I made plans for Valentine’s Day with a guy I’ve been dating for more than two months. I agreed to drive up to see him since we live an hour and a half apart and he can’t take off work to visit me because of his new job. Yesterday he tells me that he’s decided to take his mother and little brother out for Valentine’s Day instead. I said, “So, no Valentine’s Day, then? Um … OK.” We agreed to see each other the weekend after instead. Still, my feelings are hurt that I’ll have to spend the day alone. Am I making too big a deal out of this? –L.D.C.
Your feelings are understandably hurt, and no, you’re not making too big a deal out of his change of plans. His decision to do something different after he previously agreed to another idea would never really go over well, but to do so on Valentine’s Day raises the stakes a bit.
Valentine’s Day is more than just another day, especially to women. Right or wrong, it’s symbolic of how your perceived significant other feels about you. For a guy to opt out of spending time on Valentine’s Day with the woman he’s dating says a lot more than you imagine.
In thinking about spending the day alone, you are overlooking the bedazzled pink elephant standing in the clichéd room. Best-case scenario: He’s passive-aggressively showing you that while he perceives you as good enough to date, he has no plans of entering a relationship with you. Y’all are kicking like Nina and Darius in Love Jones, but don’t expect their happy-ish ending.
Worst-case scenario: He’s not spending Valentine’s Day with you likely because he’s spending it with another woman — and just so we’re clear: not his mama. She’s just an ironclad excuse, one to which it is hard for you to object without making yourself look crazy. I mean, really, what non-wife woman objects to her man spending time with his beloved mama?
Despite some men’s tendency to act aloof about the esteem in which most women hold Valentine’s Day, it’s impossible to grow up in America and not “get it.” He knows well what spending Valentine’s Day together implies: His feelings for you are deeper than surface, and there’s a strong likelihood that you will enter a relationship. He’s avoiding spending the day with you because he doesn’t want to give you that impression, and again, likely because he’s focused on giving it to someone else with whom he may even be in a relationship already.