13 Reasons Strong Couples Don't Need To Celebrate Valentine's Day

It’s a pretty arbitrary day, after all.

by Chrissa Hardy, Kristine Fellizar and Carolyn Steber
Originally Published: 
If you and your partner are not celebrating Valentine's Day, it doesn't necessarily mean anything.
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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to go all-out on Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re in a new relationship and everything feels fresh and exciting. But if you’ve been with your partner for years and your relationship is solid, V-Day doesn’t have to be a big deal.

According to experts, strong couples often don’t feel the need to celebrate this day of love, and there are several reasons why. For one, it often seems like there’s too much pressure to get it right. “Many of us, single or coupled, can feel a bit of dread about the [holiday] because we’ve decided that on an arbitrary day in miserable, cold February, we will all test the strength, validity, or happiness of our relationships,” Brooke Bralove, LCSW-C, a psychotherapist and relationship expert, tells Bustle.

It’s all too easy to give a cheesy card or a heart-shaped gift that misses the mark, even if you’ve been dating for ages. But beyond that, there’s also the prospect of leaving your cozy home to brave the elements in search of overpriced wine and pasta — and as a long-term couple, who needs that?

Still, it’s tempting to put a lot of stock on Valentine’s Day, and when surrounded by hearts, chocolates, and flowers, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. But as Bralove says, “Couples who are actually secure in their relationship express love, appreciation, and commitment regularly and spontaneously — and many don’t feel the need to prove anything. Their love can be celebrated on Feb. 13 or 15 just as easily as Valentine’s Day and without the pressure.”

While it might be fun to grab some roses or a silly pair of Cupid boxers on occasion, deep love and unwavering commitment to another person can be celebrated on other days and in other ways, and that means it’s totally OK to forgo the tradition of V-Day if you’d like.

Here are all the reasons why strong couples may not want to celebrate Valentine's Day, according to experts.

1. They Don’t Need To Flaunt Their Relationship Status

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With TikTok and Instagram taking over our lives, some newer couples may see Valentine’s Day as the perfect time to flaunt their relationship status for all to see. Because of this, Feb. 14 can feel like a performative holiday where people compare their happiness to others, Bralove says.

When you’re in a strong relationship, though, you eventually get to a point where you don’t need to shout your love from the rooftops. You and your partner both know that you’re doing well and as a result, feel no need to post a loved-up pic online.

2. Spontaneous Affection Is Way More Fun

Many long-term couples like to surprise their significant other with gifts and love notes throughout the year, which means Valentine’s Day doesn’t always feel necessary. A sticky note here, a love note there — these are the moments that are ultimately cherished and remembered, often far more than a box of drugstore chocolates.

3. The Holiday Comes With Unfair Pressure

Valentine’s Day brings with it a lot of pressure, so you may be at a point where you decide to spare yourselves by skipping the holiday altogether. That way you won’t have to buy each other gifts or make dinner plans just because everyone else is.

After all, “how many long-stem roses your partner gives you for Valentine’s Day has little to do with your commitment, level of intimacy, and overall satisfaction in your relationship,” Bralove says. At the end of the day, you know that you’re in love, and that’s all that matters.

our commitment, level of intimacy, and overall satisfaction in your relationship,” Bralove says.

4. There Are Many Other Special Days To Celebrate Instead

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If you want to celebrate a special occasion, you can celebrate the day you met, your first kiss, or when you finally both said “I love you.” These are the days that can be marked on the calendar and celebrated between the two of you, kind of like your own personal holiday.

5. They Know Romantic Love Is Not The Only Important Love

Self-love is an important factor in romantic love. That’s why it’s good to learn how to love yourself before you try to love someone else. Strong couples also understand how hard it is to practice self-love, so they try to honor it.

Instead of going over the top on V-Day, you might prefer to spend the day apart, however sacrilegious it may be. It’s the perfect way to show each other that you both feel secure and that you value each other’s independence.

