Ask Wendy

How Do I Get My Husband to Remember Valentine’s Day?

Friday, January 31, 2020
Hey Wendy,

My husband always messes up Valentine’s Day. He’s never gotten it right in the seven years we’ve been together. He just doesn’t think it through. I’ll get a card, and we eat out at a place in the neighborhood we go to all the time. It’s just another uneventful night, and I certainly never feel special. How can I get him to nail it? He doesn’t have a clue.

Heather R.

Hey Heather,

I’m so sorry you’ve missed out on going big for Valentine’s! Here’s a peek into what “nailing it” looks like for reals: You’ll start the evening looking for parking – it’s tricky AF and will yield a longer walk than you anticipated in those fancy “I’m getting laid tonight” Jimmy Choo stilettos. Uber wouldn’t have been any better, rates are surging off the charts. The ‘where the boughie people go’ restaurant he painstakingly called precisely three months prior to the date between 10:37 a.m. – 10:42 a.m. (the middle of his team meeting) to get a coveted reservation for two is packed. I mean jam-packed. Great Wall of China during tourist season packed. The place will be so noisy he’ll have to yell his sweet nothings across the table. Your $210 per person prix fixe meal will be slightly disappointing, and the red the sommelier paired with it has you wonder if this night is his big opportunity to unload it from the basement right before it’s corked.

Do you love flowers? Then your guy paid triple the normal cost for mailing it. (I know this firsthand — I buy flowers for myself year-round except for the three weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.)

Are chocolates a fav? He should grab them now. If he stops off before he picks you up, you’ll be late for your dinner reservation, and they don’t wait for you on Valentine’s Day. The lines around the block at all the candy stores start today.

Do you really need a spectacle from him on the most inconvenient day of the year? 

I hate to be the Grinch that stole Valentine’s, but I’d rather you feel loved and special every day, instead of one measly day.

But I hear you. If you’re jonesing for some over-the-top displays of affection, on the most inconvenient day of the year, my pro tip is to give him an actual clue. He’s not a mind reader. And frankly, a card and dinner out sounds pretty good to a lot of people, so you’re going to have to be specific about what will make your heart sing.

Telling your partner how to win with you isn’t magical, or even sexy. But here’s the thing: ‘If someone loves you, they just know’ is a myth.

And let’s be real. It’s not about a day in the middle of February, is it? I assert you don’t feel special the other 364 days. So when he doesn’t pony up on the big one, it breaks your heart. If this is the case, you have homework: Look in your relationship to see where he falls short. If you can pinpoint what’s happening, or more likely, what’s not happening, try using one of these two statements to talk it out:

“What I love that I want more of is ____.”

“What I’d like to receive from you is ____.”

Then follow up with the question, “Are you interested in giving me what I’m asking for?” And if he says yes, ask him if he needs anything from you, like a reminder.

When you’re being appreciated, acknowledged and loved in the language that works for you, you’ll feel special and adored every single day of the year, and you can leave Valentine’s Day to those who have something to prove.

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