Candid advice from relationship columnist, Jen Kirsch. This week she gives tips on what to do when you like Valentine’s Day and your partner doesn’t.

Dear Jen Kirsch,

My other half thinks V-Day is lame, but I really look forward to it. How do I get him to understand?



Dear xxx,

I knew I’d get a question like this. And to be honest, many a lady can likely replace Valentine’s Day with other things she loves that her partner doesn’t; so I think the advice I give back to you can help a ton of other people. Here’s the thing: just because he thinks Valentine’s Day is lame, doesn’t mean you need to pretend to think so, too. If you did, you’d be hiding who you really are—and that’s not good for anyone.

Speak up: Even if he isn’t into V-Day, he does want to make you happy. But he can’t read your mind, so you’ve got to speak up and let him know how you feel. Tell him how your mom made you heart-shaped eggs every year until you were 17 and why that was so special. By sharing your feelings with him you’re being vulnerable; this helps create intimacy and a stronger bond. It will also help your guy avoid making you upset when Feb. 14 rolls around. (No one really wants an arrow in the butt.)

Create reasonable expectations: This is not a test—this is life. People learn when taught, so express to him what you want to do and how you want to celebrate the holiday. Is it a night in and an exchange of cards? Or are you more of a couple’s massage/fancy prix fixe dinner type? Let him know what your (reasonable) expectations are to avoid disappointment day of.

Do something for him: Perhaps he thinks the holiday’s lame because he thinks it’s totally one-sided, and all about him wining and dining you. But a relationship works both ways; if you think your guy is a keeper, make the day special for him, too. Pay attention to the things that he’s enthusiastic and passionate about, and make note of them so that on V-Day you can take care of him just as much as he takes care of you.