6. They Know Friendships Are Important, Too

V-Day might also be the perfect day to visit single friends for a Galentine’s affair. Even when you’re in an established couple, it’s so important not to forget about your friends, family, and other connections. To spread the love around, you might enjoy parting ways for the day to see your besties. You know that you’ll come home to each other, after it all, and it’ll make the day feel refreshing and unique.

7. They Know It Isn’t A Test Of Love Or Commitment

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Strong couples often feel so secure that they completely forget V-Day exists, so they probably wouldn't be bummed if the day came and went and they realized they missed it altogether.

You could laugh it off, knowing it isn’t a reflection of your love, or choose to move the celebration back a few days for a cheeky little re-do. When you’re truly bonded, it’s OK to have little missteps like these.

8. Strong Couples Are Clear On What Valentine’s Day Means To Them

That said, you’d likely already know if you were both OK with forgoing the holiday. When you’re in a strong, long-term relationship, it becomes easier to talk about holiday expectations. If one of you loves cheesy moments and silly gifts, then you’d totally lean into it. But it would also be OK to admit you aren’t a fan.

If you haven’t had this talk, set aside some time ahead of Valentine’s Day to chat about your expectations. “If there is a strong desire to celebrate in a specific way, the partner should communicate that,” Bralove says. “Then, like most things, there can be a negotiation around the holiday and perhaps a greater understanding of why or why not Valentine’s Day is important.”

9. Having A Valentine Shouldn’t Be A Goal

There are so many things in life that are more important than having a date on a specific day of the year. Strong couples know the value of the truly important things — like your well-being, safety, security, etc. — and they know how lucky they are to have each other. If you’re thriving as a couple, spending quality time together, and working to understand each other more every day, that’s really all you need.

10. Sometimes It's More Fun To Boycott Societal Norms

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Rebelling against something like Valentine's Day with your love by your side is romantic in its own right, and that’s why having an anti-Valentine’s Day could feel even more perfect for your long-term relationship. Invite friends over for a totally unrelated get-together, have a scary movie marathon night as a duo, or just go about your evening as per usual. It might feel fun to shirk tradition.

11. Gifts Often Detract From Their Connection

“For some strong couples who value the love and connection they share, the emphasis on buying gifts can detract from the true meaning of the holiday,” says Dr. Lindsay Popilskis, a licensed psychologist with Pathways of Rockland County.

It might feel silly to go out and look for a card or a silver heart necklace, just because everyone else is. According to Popilskis, forgoing the material side of things can make way for what’s truly important in your relationship.

12. They Know Relationships Require More Work

To truly make a relationship work, you can’t just do nice things on a holiday and expect to be set.

Strong couples know that a true connection takes work every single day, says John Carnesecchi, LCSW, CEAP, a psychotherapist and founder and clinical director of Gateway to Solutions.

“Chocolates and flowers do not solidify the relationship,” he tells Bustle. “Love is work, it takes time and patience, and it can help in times of conflict and open the door to open communication.” It’s also something you have to constantly put effort into, and not just on V-Day.

13. It's A Day Just Like Any Other

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While a quick card or a hug might be nice, there’s no need to go all out on Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re in an established, long-term couple. Once you get to a certain point, you’d probably be much happier staying home on the couch, anyway.

It’s also not the only day you can do nice things for each other. “Doing something for your partner or celebrating your love for one another doesn’t need to be done on one specific day,” says Maggie Drake, LMSW, a relationship expert with Cobb Psychotherapy. “Strong couples commit to celebrating their love in big and little ways throughout the year, not just on one day that society has chosen for them.”


Brooke Bralove, LCSW-C, psychotherapist, relationship expert

Maggie Drake, LMSW, relationship expert with Cobb Psychotherapy

Dr. Lindsay Popilskis, licensed psychologist with Pathways of Rockland County

John Carnesecchi, LCSW, CEAP, psychotherapist, founder, clinical director of Gateway to Solutions

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