In all honesty, Valentine’s Day is usually toward the top of most people’s awkward holiday list. It can be even more uncomfortable when starting to see someone new while in the “getting to know each other” phase.
Just recently started dating someone? There are probably a lot of “what if” possibilities running through both of your heads. Do casual daters buy gifts for each other? What if you buy a gift and your partner doesn’t reciprocate? If you don’t buy one, will it be awkward?
These questions are stressful enough to put people off from Valentine’s Day altogether. However, don’t just ignore the holiday. It could make for a rocky and awkward start to the relationship. Instead, bring it up to your potential significant other and make plans. This holiday isn’t celebrated exclusively by those who are madly in love. There are plenty of fun options to be discovered when things aren’t serious.
Before planning an evening with a new flame, it’s important to remember one thing: have realistic expectations. If the relationship is just a couple of months old, it’s probably too soon to worry about buying gifts. Wandering the mall and agonizing about gift choices shouldn’t be a priority this early in the game.
If exchanging gifts is necessary, start small. Any girlfriend loves a bouquet of flowers, and most guys are more than satisfied with a mixed CD of his favorite music. There are plenty of light, fun gifts that will show him or her you care without going overboard.
Chances are, newbie lovers won’t be taking the expensive dinner and jewelry route. Instead, how about cooking dinner and spending the night in? It doesn’t even have to be romantic and sappy; the whole point is spending time together. Especially in a new relationship, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be too different from any other date night of the week. Oftentimes the nights of cheap Chinese food and bad TV turn out to be some of the best.
No matter what ends up happening today, remember this: Put a smile on and have fun. Letting the nerves melt away will allow the relationship to survive this Valentine’s Day with hope for others to come.
-Rachel Verbits is a journalism senior.
-This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.