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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. For many people this is very stressful.

Perhaps your sweetie was upset with you for whatever you did or did not do at Christmas. This feels like your last opportunity to make up for a year’s worth (or more!) of mad. Anyway, somehow your evaluation for how your marriage is doing is going to occur on Valentine’s Day, and you’d better put on a pretty good show if you have any chance of keeping your job. You are not alone.

I’ve got two tips for you on how to survive this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day Survival Tip #1)
Start showing your appreciation for your spouse or sweetheart right now! Don’t wait for the big day. By the time Valentine’s Day gets here, your spouse will feel loved and appreciated and will in turn appreciate and enjoy the gift you give her. She will not see it (the gift) as the only evidence of what she means to you.

That’s not to say she still isn’t going to expect “something special” on Valentine’s Day. But she is more likely to see it as special because of the way you have been going out of your way to romance her before the big day.

Here are some suggestions for those of you who are too nervous and panicky to think straight:

  • Touch her face and look at her fondly.
  • Look at her like she is the most adorable thing you ever saw.
  • Listen to her when she talks.
  • Let her know by the way you touch her that she is precious to you.
  • Spontaneously offer to take her out to dinner or lunch or whatever just to pamper her.
  • Cook dinner for her.
  • Pretend you are dating her and not married to her.
  • Pretend you don’t know her and want to get to know her. (Hey, the neat thing is you do know her so you’ve got the inside scoop on what she likes!)

And for heaven’s sakes, get to the store NOW! Don’t wait until 5:00 on Valentine’s Day and hope you will get inspired.  Stores run out of stuff. Do not get caught bringing home a hideous pink stuffed animal because that’s all that was left! If you can’t think of a good idea, call her friends and relatives and ask them what to get. She will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Valentine’s Day Survival Tip #2)
If you are on the other side of this equation and are waiting to see what your sweetheart does on Valentine’s Day, stop it. Don’t let someone else ruin Valentine’s Day (or any day for that matter!) for you. Whether or not you will be happy that day should NOT be in someone else’s hands – especially if that person is a little bit clueless (he’s not the only one!)

Valentine’s Day is about being loved and appreciated and pampered. Start treating yourself to some extra TLC right now. Don’t wait for the big day. You have my official permission to appreciate, love and pamper yourself.

Here are some suggestions for ways to appreciate yourself this month:

  • Luxuriate in a bubble bath.
  • Buy yourself something special.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Read a book.
  • Make yourself a cup of tea and really enjoy it.
  • Say “I love myself.” “I appreciate myself.” And start paying special attention to yourself.

It will still matter what happens on Valentine’s Day. So, if you’ve got some suggestions about what you would like or how you would like to celebrate, TELL HIM. Just because he didn’t think of it himself, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. He wants to get you what YOU want. If he were left completely to his own devices, you might end up with a bunch of silly balloons or something. (I apologize if you like that sort of thing.) And don’t forget to appreciate your sweetie, too.