Do chocolates, flowers, and a romantic dinner guarantee a successful Valentine's Day? "Not by a long shot," says relationship expert, Dr. Elayne Savage. According to Dr. Savage, couples who are looking for ideas for a successful Valentine's Day, should forget the hype and focus on a truer expression of their hearts.

"Valentine's Day is the perfect set up for disappointment over expectations not met," said Dr. Savage, whose appearances on Maury Povich, ABC Radio and many other media outlets have netted her the moniker of 'The Queen of Rejection'."

"Every family has a different style for celebrating Valentine's Day and for gift giving," states Dr. Savage. "Yet, we expect our partners to read our minds and fulfill our fantasies. Unfulfilled fantasies lead to disappointment. When we feel disappointed, we can easily make the jump to feeling like we have just been rejected.

"Most couples are not like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie living the fairy tale. In real life, many relationships are more like Marc Anthony's and J-Lo's as they duke it out on the front pages of the tabloids. Relationships are often strained or stagnant. Still, we all hold some vision of a perfect Valentine's Day. We aspire to bring back the romance and reignite our love through a token of our expression on this special day."

For couples who want to ensure Valentine's Day success, here are Dr. Savage's 3 Secrets:
1. Women, pre-select your gifts. For example, go to a boutique and pick out three things you like. Have the store hold those items for a day, and send your sweetie to the store to pick one out. You will still feel a tiny element of surprise because you don't know which of the items will be purchased. At least you know it will be something you really like.

2. Describe your ideal Valentine's Day to your partner. Communication is the key to understanding what will constitute a meaningful Valentine's Day for each of you. Formulate a plan that will bring joy to you both.

3. Don't mistake not thinking for not caring. Your partner's approach to Valentine's Day may be very different from yours. Try not to feel slighted or take things personally if your special night does not turn out the way you wish; it takes up too much energy. Make room, instead, for connection and intimacy.

"The opposite of surprise can be disappointment," concludes Savage. "With a little pre-Valentine's Day planning your ideal day can turn out better than any Valentine's Day you've ever experienced before.

Author's Bio: 

Elayne Savage PhD is the author of "Breathing Room: Creating Space to Be a Couple," (published by New Harbinger), and "Don't Take It Personally!" A nationally-recognized relationship coach, Dr. Savage has been quoted in Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Reader's Digest, Good Housekeeping, and many other magazines. Additionally, Dr. Savage is a frequent TV and radio guest. Her appearances have included Prime Time Justice, Court TV, People Are Talking, and CBS Radio News, among many others.

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