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Valentine's Day trap: don't compare yourself to other couples

Fancy meals, flowers, and chocolates are Valentine’s Day staples. According to the National Retail Federation, it anticipates Americans will spend $26 billion this year. A lot of that spending will find its way onto social media, causing many couples to question their own relationship status.

“It can lead to a little bit of unrealistic expectations,” said Relevé Counseling therapist, Jessica Olmo.

Behind every smiling photo on social media is a story you may not know about.

“When we see somebody else going on a grand vacation for Valentine’s Day, part of it is natural to feel jealous because who doesn’t want to go on vacation? But, realistically, you don’t know the other couple’s experiences. Maybe they are going to be tight on their bills in a way you can’t afford to be for the next six months paying for it. Maybe they scraped and saved up for for years.”

Jessica believes the key for couples to successfully navigate Valentine’s Day comes down to communication.

“[Couples need to know] what to expect, knowing what your partner expects, and knowing the value that is placed on Valentine’s Day. Knowing the other person’s expectations will take a lot of pressure off.”

There are pitfalls for singles on Valentine's Day too. The second part of our Valentine's Day series will be available February 14th.


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