Sometimes, a couple may even fall out over what to do on Valentine's Day.
While one of the pairs might see Valentine's as nothing but a commercial nightmare, the other may well be expecting a romantic day filled with affectionate gifts and gestures.
This expectation can cause problems, says psychologist Lisa Aronson Fontes, especially when people think the day has to be perfect.
"People, especially women, often have an idealised image from the movies of what Valentine's Day should be," she told Business Insider. "Only good feelings, no conflict, perfect roses etc. So when we have high expectations, and the same thing can occur around other holidays, they're often going to be dashed because it's difficult for real life to meet those idealised images."
It's not about getting your own way
Another problem is when those expectations aren't balanced between the two people. Couples can get around this by approaching the day with the attitude of "how can I please my partner?" Fontes said because the goal is to generate feelings of love, not to get your own way.
"The goal is not to win an argument about Valentine's Day, or to show who's boss, but to communicate love," she said. "And so if the stereotypical act that people expect for Valentine's Day — a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates — doesn't feel right to one of the partners, they can come up with a list of things that feel right to them, that would also communicate love."
You could be with a partner who completely refuses to take part in Valentine's Day at all. "It isn't who I am," they might say. If they aren't even willing to think of the alternative (free) ways they can make the day special, then you may want to consider whether they are someone you really want in your life.
"So what if it's a stretch? We stretch ourselves for the people we love," Fontes said. "Your partner wants to be honoured on that day, so you honour them. People don't stop being their authentic selves because they give their partner something their partner wants."
Figure out what it is that makes you uncomfortable
According to Laura VanderDrift, associate professor of psychology at Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Close Relationships Lab at Syracuse University, it essentially comes down to why you want to celebrate Valentine's Day in the first place. Once you work that out, it eases the pressure somewhat.
You might like public displays of affection or going out for romantic dinners, or you may simply like spending time with your partner one-on-one.
"I think it's important to consider whether it's the activities that constitute a Valentine's Day celebration themselves that are off-putting, or if it's the cultural significance of Valentine's Day that adds too much pressure to be enjoyable for you both," she told Business Insider.
"If it's the latter, then reframe the day so you can both be happy: you can celebrate your relationship however you feel fit, and it doesn't have to be labelled as Valentine's Day with all of its cultural significance or baggage. If it's the former, and your partner just simply doesn't want to do what you want to do, then try to take his or her perspective."
Relationships require a balance of opinions, choices, and beliefs. This includes whatever you decide to do on Valentine's Day. Ultimately, showing you're willing to sacrifice your own preferences for the sake of your relationship is a good sign, and making allowances for one day won't hurt. In fact, it might make all the difference in the long run.
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