Beyond Chocolates and Roses: Reimagining Valentine’s Day for the High-Achieving Woman | EU 2087 min read

February 12, 2024

Does Valentine’s Day fall into your hands for planning and organizing?

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


Reconnect with Your Partner

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On-demand two hour workshop and workbook to bring your stale relationship back to life!

Does Valentine’s Day fall into your hands for planning and organizing? Do you agree that Valentine’s Day can be reimagined beyond cliches and last-minute gifts? In your romantic relationships, do you feel seen and celebrated as a high-achieving woman?

In this episode, I discuss how high-achieving women can reimagine Valentine’s Day beyond the traditional chocolates and roses. I highlight the importance of effective communication in relationships and share insights from the Gottman method. In this episode, I provide four key skills for communicating needs and desires to partners: softened startup, expressing appreciation, accepting influence, and repair and de-escalation.


  • Finding the moments of connection
  • The importance of feeling celebrated
  • Skill one: “A softened start-up”
  • Skill two: “Express appreciation”
  • Skill three: “Accepting influence”
  • Skill four: “Repair and de-escalation”

Finding the moments of connection

Repeat after me; my partner is not the enemy! He’s not! And he’s also not a mind-reader. (Veronica Cisneros)

Even though we want to, it’s impossible to expect our partners to just “know” what’s going on for us. Sometimes, through a few clear conversations, the expectation can be set, so that each person is on the same page from the start about who likes what, and so forth.

For the men who maybe need some inspiration – man to man! – listen to the episode Willie recorded about Valentine’s Day from the man’s perspective.

I want you to think about the times when you guys had the most fun, whether it be on a date, when you guys were watching your favorite show. Whatever it was, bring yourself back to that moment. What is it exactly that made that moment memorable? (Veronica Cisneros)

Sit down with your partner, and yourself, and figure out when (and how) you had moments of true connection where you were both present with one another and enjoying what you were doing.

When do (or did) these moments come up? Can you two recreate them, and commit to those feelings now?

The importance of feeling celebrated

As high-achieving women, we’re constantly balancing careers, family, and personal goals. We’re doing shit scared most of the time, right? And we’re feeling alone in that process. We’re not feeling understood … and it’s not necessarily that we want our partners to give us this gold medal, but to develop an understanding of how difficult this is. Our partners must understand what makes us feel loved and appreciated. (Veronica Cisneros)

Naturally, one of the main aspects of being in a relationship with someone is to be seen and to feel celebrated by them, and this is true for both people. However, it’s easy to let this slip under the carpet as life goes on – so, you need to be mindful of that!

How can you communicate your desire – and how you would like – to be celebrated and acknowledged by your partner without sounding demanding or unappreciative?

This is where the Gottman method comes in handy!

Skill one: “A softened start-up”

Whenever we’re met with disappointment or struggling with frustration, a softened start-up can feel tricky.

The ultimate question beneath the frustration can be that we may not feel understood, and we may wonder why our partner hasn’t seen our need when for us the need is quite obvious.

How clear have you been? How open have you been? Have you stated what you wanted? And have you guys practiced it? (Veronica Cisneros)

Whenever you enter into a conversation with blame, criticism, or contempt, there’s a 96% fail rate. It feels good to yell because you release that anger, but it only makes the divide between you and your partner deeper.

So, try a softer approach. Instead of criticizing your partner who never takes the initiative with Valentine’s Day anymore, say:

“I really like it when you take the initiative to …” and give them an example.

“It makes me feel so special when you …”

“Maybe we could do something like …”

Skill two: “Express appreciation”

Appreciate the effort that they do make, and it can be hard when it feels like so much is also on your plate.

Start by acknowledging something that you appreciate about your partner because this sets a positive tone for the conversation.

How often do you have this level of exchange? How often do you two express appreciation for each other? How often do you recognize what the other person has done?

Skill three: “Accepting influence”

Be open to your partner’s ideas and suggestions. If they suggest a different way to celebrate Valentine’s Day or express their preferences and they’re different from yours, be open to hearing them out.

Find a compromise between the two of you so that each person feels seen and appreciated.

I want you to steer clear from judging or criticizing, and this is what I mean by your partner never really knowing how to celebrate you, and you’re not the only one … Why? Because people don’t feel seen or heard by their partner. Because they’ve never truly taught their partner how to celebrate them. (Veronica Cisneros)

Be creative, and be creative together!

Skill four: “Repair and de-escalation”

 Sometimes conversations can get heated, so it’s important to have a tool available to de-escalate the situation. For example;

“Can we take a break from this conversation and come back in 20 minutes?”

This is not your way of avoiding the conversation. This is taking a time-out so that you’re able to gather yourself, and you’re not handling things [while] flooded, you’re able to come back and have this conversation in a healthy manner. But you’ve got to come back. (Veronica Cisneros)

Having a buffer period to regulate the strong emotions can really help to ease the argument since you are then no longer fighting with your emotions, but actually wanting to listen and understand one another.

Now, you need to begin implementing these skills! If you’re looking to deepen this communication and Reconnect with Your Partner, come and join our workshop!

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Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

Hello, my name is Veronica Cisneros, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, married for 23 years, host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast, and owner of a group private practice called Outside The Norm Counseling.

A lot of couples struggle with setting aside intentional time to connect and communicate. They yearn for meaningful conversations that don’t lead to arguments.

1 month away from divorce, I realized I had to do something different. For years I had compromised myself to meet the needs of my husband and my child, I lost myself and was about to lose my marriage. After years of personal growth and self-reflection, I not only reclaimed my identity, and celebrated 23 years of marriage but also helped hundreds of couples transform their marriage from feeling like roommates to experiencing a deeper love.

I am on a mission to help couples reignite the fire by providing them with the skills to have the relationship they deserve.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, or do the Workshop,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcast {previously iTunes) and subscribe!

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, Married for over 20 years.

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