You know exactly what you want for Valentine’s Day. You’ve dropped hints as in “Gosh, I’ve heard that new restaurant on Main is soooo romantic. I’d love to go there sometime” while batting your eyelashes. You’ve commented “Roses are so old-school. Tulips are my new fav – fantastic colors!” You’ve sighed over the designer bag in the window, squeezed his hand and said “Oh, that would go so well with my new outfit!”

So where are you on Valentine’s Day? Freezing your tush off on a hillside (possibly even covered with snow), a shriveled rose by your side – no bag in sight, lying on a blanket by your sweetheart, holding hands so mittened they’ve lost all human form, with him saying “Isn’t this the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever? You, me, the stars – what more do we need? Pass the crackers.”

You want to scream “A restaurant with central heating, waiters and a hot meal, for starters!” Instead, you pout. You don’t join in his enthusiasm, you lie there like a frozen lunk. He turns to kiss you, you say “I don’t want to take off my muffler” and refuse the kiss. Later, after a very hot shower to get your blood going (you hope), you pull on your comfy oversized sweats and take a book to bed. He wants sex, “But Honey, it’s Valentine’s Day!” You don’t care. You’re so into pout you may be there all week.

Guilty of the Valentine’s Day pout? You bet. The Valentine’s Day pout is what we often do when we don’t get what we want for Valentine’s Day. As in things: presents, outings, specific flowers. But Valentine’s Day isn’t supposed to be about things. It’s supposed to be the day we express to our Beloved how much we love them. And guess what? If you don’t subscribe to the Hallmark school of how society/the media/your girlfriends say you’re supposed to express your love, you – or your Sweetheart – may express that love uniquely: as in picnic under the stars on a snowy hill in February.

What matters, what’s important, is that your Honey gave to you of his heart, in a way that he believed would be special and meaningful. However far removed from your idea of what “special and meaningful” that gift is, accept, acknowledge and cherish it as his idea of “special and meaningful.” Be big enough to have room in your heart for both his and your ways of loving.

Don’t pout. You’ll put a chill on the evening far worse than any hillside, which could cause a rift between you and damage your love. Instead, laugh inside at the quirky ways in which we are blessedly different, pull down your muffler and give him a righteous Valentine’s Day kiss. You’ll warm up in no time.

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D. is a relationship expert, consultant, speaker and author. Her latest book is "Your Man is Wonderful," (Free Press, 2009). For more than a decade, she has helped people live happier, healthier lives through appreciation--at work, at home and in relationships. E-mail:, website: