‘The Good Doctor’: Will Valentine’s Day Be Awkward for Shaun and Carly? Dr. V Offers Relationship Advice

The Good Doctor’s Shaun and Carly have seen a lot of ups and downs throughout their relationship. They have navigated issues such as trust, intimacy, and emotional infidelity. This will be their first Valentine’s Day together. Considering how bumpy their relationship has been, there are sure to be some awkward moments during the big day.

How can Shaun and Carly have their best Valentine’s Day and avoid any more misunderstandings? Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with Venus Nicolino, PhD, also known as “Dr. V,” a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, host of Marriage Bootcamp, and best-selling author of Bad Advice. Here’s some of her relationship advice.

Shaun and Carly can use Valentine’s Day to create their own traditions

Jasika Nicole and Freddie Highmore as Carly and Shaun on The Good Doctor| Liane Hentscher/ABC via Getty Images
Jasika Nicole and Freddie Highmore as Carly and Shaun on The Good Doctor| Liane Hentscher/ABC via Getty Images

When asked what advice she would give a couple about to spend their first Valentine’s Day together, Nicolino told Showbiz Cheat Sheet it’s helpful to use this day as an opportunity to create new traditions. This is great advice for Shaun and Carly because they haven’t been together that long and they’re still learning how to be a couple. Shaun has history with Lea, so this is partly what attracts him to her. If he can create new memories with Carly, this will help them move their relationship forward. Here’s what Nicolino had to say about new couples celebrating their first Valentine’s Day together:

Tradition is a vital part of relationships. It gives the relationship a sense of identity, memories, and experiences to look forward to. Holidays such as Valentine’s Day provide an opportunity to create tradition. Reliving loving memories and creating new ones is part of the human experience.

What yearly tradition would you like to set for your romantic relationship? How would you like this day to be remembered? Asking these questions helps couples set the tone of any holiday tradition. It also helps set expectations for yourself and your partner. Contrary to popular belief, expectations and having your loved one meet and perhaps even beat those expectations is part of a working relationship.    

Shaun and Carly had a rocky start, but Valentine’s Day might be their chance to start over

Jaskia Nicole and Freddie Highmore on The Good Doctor | Liane Hentscher/ABC via Getty Images JA
Jaskia Nicole and Freddie Highmore on The Good Doctor | Liane Hentscher/ABC via Getty Images JA

Shaun and Carly hit a rough patch after Shaun revealed he and Lea slept in the same bed together. Carly and Shaun had been working on touch, which was a long and difficult road. However, Shaun easily let Lea hold him during his trip to visit his dying father. When Carly found out about this, she was understandably hurt. It’s obvious Carly is still getting over this. Nicolino says Valentine’s Day could be a good time for couples who have been fighting to make up and refresh their relationship:

What a great opportunity to make up! What a great opportunity to see the best in each other. Be sure not to fetishize conflict–meaning it’s the only way the two of you know how to be intimate. So be aware of that dynamic. If you find yourself having lots of “make up sex,” be aware of this. That said, love is stronger than pride. Don’t allow a simple feud to turn into more than it is by ignoring V Day because you’re too prideful and stubborn to truly love someone. Lean into love and lean in hard.

Will Shaun and Carly exchange Valentine’s Day gifts?

Jasika Nicole and Freddie Highmore as Carly and Shaun | Jeff Weddell via Getty Images
Jasika Nicole and Freddie Highmore as Carly and Shaun | Jeff Weddell via Getty Images

We’re not sure Shaun and Carly will get to the gift-giving part of Valentine’s Day. Shaun is very particular about pretty much everything, so a gift exchange is unlikely. This shouldn’t be a problem since Nicolino says the best gift is the “gift of each other.” There are other ways to show love besides exchanging store-bought gifts:

The gift of each other should be enough–that is, if you’re doing it right. However, V Day promotes transactional communication, not relational. Whatever your gift, make sure it is relational in nature. It’s the thought that counts.

So, here are some thoughtful ideas: a romantic poetry book and highlight the parts that pertain to him or her. Make notes in this book and get vulnerable. Don’t just get flowers, get him or her their favorite flower. The point of a gift (whatever the cost) is acknowledging that your partner matters, that you see them fully. Getting a gift that has nothing to do with your partner or the relationship can feel like a small betrayal. So be sure it acknowledges who they are and what they mean to you.   

Read more: ‘The Good Doctor’: Will Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez Survive Their First Valentine’s Day Apart?

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