While most holidays can add extra stress to a relationship, Valentine’s day can be a make-or-break milestone, particularly in the earlier days of seeing somebody. Christmas tends to be family-oriented, Thanksgiving is for arguing with your uncle, but Valentine’s Day is just about you and them.

That creates a huge sense of pressure, not just to find the right (non-clich√©) gifts, but to know where you both stand in terms of your connection and, potentially, think of a future together. It’s no wonder this proves too much for some couples, but fear not, Cupid is not omniscient and there are ways to navigate Valentine’s Day without the trauma of his wretched meddling.

Sometimes, it has nothing to do with Valentines Day

As a day for love and the ones who practice, Valentine’s gets people thinking about their relationships. Sometimes the romance of the holiday and the romance of the relationship will be compared unfavourably, but often the breakup will have already been on a partner’s mind long before.

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Credit: RDNE Stock Project via Pexels

Don’t rely on Valentine’s day as a check-in and performance review for your relationship, it takes constant dedication and commitment to keep a partner happy and that should be happening all year. If you feel blindsided by a February break-up, it could be because you missed the signs of unhappiness that were already there.

Commitment issues come to the surface

There are certain expectations that come with the territory of the holiday, like grand gestures of romance, holidays and proposals. Your partner likely doesn’t expect any of this out of the blue, but they will expect something that affirms your commitment to the relationship.

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Credit: RDNE Stock Project via Pexels

During a day where people are extra switched on to romantic intention, any potential doubt you have will be easier to spot. The sensual probing involved in the “so where are we?” conversations make it clear if you’re serious about the coupling, or just in it because it’s better than being alone. You can avoid this issue by not using Valentine’s day as the sole barometer for how your relationship is going.

Financial reasons

By far the least romantic and most practical Valentine’s break-ups come courtesy of the economy. There are several financial benefits to being in a couple if you manage it correctly, but holidays tend to be the exception here. It can run up quite a tab trying to spoil your partner.

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Credit: Mikhail Nilov via Pexels

Many then simply choose to break-up and spare the cost of the combined wallet punch of Christmas and Valentine’s Day so close to the new financial year. Of all the reasons to separate, money is considered one of the most gauche. While it’s understandable you would want to save your cents for food and shelter, an honest conversation with your partner about expectations could have easily solved the problem, if that’s actually the reason these break-ups occur.

They’re not “The One”

Morpheus spent three films trying to convince everybody that Neo was the one, and then he died and came back as a program, half-himself and half his mortal enemy. This stuff is important and has major consequences, is the point. The idea of the “One True Love” is utterly enchanting, and like all things mystical, it must be tempered with reality.

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Credit: Trinity Kubassek via Pexels

On a day designated to the true lovers, it’s easy to see how somebody ultimately unfulfilled in their relationship would start thinking about what they’re missing out on. Sadly, there’s no real way to reconcile this, particularly not from the dumped party, as this confession is the same no matter what day it falls on. Swallow your pride, grieve a little and then move on, as life always does.