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Gettyimages.com/Couple on a Valentine’s Day date

With Valentine’s Day having just passed, I got to witness how a lot of couples approach and celebrate holidays. At every store I visited—from simple pharmacies to upscale boutiques—I’d find someone picking up something for their honey. At the pharmacy, one might grab a heart-shaped balloon and generic but certainly delicious chocolate. At fancier establishments, heart-shaped diamonds were cropping up. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to celebrate holidays like Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or other occasions where there is a lot of focus on one person. But how couples celebrate these occasions says a lot about them. A $200-per-plate fixed menu dinner doesn’t necessarily denote a successful couple, nor does a single rose suggest a flailing one. Here is how stable couples handle holidays like birthdays and Valentine’s Day.

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They’re open about what they want

They don’t expect their partners to read their minds. They don’t set up traps for their partners, making them guess what they may want as a gift, or how they’d like to spend the evening. They honestly tell each other how they want their birthday or the big day to go. They set one another up to succeed.

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