Dr. Aline Zoldbrod - Sexual Health
Dr. Aline Zoldbrod is a well-known Boston-based licensed psychologist, individual and couples therapist, and an AASECT certified sex therapist. She is the author of three commercially published books about sexuality and relationships. Her book, SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It has been translated into four languages and was recognized as one of the top three sex-help books of the year. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. You can find her at sexsmart.com.
Tags: valentines day | gifts | counseling | aline zoldbrod

Valentine's Day Happiness Strategies

Dr. Aline Zoldbrod By Friday, 26 January 2024 02:32 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. If you’re part of a couple, it’s a good time to start thinking about it — especially if you’ve previously gotten tripped up on Valentine’s.

The last time I wrote a column about Valentine’s Day, it was written afterward, when I was thinking about the misery and disappointment some of my patients had experienced. I admit, I must have been in a somewhat cynical mood.

So this time, I decided to get ahead of the curve and write about it beforehand, so those of you who need to think about it have the time to decide on your strategy and up your Valentine’s Day game. After all, my objective is to create happier couples. 

One important factor in determining Valentine’s Day expectations has to do with a person’s learned experiences with the holiday. I confess that I have an unusually positive response to Valentine’s Day because on that day, not only did my happily married parents give each other gifts, they also gave me gifts.

One year when I was a teenager, my mother presented me with a gift that was so unusual that I remember it to this day. She came into my room with three clear plastic shoeboxes. The first was filled to the brim with packages of new, luxurious, super-sheer pantyhose. These kinds of pantyhose always looked fabulous, but they lasted about a day — it was a big splurge. I have always liked wearing pantyhose, so this was a wonderful present.

The second box was filled with dried apricots, which are one of my favorite foods. That huge amount of apricots blew me away, even more than the stockings. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember what was in the third box, but I can tell you that I felt totally cherished. Those gifts probably cemented my love of Valentine’s Day.

Gender socialization may come into effect, creating  certain challenges on Valentine’s Day. Men are not socialized to be sentimental. In fact, quite the opposite is true. One ingredient of a good Valentine’s Day is getting a card that shows tender, appreciative, and complimentary sentiments. If this is not easy for you, then you need to think ahead about your beloved and what you are grateful for — not just dash off a few words at the bottom of a Hallmark card.

And I don’t think anyone is intuitively a good gift giver. In my opinion, that skill is something that must be modeled or learned. One of my patients witnessed his mother being very moved by his father’s Valentine’s Day gift. The experience molded him to be someone who wanted to give his beloved something that would make her equally happy. So he experiences the hunt for a good gift as a personal pleasure.

A good gift for any occasion shows a person that they are truly known and seen. My mom’s quirky gift was in this vein. Afterall, who would think of giving someone a shoebox full of dried apricots?

Here are some things you want to avoid on Valentine’s Day:

• Don’t let it intimidate you.

• As a gift giver, don’t buy into materialistic consumer culture and feeling you must produce a huge, spectacular gift. That can lead to intimidation and procrastination, a tendency to do nothing and the hope that the day will pass unnoticed.

• As a gift receiver, do not get sucked in by what other people post on Facebook or Instagram and feel “less than” if others post amazing gifts. Research has shown that being on social media creates depression, low self-esteem, and social and appearance anxiety.

Here are some things to do on Valentine’s Day:

 • Think ahead

• Remember, many people would be happy with something very tender and thoughtful written on a card along with a small gift.

• If you are likely to be the receiver of a gift, be kind. If you are disappointed, remind yourself of the reason you love your partner and the many excellent daily blessings you get from having him or her in your life.

I hope you and your loved ones have a great Valentine’s Day.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. If you’re part of a couple, it’s a good time to start thinking about it — especially if you’ve previously gotten tripped up on Valentine’s.
valentines day, gifts, counseling, aline zoldbrod
Friday, 26 January 2024 02:32 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
Find Your Condition
Get Newsmax Text Alerts

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved