Let’s face it: Valentine’s Day can be rough. There are an awful lot of expectations to contend with, and a misstep — no matter your intentions — can have you sleeping on the sofa.
Stepdads already face a trickier family dynamic than most, so pulling off a great day that celebrates both your romantic partner and family takes a little extra forethought and planning. Even the most Valentine’s-challenged men can pull off a day that makes her feel loved and special.
Include the Family
Blending families takes a lot of work and care to make sure everyone is included and comfortable. Valentine’s day presents an opportunity to celebrate the family as well as the loving connection that brought the family together.
Put together gifts for the kids as well as your significant other. Make sure the gifts are balanced between children, so there’s no perceptions of favoritism.
Board games, multiplayer video games or any other gift that gives bigger families the opportunity to play together can show your significant other you value everything they bring into the relationship — including the kids. Plan an outing for the whole family.
Go to the movies, or enjoy a picnic together (with all the essentials). Of course, be sure to plan a romantic moment alone with your partner.
Chances are, presents are mandatory. Some women like flowers and chocolates, while others would prefer something more substantial.
Pay attention to things she talks about before the big day — she might be dropping hints. For some, the perfect gift is something practical that will make their daily lives better.
For others, something sentimental, like a photo book that tells the story of your romance would be better.
Go on an Adventure
If you’d like your Valentine’s Day to be a big to-do, consider taking your partner on a trip or going for an adventure. Think about what excites your partner.
Do they like to get dressed up for a night on the town for date night? Hit up a big city with lots of culture, food and drink, like New York.
Do they live for an adrenaline rush? Go mountain climbing, or winter kayaking.
Are they over the winter weather? Hit up a beach and come back with a killer tan.
A vacation might just be the thing to reconnect and spend some time together to stoke the romantic fires. Not only that, it will give you more memories for your life together.
Maybe she’s anti-Valentine’s Day. Maybe your whole family caught the flu and there’s just not enough time or energy for a big romantic to-do.
If Valentine’s romance simply isn’t in the cards, there’s still plenty you can do to make your partner feel loved and appreciated. Does your spouse do all the housework?
Clean the house yourself, giving them the opportunity to relax (or, if you’re not much of a cleaner, hire someone to come in and do it). Cook dinner for the two of you (or order in).
Engage them in a hobby they haven’t had the time for lately. Remember, there’s never a bad day to make the person you love feel appreciated.
Take your time this year and come up with something extra special and meaningful to both your significant other and the family, even if it’s not a quick stop at the local store for cards and candy.
A little thought goes a long way, even if you’re not the most romantic soul.