Some men firmly believe in sending flowers or chocolates to their exes on Valentine’s Day. They say it shows respect for their co-parent, reaffirms the platonic love they still share and sets the standards for their children’s future relationships. So should you do it? Unless you’ve been told to avoid your ex, there are many ways to reach out in a healthy way.
Should You Send Flowers?
Roses are the flower of romantic tidings, so they’re not the best choice for an ex. (That’s doubly true if there’s a new boyfriend in the picture.) Fortunately, florists stock all types of flowers at this time of year. According to online florist Teleflora, pink carnations are the industry standard for mom bouquets, but any bright, cheerful flower will do.
Should You Send a Card?
Cards work best when sent to the whole family. It’s up to you if you acknowledge stepparents. It’s appropriate when positive, but it’s not an insult to leave them out. What to say? You can thank your ex for raising your amazing children with you or remind her that she’ll always be an important person in your life.
Should You Offer to Take the Kids?
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about going on dates. Communities often schedule events parents can enjoy with their kids. Your co-parent might appreciate having an extra night to herself. Just don’t go the extra step of inviting the whole family out. Group outings after a split can be confusing for kids … and for adults.
What About Other Presents?
While you’re in a relationship, it’s common to give your partner personal gifts for Valentine’s Day. Special pens, coffee mugs, scarves, a CD of their favorite band and on and on. Once you’re no longer in a relationship, those types of gifts aren’t really appropriate. Feel free to give them to your kids, but leave mom out of it.
Should You Ignore Your Ex for the Sake of a New Partner?
Sometimes new girlfriends and wives bristle at the thought of you acknowledging your co-parent on Valentine’s Day. Listen to her concerns, let her know you care about her feelings, but don’t let her interfere with giving platonic gifts to your co-parent. Reassure her by focusing on the benefits your kids get from the experience. If she’s respectful of you, she will understand.
Different families have different traditions. Do you and your ex exchange Valentine’s Day gifts? If so, share your favorites in the comments.