An Open Letter to a Person Dating Someone with Anxiety of Valentine's Day

To: The Person dating a Person with Anxiety on Valentine’s Day

From: A Person with Anxiety

Valentine’s Day comes with a lot of pressure to make it absolutely perfect for the one/ ones that you love. So, if your partner is like me, the idea of Valentine’s day brings them anxiety because they just want to make it perfect for you. I remember that the whole time I was setting up my plans for the day I just never felt like it was enough. I wanted them to feel loved and special, because I poured my love into the whole event that I produced. I cleaned the whole apartment, and I cooked dinner, made them crafts and got them sweet gifts; yet, I still felt like I did not do enough for them. Sometimes anxiety just overtakes a person and knowing that it is a holiday to make people feel loved they just want to do everything. Sometimes they get exhausted even though it is not the day yet because just thinking about how much you need to do takes up all your energy. Then, they may start to panic about you hating what they have done and not loving them anymore because they did not make it absolutely perfect. Sure, it seems ridiculous to someone without anxiety, to be so worried about a holiday, but to them it may consume their every thought. They will probably continuously ask you if you like what they got you, or made you, or cooked for you because they want reassurance that it was good enough. I know I was happiest when my boyfriend kept looking at what I made him and smiling at it, I felt so much pride for what I did. He did not know that I saw him looking at it and that is what made it better, it is sometimes just the little things. So, now that you read how your partner may feel on this Valentine’s Day, I have some tips on how to curve the overwhelming feeling of anxiety they may be feeling.

One big tip is just to reassure them that you love what they did and that they made you feel truly loved and happy. That the effort that they put into making this holiday special is not going unnoticed, and bonus points if you do it without being asked about it. If they made you happy or feeling loved/ special, like they want you to feel, telling them will make their night. If they seem really tired or not fully there, then maybe just saying you love them and understanding the pressure that anxiety gives them. This will make them not feel as bad for seeming tired or yawning, because they may be feeling like you are upset at them for being tired. Unprompted sweet words, compliments, even just saying I love you helps a lot. I know that this stuff may sound unnecessary because “Of course they know I love them and that I think they are attractive”. I know in moments of anxiety I feel unloved, not attractive enough, not good enough for my partner. Another tip, which also seems unnecessary to people, is to make them feel special too. Even if you are not doing gifts or something extravagant, just making a card or writing down all the things you love about them will make their day. If you are not able to see them on Valentine’s Day then sending them a text or facetiming and telling them how much you appreciate and love them will make their day. Just overall understanding that their brain is being mean to them about the things they have done, will help them through it. Valentine’s Day puts a lot of pressure on people; especially, those with anxiety, so just try to remember that on this loving day.