Valentine’s Day, a time to spend under the covers, or just another day? We spoke to four couples, newlywed, long-married, and engaged about their Hallmark holiday together.
A recent study on Zola found that married couples are more intimate on Valentine’s Day than their wedding night. Is it because of the pressure of the wedding, the pressure to be intimate on V-Day or a mixture of both? The study also revealed that 62 percent of couples wish they were more intimate with their spouse but long hours working and stressful environments impacted those sexual nights. This leads to 38 percent of couples scheduling their sex, completely removing any spontaneity and romantics from the picture.
Christina, who has been married to her partner for 4.5 years says, “I have never felt any pressure from my partner to be intimate on the night of Valentine’s Day, but I do feel pressure culturally to make Valentine’s Day special. “Special” doesn’t necessarily mean sexual intimacy. If anything, I am never “in the mood” for sexual intimacy on Valentine’s Day because it feels forced and connected to some weird cultural or social obligation.” She continues, “It sucks the intimacy and authenticity out of anything real.”
Lauren, who has been married a little over eight months says that she’s never been a fan of the holiday. “I’ve generally been anti-Valentine’s Day because I can’t stand the commercialism and pressure to buy gifts, etc. and luckily my husband agreed when we first started dating.”
I could detail an article about how millennials don’t really care about Valentine’s Day but Elite Daily recently conducted a survey that found that, actually, a lot of us don’t mind the made-up-reason for love. The study found that 42 percent of women and 43 percent of men feel excited and happy about February 14th. Single people also throw a party with friends or are content doing nothing.
Newlywed, Holly has been married a year and says that her and her husband go on dates “throughout the year but we do something special for Valentine’s Day every year.” She continues, “Some years that just means takeout and Netflix, other years it’s a night out (like this year we’re doing a restaurant and a comedy show) but every year we definitely make plans.”
Is Valentine’s Day any different from another romantic date?
Christina says, “No,” Valentine’s Day is just like any other day of the year. “We go on dates throughout the year, or just hang out or go out.” 41 percent of couples, according to Zola, find that their most memorable Valentine’s Day is a “low key date night at home.” Moreover, 53 percent of couples don’t exchange gifts, so don’t worry about having that pressure to splurge in the beginning of the year.
Sarah*, whose been with her fiancé for 11 months hasn’t spent Valentine’s Day with him yet. She says, “We live far apart since I moved for a job, so we may joke about a ‘belated Valentine’s Day’ and I will definitely use that as incentive to stay somewhere more private than his parents’ house for a night.”
But what about the intimacy levels? Since Zola found that couples are more intimate on Valentine’s Day, we wanted to seek out why couples find that they are more ready to jump into bed together than on other nights of the year. Holly explains: “I would say we probably are more intimate, just because it’s a night that we specifically make time to get ready, go out on a date, etc. rather than the other 364 days when we live together in sweatpants and fight over who’s making lunches.”
Our results were that most of the time, it varies. For some couples, they prioritize time spent together on V-Day, while others find work getting in the way and celebrate other ways.
So, who is celebrating Valentine’s Day?
The Elite Daily study found that 85 percent of women celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone they are dating for six months. Maybe it’s still the honeymoon phase but couples decrease in celebrations the longer they date someone. But our interviews found that “celebrating” doesn’t necessarily have to be diamonds and a four course dinner. Instead, it’s Netflix at home, private time without any distractions (i.e. phones or video games), and the focus of spending time together.
Lauren, whose pretty anti-V-Day recalls a time when her husband brought home a tablecloth, candlesticks, and made her favorite dessert: “He can be romantic in so many other ways and I’d rather he does things like that on other days of the year, so it feels sincerer and less forced.” She says that this year they are staying in and watching Shameless which is low key. 41 percent of newlyweds found that their most memorable Valentine’s Day was their most low-key date so Lauren and her hubby may be on to something.
And for someone like Sarah*, whose doing a long-distance engagement at the moment says, “The thing is though, I will say it’s not a big deal, and he will end up driving 7 hours here even though I said to wait one more weekend. It’s [the] overall effort, not one day, that matters.”
Overall, we can agree that most couples want to share a bed, or a couch, with their special someone, no matter how anti-Valentine’s Day they are. It’s about the closeness together that makes it a special day and if that means having to watch a few hours of Netflix while cuddled up, then so be it.
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