Stress-free Valentine's Day

Counselor at UMHB talks reducing Valentine's Day stress

BELTON, TX - Total spending for Valentine's Day is expected to top $19.6 billion this year, that's about $143 per person and with Valentine's Day near, some people are really feeling the pressure.

"We shouldn't allow the gifts to be the primary focus," said Dr. Jason Martin, Clinical Director of Community Life Counseling at UMHB.

Between the roses, chocolates, balloons, stuffed animals and jewelry Valentine's Day can get pretty hectic.

"When we run into trouble is when we begin to focus on things like the gifts, and the activities, rather than on the relationships themselves," said Dr. Martin.

Dr. Martin says celebrating the relationship should rank the highest.

"By all means, buy the flowers, the chocolate, you know all that kind of stuff. Go out to a nice dinner, but make sure that celebrating the relationship is the important thing," said Dr. Martin.

Keep the communication open about what you expect from your partner.

"There needs to be a common understanding of what are the expectations? A lot of problems from relationships come from assuming expectations," said Dr. Martin.

That also means knowing how much you should expect to spend.

"I don't think any partner wants to go into debt for Valentine's Day," said Dr. Martin.

In fact, the average cost per couple on a Valentine's evening out is around $170. $1.8 billion will be spent on chocolates, $2 billion on flowers, and a whopping $4.7 billion on jewelry.

"If you end up spending thousands of dollars on something extravagant when maybe you don't really have that, well you're partner may not appreciate that," said Dr. Martin.

And, just remember what the day should really be about.

"Despite the hectic-ness of life, despite the different obligations we have, it's a time where we really can focus on the quality of the relationship and really celebrate that deliberately even if we don't remember to do it everyday," said Dr. Martin.


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