In A Marriage Worth Saving, my hero and heroine meet at a Valentine’s Day event. She’s an event planner, and she’s arranging the event for the hero at his vineyard. It’s utterly romantic. Stars twinkle above them in the sky; there’s wine and great food; a movie; live entertainment. It’s the kind of event that makes people swoon about Valentine’s Day. And I should know, since I wrote it based on an event I attended with my husband.
Pretty romantic, right? The catch is that I planned that Valentine’s Day date.
You see, it’s great to celebrate Valentine’s Day. And it’s amazing to do something romantic with your partner. Valentine’s Day gives you an excuse to do something with your partner that you might not have prioritised otherwise, no matter how your good intentions are. But the idea that only one partner should be making the effort – and often, that partner is expected to be the man – is no longer relevant.
So, in this romance author’s relationship, the Valentine’s Day planning is shared.
My husband and I rotate the duty to plan Valentine’s Day every year; one year it’s his responsibility, one year it’s mine. And while it’s not entirely conventionally, it works for us. Because both of us are now content to celebrate a day that some (one) of us (my husband) doesn’t entirely believe in.
It’s really fun, too. Because though neither of us places any pressure on the other, the fact that we’ve had pretty great Valentine’s Days has put a certain amount of pressure on the planner. So now, true to the non-competitive love we have (*cough*), we try to best each other. (I’m winning; not that I’m counting.)
Valentine’s Day is also really interesting for me because romance is my day job. Because I spend time thinking about romantic gestures and trying to understand what would be romantic for my couple, my experiences in real life are sometimes affected by it. So while it’s lovely to get flowers and chocolates, it’s really awesome when my husband plans something I know he’s only doing because of me.
And yes, maybe that doesn’t fit people’s idea of what a romance author’s Valentine’s Day should look like.
But since I am a romance author, and my Valentine’s Days are pretty great, I have to say I don’t really care 😉