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Don’t stress over Valentine’s Day: N.L. psychologist

Valentine's Day is Feb. 14.
Valentine's Day is Feb. 14. - 123RF Stock Photo

Single or not, one for grand gestures or not, try not to let it get to you

Newfoundland and Labrador psychologist Janine Hubbard says a lot of people aren’t fussed about Valentine’s Day, but for some it can be a day of stress and disappointment.

“Some people do associate very negative feelings towards it, whether it’s because they’re feeling pressured to celebrate a relationship, maybe they’re not in a relationship,” Hubbard told The Telegram.

Having an enjoyable day can come down to keeping it in perspective. If you’re part of a couple, try to avoid making it all about retail.

When it comes to what you and your significant other might find romantic, she suggests keeping a few things in mind: don’t overspend, consider free events, don’t make it a requirement to do something on Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid to talk about what you like and don’t like, and be realistic in your expectations.

“The biggest thing is having realistic expectations and having expectations that are in line with your partner. That’s where people run into trouble,” she said. “Talk to your partner. Especially if it’s your first Valentine’s together.”

If you’re single, it is still a holiday to enjoy.

The Association of Psychology Newfoundland and Labrador (APNL) suggests Valentine’s Day can include finding a small way to celebrate yourself and celebrate your love toward friends, family and colleagues, as love comes in many forms, not just romantic relationships.

“Have some fun. Celebrate all of the people in your life that you love,” Hubbard said.

If you do find yourself wanting to find someone for a relationship, maybe mark the holiday by joining a dating site, taking a class or joining a new social group, the APNL suggests.

The lists

Be careful of the hype. Everyone has a different idea of what’s romantic.

For example, Amazon Canada produces a list of the “most romantic cities” in the country. The designation is based on sales data, compared on a per capita basis for locations with a population of more than 20,000, this time for the period Jan. 1, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2018. It looks specifically at sales of “romance novels (both print and Kindle editions), romantic comedies, relationship books, jewelry and sexual wellness products.” And no, nowhere in Newfoundland and Labrador cracked the company’s Top 20 list, but the news release does explicitly encourage browsing Amazon to contribute to the city’s future ranking.

OpenTable — a company offering an online reservation service — determined the 100 most romantic restaurants in the country based on over 500,000 restaurant reviews by verified OpenTable diners. The reviews were limited to 2,000 locations. Eighty-seven of the Top 100 list are found in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec. While Raymonds in St. John’s did make the list, Atlantic-Canadian locales were scarce.

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