Valentine’s Day is this week and this love-ridden holiday can be the best day for some and the hardest day for others. So, this is for all of those men and women who year after year feel unsatisfied, disappointed, have a lack of passion or zest on Valentine’s Day. I know how you feel, I’ve been there. But I’m here to tell you that you can avoid having a crappy and disappointing Valentine’s Day with these five simple tips.
As women we have really high expectations of romance in our lives. It’s taken me several years to recognize that men are human, they make mistakes, and they’ll never be able to deliver 100% when it comes to being romantic, and emotionally connected with us. They are men, they think a lot differently than you and me. Movies depict love so differently than what it really is like day after day. Social media and advertising don’t help either. Pretty much we are brain washed by our culture that we need to have X, Y, and Z happen to have a wonderful holiday.
Even I am guilty of this. Here’s a text I sent to my husband this week, I love his response.
It’s easy to get bugged on Valentine’s Day when you scroll through your Instagram and Facebook feed and all you see are pictures and comments about how amazing everyone else’s significant other is. I remember I had one acquaintance of mine that went way over the top and posted pictures of the dozen red roses, diamond necklace, dinner at a fancy restaurant, and a spa package she received from her husband. I felt disappointed from my mediocre Valentine’s Day text I received from my husband earlier that day. This feeling of disappointment makes you want to punch a hole in the wall because you want to feel that loved too! Yeah, I get it; I’ve been there many times.
During high school and in college I could never keep a boyfriend around long enough for Valentine’s Day. I swear they would dump be right before the holiday, so from the get go I was never fond of this holiday. I met my sweet husband and bless his analytical brain and engineering heart, he does mean well. I thought Valentine’s Day would get much better once I met “the one.” I soon found out the love of my life was kind of challenged when it came to Valentine’s Day.
I remember our very first Valentine’s Day being married and I was really excited for this big day to come so my husband could declare his love, surprise me, eat a delicious dinner together, and have hot sex. So I kept reminding him for weeks how excited I was for Valentine’s Day to come! I thought because I was talking about it so much he would get the hint that it was a big deal and I wanted him to do something special for me.
Well Valentine’s Day came and went and by 9:00 p.m. nothing had happened. Not even a text saying “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Fuming, I finally asked him if he did anything for me for Valentine’s Day, and his response was, “I had so much anxiety about it, I didn’t do anything for you.” To this day he tells me that he thought my head was going to explode, just like you see in those awful and gory war movies. I was mad as hell, angry, hurt, and very upset. I remember I yelled at him and said, “Are you serious?! That’s the most lame ass excuse I’ve heard in my life!” I went into our bedroom, slammed the door, and cried myself to sleep. He slept on the couch that night. Pretty dramatic, I know.
I’m not telling you this story because I want to get back at my husband or to humiliate him in any way, haha. This was eight years ago, so we’ve grown up a lot since then. The reason I do tell you this is because I’ve had my fair share at being sad, lonely, mad, and disappointed on Valentine’s Day and want to share with you some of the ways I’ve avoiding having that crappy and disappointed holiday.
1. Be happy for others
Yeah, this can be tough. This is for everyone in every type of relationship: single, married, divorce, or in a “it’s complicated.” You’re going to have that coworker who is going to have roses delivered to her desk, you’re going to have friends get engaged on this day, your neighbor’s spouse is going to surprise her with a trip to Hawaii, and you’ll have your single friend having fun going clubbing or dancing or whatever they call it these days.
No matter what your circumstance is, you need to be happy for others. Yeah, you want to be in their shoes and feel that joy. Just because that didn’t happen to you, it doesn’t make your relationship any less. So when you see those annoying pictures of people having a great time on Valentine’s Day and you’re not, cheer up. Love yourself, you have value, worth, are special, and are important. My advice, if you feel lonely, bored, or sad on this day go do something special for yourself. Go get a treat, go on a hike, go to the gym, grab take out, get a mani pedi, read a book, or do whatever that makes you happy. When you’re happy, then it will be easier for you to be happy for others.
2. Surround yourself by loved ones
Hanging out with family, kids, friends, peeps, neighbors, and even your grandparents is a great way to surround yourself with love on Valentine’s Day. I prefer quality over quantity when I surround myself with loved ones, but having the people you love the most around you on this special day feels awesome.
If you haven’t made any plans, then that is a recipe for disaster. Make plans.
One of my favorite romantic movies is Leap Year. It’s kind of cheesy, but I love the part when Declan tells Anna that he wants to marry her by saying the following:
Declan: I don’t want not to make plans with you. I want to make plans with you.
Anna: You do?
Declan: Yeah I do.
I swoon every time.
Your plans don’t have to be extravagant. I find the more simple the better. For an example my husband and I talked about going out to brunch on Valentine’s Day together this year. We don’t want to spend a lot of money, the hassle of trying to find a babysitter, and the thought of it being crowded everywhere didn’t sound like fun. So we decided to invite some of our neighbors over to our house and have homemade leige waffles for breakfast instead. Simple and easy things like that make the day more special than any other day.
4. Talk about realistic expectations
For some people Valentine’s Day is just any other day (my husband feels this way) and for others it’s a way for us to really show someone you care and love them (this is how I feel). Until the day my husband dies he’ll never change his feelings about Valentine’s Day. He feels, “Why do I have to show you extra love on one day, when I show you I love you everyday?” There goes his analytical mind again.
I realized when we were first married he wasn’t aware of what my expectations. He thought I wanted this big and expensive production and that was too overwhelming for him. All I really wanted was to know he took time out of his day to think of me and do something that is thoughtful. Once I was able to get that across to him, I saw an improvement in his attitude towards Valentine’s Day because he knows it’s important to me.
If you find yourself mad and upset, and unsatisfied on Valentine’s Day you need to talk about it with your significant other. The only way they’re going to know how to make you happy is if you tell them. They can’t read your mind. It’s been a lot better since we’ve been open and honest with each other.
5. Make it special
If you have a significant other who despises this celebration of love (like I do), that’s ok. You probably won’t be able to change their mind. Yeah I tried that, and it hasn’t worked for me yet. When I go out of my way to do something nice for someone, it makes me feel better about myself, even though I might not get anything back in return. Do what you can to make that day special by showing your gratitude, love, and appreciation for those around you.
I hope these tips will help prevent you from feeling sad, mad, disappointed, and crappy for Valentine’s Day. I would love to hear if you have any other suggestions that have helped you to not to have too high expectations for this holiday. Happy Valentine’s Day and remember that you are loved!