Letter from the Mint editor: Communicate openly for your relationship’s sake

Don’t expect surprises this Valentine’s Day; discuss clear expectations for romance with your significant other

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen mint editor

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Welcome, once again, to Mint. You’ll notice this week we have a Valentine’s Day theme, and you know what that means! Time for a letter from the editor about everyone’s favorite holiday.

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays you either love or hate. There is no in-between. Specifically, people love Valentine’s Day when they’re in a relationship and hate it when they’re single.

I, on the other hand, feel perfectly ambiguous towards Valentine’s Day no matter my relationship status.

Sure, I think hearts and pink frilly things are cute and I enjoy decorating my room at the start of February. And, of course, I love chocolate more than life itself.

However, there is something so innately disappointing about this holiday. Inevitably, even if you have the perfect card, gift, date or what have you for your significant other, there will be a tiny bit of letdown.

Even if bae has been hinting she wants a diamond necklace or a box of Godiva chocolates and you get her exactly that, there is bound to be a little disappointment on her end. Maybe she expects you to go above and beyond what she said. It is Valentine’s Day, after all.

I’ve come to believe that people on Valentine’s Day have no limit to their demands. Create a holiday that is about the commercialization of love and people are bound to get a little greedy.

Thomas Hobbes, in his take on social contract theory, believed humans were naturally evil unless they had a government or social institution to control them. Likewise, I believe that people will let their expectations run rampant on Valentine’s Day unless there are standards put in place to control them.

Misinterpreted expectations among couples can lead to discord unless you have a clear conversation about what to look forward to. People love to be surprised, especially if it shows their partner knows them well and cares about them. However, don’t let a thoughtful gift be disrupted by the desire for a surprise. Make your wants known if it is important that they aren’t met.

Take time this Valentine’s Day to work on open discussion with your significant other, friends, family or other important people in your life. I can guarantee your relationships will be better because of it. Don’t let high expectations and unclear communication ruin an otherwise fun holiday.

While I’m on my soapbox about Valentine’s Day, allow me to say: read more romance novels. You can get cute and romantic ideas to treat your partner, or, more likely, you’ll learn what not to do. Either option is a win.

If you aren’t in a relationship this year, worry not. Work on your communication read some romance novels (hit me up for recommendations), indulge yourself with some chocolate and be satisfied with your singlehood. Enjoy the day, even if you don’t have a significant other.

Should I start an advice column? I think yes.

As always, feel free to email me at [email protected] with thoughts or pleas for advice.