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Dr. Sara shares what she has been up to, along with information and resources to enrich your life and your relationships. 
What is Valentine's Day Really About?

Dinner, a movie,  a card, chocolates , stuffed animals, jewelry, flowers, spending money, gift giving-receiving or a passionate evening have become synonymous with VDay! 


While it is nice to exchange something tangible to commemorate the day and reiterate your love for one another, it is more important not to lose sight of the deeper meaning of the occasion.
 


 

Some couples struggle with this day for various reasons including its over commercialization or its financial demands so soon after the holiday season. Frequently leaving many couples feeling disenchanted, emotionally drained or disappointed in themselves. 
 
The celebration of this day doesn't always apply to the general public as some are single, some are in new, platonic or undetermined relationships while others are in loving and long term relationships. During the years, I have known people to prematurely propose marriage only because Valentine's Day was around the corner and they felt the pressure to take the relationship to the next level! Additionally I have also known couples to break up because they too felt pressured to take the relationship to the next level and were not ready and so the alternative was to end the relationship. 

Perhaps it is best not to let Valentine's Day run away with our better judgement, or our bank accounts, and use it as an excuse to do what YOU feel like doing, and nothing more.  

Happy Valentine's Day!
 

Warmly,
Dr. Sara




Suggestions to Celebrate or Not

As you read on, consider which relationship status you most identify with and then go with what you feel most comfortable.

Here are some fun ideas to create a VDay that may suit your taste, heart and budget:

  • Do nothing! Take time to enjoy each other's company. Many couples think they need to "DO" something extra for special occasions such as the Valentine's Day but in reality many couples could benefit from quiet dedicated time spent together. Just checking in, evaluating how their romantic life has been in the past year (not their lives as parents or partners or co-habitants) as lovers - as romantic partners. Is there anything they would like to see more of, improve, etc.  -- that would be priceless. 
  • Arrange for something that you both have wanted to do for a long time but did not get a chance to, for one reason or another, i.e.: the play you both wanted to see, the restaurant you wanted to try, the movie you wanted to watch (you can even watch it in the comfort of your own home), gather friends or have a relaxed evening with your loved ones.  
  • Arrange something that you think your partner wanted to do for a long time and she/he did not get around it or was not sure if he/she wanted to spend money on. 
  • Make the night memorable with monumental words (that you have written!) in a card (you can even make one yourself), a heartfelt email or even a text. 
  • Do something to celebrate the love you have for yourself, a close family member or a friend. Vday in its origin was not limited to the love of two people for one another or a specific type of love but it was about being kind to others, helping loved ones to unite and deeply care for another human being. 
     
  • Some people have strong feelings about this day and therefore organize Anti-Valentine's Day parties. If you identify with this group more then take a look at this site for more ideas:  Anti-Vday Event

Eilecia Bovard, my multi-talented editor for this issue of the newsletter recalls: "One of the best memories I have had of VDay was with my mother. She chose her children as her Valentines' and would do sweet gestures like hearts on our sandwich bread, cute cards or heart shaped pancakes. For us, this day more about a celebration of love rather than romance. As we grew older, she continued by sending more grown up gifts such as heart shaped champagne flutes and heart cookie cutters etc... Which I then used with my Valentine at that time. As I got older, I continued this trend by sending my sister, brother and girlfriends sweet little gifts for this day, for me it's another opportunity to share love, express it and have fun with it." 


Let's Talk About LOVE


 
We want to hear from you! The top three responses that are most "liked" by readers will be awarded gifts by Dr. Sara! 

Since VDay has become about giving and receiving love, I would like to share my dilemmas with you about this single, four letter word which has such heavy weight.

Let's start the conversation by answering 
these questions and see if we can make sense of this mysterious word/concept and if we can come to a consensus over basic elements of it.

This blog is open to a global audience so I am very excited to see what ideas come back! 
 
  • What is the meaning of love to different people? Love is used as a general and an abstract concept. Love is hard to define and easily misconstrued especially when it comes to communicating, sharing and expecting it from another person because the other might have a totally different idea of what love is. 
  • What words are associated with love in various cultures? 
  • What words are used to convey this feeling?
  • What gestures are presented to manifest this feeling?
  • What if we love someone but don't like them?
  • Are love and attraction the same thing? 
  • What other words we can use instead of "love" to define a romantic love between two lovers who have sexual attraction to one another as well as liking each other and wanting to commit to create a romantic relationship?
  • What if we love someone but are not in love with them? What does it mean?
  • How do people show their love for one another? Is this socio-culturally constructed? 
  • Is love over-rated when it comes to the fundamentals of marriage?
  • Is love for one's partner different from the love one experienced from parents, caregivers, family and friends while growing up? If so, how can we learn about this new type of love?

Join the Conversation by sharing your thoughts here!
3 Winners will be announced by March 14th, 2014.
First prize: 1 hour Q & A with Dr. Sara
Second prize: 30 min Q & A with Dr. Sara
Third Prize: a signed copy of "The Orgasm Answer Guide" 

 


Movie Recommendations

The Names of Love by Michael Leclerc, Inspiring which literally promoted make love not war.

Hysteria by Waxler, The truth of how Mortimer Granville devised the invention of the first vibrator in the name of medical science.

Rio Sex by Jonathan NossiterCharts the misadventures of expatriates in Rio in their bungled search for both personal pleasures and social justice. Each character reveals a different aspect of the fabled city, from Rio high society to favelas.

Little White Lies by Guilluame CanetA near-fatal accident leaves one friend in the hospital while the rest go on their annual vacation. But their secrets and personal grief threaten to drive them apart.

Paris, je t'aime  by various directors, Through the neighborhoods of Paris, love is veiled, revealed, imitated, sucked dry, reinvented and awakened.

Le Passe by Asghar Farhadi, An Iranian man deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife's request for a divorce.


Book Recommendations


Books that top my list about sexuality and relationships as they are realistic or offer a different perspective on the topic:

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

The Erotic Mind by Jack Morin

The Paradox of Love by Pascal Bruckner

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

Marriage Confidential by Pamela Haag

 
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