I recently got into a discussion (yes, it got animated) about the virtue or lack thereof of Valentine’s Day with a friend of mine. It seems like this is one of those “holidays” that you either love or hate.
I know Valentine’s Day is supposed to have you immersed in the dream and experience of wild and wonderful romance. Your relationship is supposed to be swept into exhilaration and ecstasy.
With all of the pressure on what Valentine’s Day is supposed to do for you and your relationship it is no surprise that it can fall short of these expectations.
Along with the expectation pressure for Valentine’s Day, it can stir up memories of excruciating pain and bring up all sorts of monsters from the past.
You know the time that you didn’t get a Valentine from that boy in third grade and how crushed you were? What about the Valentine’s Day you caught your boyfriend kissing another girl and you never wanted to show your face again in school?
Ah Yes, the Joy of Valentine’s Day!
I estimate that Valentine’s Day brings up as much loneliness and sadness as it does joy and romance.
Hey, it is easy to feel a sense of loneliness and “it’s not fair” when you compare yourself to the happy, enthusiastic, love struck actors in the Valentine commercials.
When you consider how Valentine’s Day usually ends up it is no surprise that it somehow misses the mark and you end up not feeling that lov’in feeling…
…mostly, women end up with chocolate from a partner that is anxious to do the right thing and hasn’t a clue what that might be. He rushes out at the last moment to buy her chocolate to show how much he cares.
If this chocolate is for you… you will not be able to resist eating it…after all it is a gift. Then you will be mad at yourself for inhaling it and having to now double down on exercising and dieting to lose those extra pounds that the chocolate produced.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Then there will be those of you upset with your partner because they didn’t do anything for Valentine’s Day.
Of course your partner is the one who bought the chocolate last year and listened to you complain about your weight gain and decided to not do that again. They, not being clear about what to do, decided to hunker down, cross their fingers, and wait for Valentine’s Day to blow over.
(Of course we all know this is a bad plan.)
So What About Flowers?
Flowers seem like a safe bet.
Except year after year of being given a commercial bouquet of Valentine flowers will at some point no longer be a safe way for your partner to express their love for you either.
OK, How About a Romantic Dinner Out?
Ever go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for a restaurant. If you want to linger over dinner and look longingly into your loved ones eyes, Valentine’s Day is one of the worst times you could pick to do that. Hard to be romantic with a throng of hungry couples anxiously eyeing your table and impatiently waiting for you to get done eating and leave.
Add to these frustrations of trying to find the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is the possibility that it brings to the forefront the lack of current romance in your relationship.
You may be saying at this point, “Boy, Cheryl you sure are being negative!”
My intention here is to shift any Valentine’s Day expectations that create pressure, disappointment, or feelings of dread into you having a genuine experience of love and appreciation this Valentine’s Day.
Start with yourself. Fill your heart with love and gratitude and then pass it on.
If you want to experience love, all it takes is to love yourself and do a bunch of loving things. Show your love, gratitude, and appreciation.
That’s all it takes!
When you switch expectations for getting love into expressions of giving love Valentine’s Day will be an opportunity for you and the people around you to truly celebrate love.
I think this is the true message for Valentine’s Day.
So let’s go crazy with love, gratitude, and appreciation on Valentine’s Day.