing her a gift! 

Another tasteful pointer on jewelry: do not try to “spice up” your girlfriend’s collection by buying her jewelry you don’t usually see on her. If she wears only silver or gold, buy her only her preferred material. Gold and silver compliment different skin and hair tones, so chances are, if your significant other has a preference, they are not willing to wear the other.  

If your significant other has a certain niche interest, such as a television show or video game, there are a bunch of sellers on Etsy and other handmade websites that pander to these interests. Steer clear from Googling cliche things, like “gifts for him/her,” as these are almost always overpriced and unsentimental. 

Please don’t forget to buy your significant other flowers on Valentine’s Day. (If you don’t know by now, you need to know your partner’s favorite flower!) 

Sure, it’s nice to receive flowers, but it’s much nicer to receive your favorite flowers. Even if you celebrated on a different day, that is not an excuse for withholding attention and affection from your partner on the actual holiday. Make their day special; it’ll mean the world to them! 

Here’s the thing: you should treat your significant other like it is your last day on earth with them because you’re never promised a tomorrow. 

If you don’t appreciate what you have when you have it, you won’t have a partner for long.