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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Updated: May 17, 2020

Okay, I’m just like you.  I always have expectations that are too big for the occasion–romance, flowers, adoring attention–a perfect recipe for sullen self-pity on a day designed to celebrate love.  Am I right?  Just to let you know, if you indulge these expectations very often, your beloved may begin doing all the things you want him to do, but it will be out of a sense of duty at best, and at worst, out of fear of your disapproval, either of which really sucks.

So, what to do?  It’s a fact that you can’t always control the way your feelings react to things–if you were hoping for flowers and they don’t come, if you’ve lit the candles and he seems nonplussed, if he tells you he’s sorry, he “didn’t realize you were expecting anything special,” you’re very likely going to feel disappointed, even crushed.  What to do?

At this point, there’s really no way that what you wanted to happen is going to materialize.  You now have two options:  sulk, and ruin the whole thing, or take a deep breath and start remembering.  Excuse yourself for a moment, grab a piece of paper and a pen, and start writing down true things about the one you love:

* List the stuff he does every single day, that he doesn’t really have to do, like take care of the lawn, the car, the trash . . .and realize that he does it, at least partly, because he loves you.

* Write down the things he puts up with from you–you know what they are.

* Recall the fact that he vowed (if you’re married) to love and remain faithful to you–and he has, even though he probably could have done at least a couple of more adventurous and exciting things.

* Remember what it feels like to blow it–you’ve done it, and you know how much worse it is when somebody rubs it in.

* Above all, remember that he loves you and you love him.  That hasn’t changed.

Okay.  You have your list; now it’s decision time.  Are you going to punish him for messing up?  Are you going to mentally gnash your teeth, cursing him for being a “jerk” or a “typical” male?  (which, by the way, is “typical” female behavior)  Or are you going to focus on what’s really true, and far more important–yeah, he screwed up, but he loves you.  

Take it from someone who’s done it both ways.  Love–the kind that overlooks an offense and focuses on what’s important–is better than getting what you think you want for Valentine’s Day.

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