Since in February I was visiting my sister in Hungary, I had to spend this Valentine’s Day away from my husband. We are not too crazy about this holiday, so it was fine, but I wanted to make sure that he and my daughter would still have a great time together, so I surprised them with a special father-daughter date. And I think we can and should celebrate love not only with our romantic partner, but family and friends. So since I was visiting my hometown, my friend and I went out for dinner that night.
Regardless if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or trying to avoid it, I think it’s a great occasion and opportunity to talk about relationships and how people like to celebrate love.
USA: Valentine’s Day is highly celebrated in America. Couples like to go out for dinner, surprise each other with presents or take a special romantic trip together. Restaurants and hotels are fully booked on February 14th.
Hungary: In my home country Valentine’s Day is definitely becoming more and more popular. The stores are filled with chocolates, flowers and teddy bears.
Japan and South Korea: the women are the one who would usually give presents (mainly chocolates) to the men they have secretly admiring.
Latin American countries: Valentine’s Day is known as “Día del Amor y la Amistad” (Day of Love and Friendship). Which means beside romantic relationships, they celebrate friendships as well. And I love this!
Brazil: “Dia dos Namorados” (Lovers’ Day) is celebrated on June 12th.
Jewish tradition: Usually in late August is the festival of love.
China: Valentine’s is celebrated on the 7th day of the lunar month.
Do you know any other holidays to celebrate love or traditions that are similar to Valentine’s Day? Come join my group and share it with us!
We are all loved and like to be loved in different ways. These may not be defined by culture, race or nationality, but I would definitely suggest you to take the time and discover what is your (and most importantly your partner’s) love language. The book of “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman is a must read, but you can find the quiz online, that will help you answer this question: What makes you feel loved?
Gift giving: Think about creating something really personal and meaningful. Like a photo album of the two of you.
Quality time: This one is all about making memories together. Planning an experience can be a great gift if your partner falls into this category. Just make sure to choose something he or she is into. Dancing, hiking, skiing, playing video games or board games, taking classes together, horse riding, wine tasting, going on a vacation, museum, zoo, couples massage, volunteer together… and the list goes on. You can tell this is one of my love languages. lol
Act of service: No gifts needed! Just clean the house, cook, bring breakfast in bed or help out with something. As much as I don’t want to admit, this is also one of my categories. One of the things I like to do with my husband is working on a house project. I call it productive quality time.
Touching: This is pretty obvious, but you don’t have to only think about the intimate moments. Small touches and kisses, hugs and hand holding can make your partner feel loved.
Words of affirmation: Ok, this is my husband’s love language, and unfortunately for me it’s the hardest way to express my feelings. Complimenting and using sweet words is not my strength. My husband would even say I can be mean and sarcastic. SO, when I’m thinking about what makes him happy, I have to make sure to use this category and not what comes naturally or comfortable to me. Love letters, unexpected text messages and giving compliments always works.
Just because you and your partner can’t be together for Valentines Day, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate together. But like I’ve mentioned these ideas can be used for any occasion, or when you feel like spicing up your long distance relationship.
But before you start planning, think about what it is that you two do all the time. Watching movies, Skyping, playing video games. I would say put those activities aside for now, and start thinking outside the box.
-Send something special in the mail (flowers, chocolate, order dinner from their favorite restaurant).
-Write something. (questions, special quiz, love letter, “open-when” notes…etc.)
-Send a homemade package with your smell and some personal things.
-Find fun games to play. (other than video games)
-Have a bath together.
-Make a Pinterest board together and start planning your next trip, dream house or wedding.
-Take an online class together.
-Make crafts together.
-Surprise your partner by showing up at their doorstep.
When I was doing my research about dating ideas for multicultural couples I discovered an amazing company that specializes in helping couples to keep their relationship exciting. Dating Divas is helping you to find cool things to do with your partner and they have tons of really fun dating advice as well.
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If you have some cultural specific habits, traditions and ideas about dating our partner who is from a different country, come join my Facebook group and share it with us.