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What Anniversaries Really Mean

With all of the expectations men and women have about anniversaries, there’s no wonder that special dates on the calendar can be a source of frustration and anxiety. Despite the millions of cards, candy, chocolate and jewelry exchanged, and romantic dinners eaten, there is still not a great understanding about what anniversaries really mean.

According to eHarmony founder and clinical psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren, the true meaning of relationship milestones goes much deeper than a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers. No matter what your relationship status – casual or more serious – an anniversary doesn’t ever have to be a source of stress or a letdown ever again if you understand the motivations behind the expectations.

Dr. Warren shared his views recently on what men and women want most:

What does every woman want more than anything else?
She wants to feel wonderful about herself. She wants to be convinced that the man she loves more than any other considers her #1 on his “most important” list. An anniversary is simply an opportunity that her partner can express that. One way for a man to successfully convince her of his love and her position of importance in his life is to plan a way to express that before that day, so that when he puts that plan into motion, his actions reflect his inner feeling that she is, indeed, the single most important part of his life. So it’s not so much about the type of gift exchanged as it is the thought that is put into his expression of love. Keep in mind that a well-thought-out and executed plan to express one’s love for another in your life can happen any day of the year.

What does every man want more than anything else?
He wants to feel wonderful about himself. The shortest route to that feeling for a man has nothing to do with cards or presents. It has to do with a deep inner sense that the woman in his life trusts him at the deepest of levels, wants to give of herself fully and freely, and adores him through and through. She can show this to her partner by reflecting on their shared love and by expressing appreciation and trust in his love for her.