Q: Don’t you think that all women would be tuned into being romantic on Valentine’s Day. Isn’t that a given? Not in my case, apparently. I might just as well be involved with a man – not to upset any really great gay guys out there, as I’m sure that most of them are very romantic.
Last year on Valentine’s Day, my girlfriend forgot it – as she did the year before. How can you forget this holiday? It’s advertised and displayed everywhere. I went to the doctor last year, a week-and-a-half before Valentine’s Day, and they had Valentine’s decorations up. At the grocery store, there were all kinds of displays for Valentine’s Day. Even at the gas station they had candies and flowers. But did my girlfriend see them? Was she clued into it? The answer was either no, or she didn’t think it was very important to remember it.
“Janis” and I have been together for almost three years now. The first year that she forgot, I was upset, but I was blinded by love and figuring it was some kind of honest mistake. Last year, especially since I was so upset about her not seeming to notice the big day, I got really upset. She was all apologetic about it, but it seemed more like she was trying to make things OK than really upset with herself for forgetting.
For some reason, she remembers my birthday. But of course, I’ve always reminded her or one of my sisters have mentioned it. She also seems to remember Christmas, but then you’d have to be dumb, blind, deaf and without a TV to not know that Christmas was coming.
Before Janis, I felt horrible about Valentine’s Day because I never had anyone. I mean, never! I didn’t date in high school because I didn’t dig boys, but really didn’t understand why. It was one of those holidays that I hated, felt lonely and like such an outsider. I hated that I didn’t have a boyfriend and hated that I didn’t really want one. Somehow, Valentine’s Day brought out all of my fears, anger and confusion about myself, and now I know, my sexuality, too. I stayed home from school on that day because I just couldn’t handle it. So, it’s been a very difficult thing for me and has caused a real blister on my psyche, you might say.
This year, I’d sure like for Janis to remember, on her own, and to honor it. I’ve never told her all that I’m telling you now, as I would just like her to remember because she loves me, not because of anything else. I am not asking for sympathy, or I don’t want to be seen as a “needy” person. (That is what she called me last year after she forgot to get me anything for V-Day, or plan anything special.)
What do you suggest?
Needing a Valentine
A: First of all, you don’t know whether she will remember Valentine’s Day this year, so you may be worrying and getting upset needlessly. I think you are wrong not to tell her about what Valentine’s Day means to you. Certainly she should remember this year, especially given the last two Valentine’s Days. But if you let her know about how it was for you in high school, you could help her to understand the pain you felt, and still do to this day. Information like this is important to share in relationships. It can actually make couples closer. (It needs to be shared before the event, not after – in anger.) It’s not at all being “needy.” Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day? Make sure you let her know what you would enjoy on Valentine’s Day. It’s not fair to make our partner’s guess what our needs are and then get mad at them when they don’t do what we want. Give it a try, and let me know.