The Trouble with Valentine’s Day
If you’re like most women I’ve worked with over the years I’ve been in practice, you can get yourself fairly worked up leading up to Valentine’s Day (and the media sure does throw gas on that fire!).
By the way – if you’re a woman who doesn’t get emotionally hooked by this “Hallmark holiday”, you may want to share this with any friends who do succumb to it.
If V-day is a big deal for you, and you’ve hoped to receive some wonderful gesture of love and devotion from your man, you’ve probably had at least a few disappointing experiences in your life:
- He did nothing;
- He did what everyone else does (flowers, candy, card);
- He never got you what you told him (or hinted) that you wanted;
- He had someone else get something for you;
- He went out of town and dodged the whole thing;
- (Have I missed any?)
So how do you deal with this annual dance of angst leading up to February 14th, so often followed by your hurt (or angry or disappointed or resentful) feelings afterward?
In the past, I’ve made the suggestion to women that, instead of waiting for their man to “do the right thing” for Valentine’s, to take him “off the hook” and tell him that this year is going to be all about him, as a way to thank him for all he’s done all year long.
Many women have taken me up on the suggestion, and have been delighted with how well it’s worked out. They said they had more fun, their men were blown away, and many of the men showed their appreciation in unexpectedly sweet ways.
This year, I have another suggestion: give yourself the gift of love for Valentine’s Day.
Stop expecting your man to come up with some worthy-of-a-romance-novel way to tell you how much you mean to him.
The pressure of that expectation (on both of you!)…yikes!
And before you go crazy on me, I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t have your man show you that he loves you, or have a special day to honor the wonderful woman that you are.
What I am saying is that there’s a great way to eliminate those killer expectations (because you know that those suckers are cause for more misery than almost anything else, don’t you?), and make sure you have what you want on that day, and that is to plan it for yourself.
Yup, plan it for yourself.
Now, if you do this, but do it with the wrong attitude, it will not work. This isn’t about sending him some kind of an “f-off!” message, and it’s not about giving up on the possibility of feeling loved by your man.
It’s just ensuring that you get the experience you want on this day – a day that means an entirely different thing to (most) men.
No one on the planet knows as well as you do what your heart/soul/body yearns for as a way to feel loved.
And with the extreme pressure that mounts for a “perfect” experience on Valentine’s Day, it’s just such a set-up.
And although you may find yourself making it about the jewelry, or the fancy restaurant, or the gorgeous flowers, etc., if you think about it, isn’t what you’re really ultimately looking for is that experience of being loved?
Think about this for a second; who is more likely to know how to create a nurturing, loving, fulfilling experience that hits home for you: you, or your man?
I’d bet you know that the answer is YOU.
The problem is that most of us spend the whole year prior to V-day giving, giving, giving – and many women do this without feeling like they’re getting enough back.
So we try to get all of it back from our guy on this one day…Valentine’s Day.
What do you suppose would happen if you told your man that, instead of him going out and spending money to do the “should” thing (flowers/dinner/jewelry – the obligatory gestures…how loving does that really feel?) – you were going to use that same money and:
- spend the day at a spa, being completely pampered;
- go shopping with your best girlfriends to buy yourself something that made you feel exquisitely gorgeous;
- go away for the weekend with your best girlfriend and relax;
- go to a yoga retreat;
- send the kids to go to their grandparent’s house for the night so you can stay home in your jammies.
These are just some ideas…but you get the point? What would be the best way for you to get what you’re seeking, which is to feel love?
Are you aware that, for most men, if they could make Valentine’s Day disappear forever, they would?
With this proposed plan, you would have an experience that was completely tailored to your needs (because you designed it), and your man would get to support you – without having to figure out how to out-do his prior efforts (or the efforts of your all your friends’ husbands/boyfriends).
Or without having to fix his past years’ “bombs”.
I believe you’d BOTH have a fabulous V-day!
If you think there’s something to this, and you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear about your experience.
If instead, you think I’ve lost my mind, I’d love to hear from you, too.
Happy Valentine’s Day.