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3 Ways To Conquer Valentine's Day Dread

by Lyndsey Harper, MD

If you are like many of the women in the Rosy community, you might be experiencing (what we call) the Valentine’s Day Dread. These women report that not only do they not look forward to February 14th, they actually have anxiety just thinking about it. Why would this be? What can women do to make the most out of this day?

Women dread Valentine’s Day for two main reasons:

  1. The anticipation of being let down. They feel (usually from past experience) that their partner will likely forget to order flowers, get a card, or a gift until the very last moment, if they remember at all. Maybe dinner reservations were left until the last second and result in an undesirable time or place. And most worrisome, women fear a distracted partner, the loss of connection being highlighted on this day that has so much hype.
  2. Anxiety about having sex. Did you know 38% of women report low sexual desire? For many of these women, knowing sex is expected on a big day (birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Anniversary) can be a real buzzkill. The lack of joy and pleasure in a sexual experience coupled with the need to provide sex for the partner can definitely feel a bit overwhelming, to say the least.

My goal for the women who are feeling like this is to make the most out of this day, whatever that means for each of them individually. Think of it as an opportunity to approach your relationship in a different way. Here are three steps you can take to ensure a successful Valentine’s Day:

  1. Define your goal. Some women might want to feel closer to their partner emotionally. If that’s the case, think about what will make you feel that way; a card? A heartfelt conversation? A gift? Other women might want to try to reconnect physically, with or without sex. What would that mean? A warm embrace? Gently touching or kissing? It is important to first identify what is most important to you and then understand how to make that happen.
  2. Set yourself up for success! Talk to your partner about your goals and how you imagine them being accomplished. Communicate that your relationship (sexual or not) is important to you and that’s what you want to celebrate with no other expectations. Do you want a card? Tell them (or even buy it and give it to them to write in.) Fancy dinner? Make the reservation yourself. A specific gift? Send them an email with a link. Our partners cannot read our minds! A successful relationship involves two people who have different strengths. If these are yours, then take advantage of that to get the result you want.
  3. Take charge of February 14th. There is no reason to believe that you can’t make this day exactly what you want it to be. Do all the work you need to help you meet your goal today. Start the day with a workout so you have a mood and body image boost. If intimacy is part of your plan, read an erotic story to get your brain in the mood for sex. Consider making the day memorable (for both of you) with some novelty: a new sexy outfit, lube, or vibrator. Some couples enjoy reading erotica together. There is nothing holding you back except your own limitations!

Women are taking control of so many things in our lives and the world around us. There is no reason Valentine’s Day can’t be the same. And there is no need for you to sit around waiting for someone else to make it happen.

As always with relationships, communication is the most important piece of how you are feeling and getting to a good place. Best of luck with your celebration of love! We’d love to hear how it goes!

Dr. Lyndsey Harper is the Founder and CEO of Rosy, a sexual health and wellness platform for women with decreased sexual desire.

Lyndsey Harper, MD is the Founder & CEO of Rosy, a Board Certified Ob/Gyn and sex medicine expert.