Setting the Mood for Valentine's Day

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Are you ready for Valentine's Day? Do you know how to send and receive verbal and nonverbal messages to your mate to make sure you're both in the mood for love? WebMD's resident sex expert, Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, joined us on Feb. 8 with tips to help you get ready for the most intimate of holidays.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

MODERATOR:
Welcome to WebMD Live, Dr. Weston. We all think of love and romance when we think of Valentine's Day. Let's start off with a few quick tips on some small things that we can do to help us set the mood for love and intimacy.

WESTON:
First, I think it's important to create a plan. Waiting until the day before generally will not be very successful.

One of my favorite Valentine's activities when I was dating my husband-to-be was to create a treasure hunt for him with clues that had him driving around places, stopping in where I had left little gifts and further clues for where he was to head next. Ultimately he would wind up at a destination where I had a nice little mini-meal, a beverage, and some romantic music playing. That was a way that we both got ourselves into the mood, particularly on a workday. This year Valentine's Day is on a Monday and many people do need to work. So making that transition from working to celebrating your relationship is an important task to manage.

Another thing you can do in a long-term relationship is alternate every other year as to who's in charge of setting the mood. That way, you don't have two sets of plans bumping into each other with good intentions, fouling up the overall outcome. So, in my family I take the odd numbered years and my husband takes the even.

"I think it's important to be somewhat tuned in to your mate's picture of Valentine's Day."

MODERATOR:
Do you see a potential problem with great expectations attached to Valentine's Day?

WESTON:
I think it's important to be somewhat tuned in to your mate's picture of Valentine's Day. Some people have a romantic dinner, some just exchange a greeting card, some people want sexy lingerie to be given and worn. There are all sorts of other pictures. In order to minimize disappointment, it's good to understand your mate's picture and talk about it a bit in the weeks beforehand just to know that you're somewhat on the same page. Some folks give funny greeting cards and their mate may be offended by a funny one. Other people think they're just terrific. Some people play it safe and give one of each -- which I think is a fairly good idea. But yes, expectations can cause some disappointment and even a little heartbreak if they're not somewhat aligned with your mate's view.

MEMBER QUESTION:
We both have to work on Valentine's Day. What do you think about celebrating the whole weekend before?

WESTON:
I think that is a great idea. Occasionally when Valentine's Day had fallen on particularly busy days in my life, we picked another day or days. Sure, it's marked on the calendar as Feb. 14, but I don't see any reason to be restricted by that. I think that is a great idea especially if you are both interested in approaching it that way.

MEMBER QUESTION:
With a young daughter, no baby sitter, a small budget and lack of creativity, I need some help to get my husband, who is anti-Valentine's Day, to celebrate my favorite holiday.

WESTON:
Do you like Valentine's Day because you receive, you give, or both? The reason I ask this question is because Valentine's Day has evolved into a picture that women often have of men giving them lots of stuff: jewelry, flowers, candy, lingerie, dinners, the whole list. I think that making Valentine's Day a shared experience in which the woman is also a giver is a better approach.