There can be a lot of pressure and expectations around Valentine’s Day. A great Valentine’s Day can be great for a relationship: if handled well, it can take a budding relationship to the next level. Or it can reignite a relationship that is years, or even decades, old.

On the other hand, a poorly executed Valentine’s Day can have significant drawbacks, casting a shadow on a relationship. Failing to invest time in planning a meaningful day or falling short of expectations can lead to feelings of disappointment and resentment.

Who celebrates Valentine’s Day?

Driver Research reveals that Valentine’s Day is celebrated by as many as 52% of consumers. Approximately 224 million roses are grown exclusively for the holiday, and about 3 out of every 10 Americans end up accumulating credit card debt due to their Valentine’s Day spending.

Valentine’s Day Mistakes

Some people set unrealistic expectations for Valentine’s Day, setting themselves up for potential disappointment. But it’s important to realize the day is about celebrating love, not showing off.

Another common pitfall is assuming their partners can read their minds about what they want on Valentine’s Day. It’s better to be clear about your wishes to avoid disappointments.

While gifts are always appreciated, it’s important to remember that the value lies in the thought and effort behind the gift, not the price tag. Social media can exacerbate this pressure, with people flaunting extravagant gifts and experiences. Every relationship is unique, and there’s no need to compare your Valentine’s Day with others.

Additionally, love shouldn’t be confined to a single day a year. Consistently expressing love and appreciation throughout the year can alleviate stress associated with Valentine’s Day. Simple, spontaneous gestures, such as leaving a heartfelt note or a surprise gift, can go a long way in making someone feel loved and appreciated.

If you’ve had a not-so-great Valentine’s Day, learn from it and avoid these common mistakes next time. Take a look at some of the common Valentine’s Day mistakes to steer clear of for a smoother and more enjoyable celebration.

  • Buying a last minute gift

    Having no plans, even with good intentions, can make you seem inconsiderate and unmotivated. While it’s tempting to resort to last-minute convenience-store flowers or a generic box of chocolates, your partner likely knows you’re more creative. Avoid scrambling to find the perfect last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts. Instead, have a plan in place, making your partner feel valued with the thought you put into it ahead of time.

    closeup of shopping trolley with gift box concept, love hearts Valentine's Day on wooden background

    Neydtstock/ Getty Images

  • Not making reservations

    Valentine’s Day is a peak time for restaurants, spas, and getaways, so avoid waiting until the eleventh hour to snag your spot. Many places fill up weeks or even months before the big day. According to Taste of Home, it’s wise to plan and secure a reservation five to six weeks in advance. Mark it on your calendar to avoid any slip-ups. If you realize you forgot, try calling around to see if any restaurants have last-minute openings, or opt for a cozy romantic dinner at home.

    Restaurant Chilling Out Classy Lifestyle Reserved Concept. Waitress reserving a tablet at a restaurant and putting a sign on the table - food service concepts

    dragana991/ Getty Images

  • Not discussing a budget

    Surprises are great, but when you gift your partner chocolate and roses and they surprise you with a trip to Hawaii or a new car, it can be a bit awkward. Although it’s uncommon to have such a huge difference in gift budgets, having a quick chat before Valentine’s Day can be beneficial. Set some guidelines. Maybe agree on a small budget, like under $20, or consider pooling funds for a more extravagant joint experience.

    Cropped shot of an attractive young couple talking in the living room

    bernardbodo/ Getty Images

  • Ignoring preferences

    People often make the mistake of organizing Valentine’s Day based on their preferences rather than considering what their partner likes. Avoid overlooking your partner’s wishes or desires for the day. If your significant other prefers a cozy night at home over a fancy dinner, make sure your plans align with their preferences.

    young man presenting gift box to girlfriend at valentines day

    LightFieldStudios/ Getty Images

  • Skipping it all together

    Even if you’re not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, your partner might be a total romantic, so don’t act like it’s just any regular day. You don’t have to pull off a huge, fancy gesture every time, but completely ignoring it can be hurtful. Making a little effort shows you care. Complaining about the day doesn’t help either. Some people see Valentine’s Day as a bit commercial, but pointing that out or making excuses to ignore it might disappoint your partner. Griping about putting effort into the day can quickly spoil anything special you decide to do for them.

    A young sad woman is next to her partner who is texting on the phone with someone, and not paying attention to her.

    guruXOOX/ Getty Images

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