Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that you love or hate. Some people think it is a giant money maker for Hallmark and florists, some LOVE everything about it, and some hate and despise it. Personally, I really like Valentine’s Day. I think much of how you feel about the big love day has to do with your expectations or the expectations that you feel are placed on you.
Today is the 20th anniversary of our second Valentine’s Day when we were dating. We hadn’t been dating very long for the first, so it was pretty low
key. On the second, however, we had been dating well over a year and I had high hopes. We already knew that we were going to get married, but I knew I wasn’t getting a ring yet. I can remember him pulling in to pick me up for our date! I was so excited! He said that I had to come to the car for my gift. I don’t know what I was hoping for, but I can tell you that never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see a two drawer filing cabinet with a big, red bow on it. I was stunned! And not real sure how to react….I mean, who gives office furniture for Valentine’s Day? I was polite, but he could tell I was really confused. I mean, it was a FILING CABINET!!! He began to explain that he knew that I had trouble keeping all of my college papers together and organized for my portfolio, so he thought this would help. It was actually a super thoughtful gift. A whole lot more thought went into my filing cabinet than flowers or jewelry. Not that we haven’t laughed about it for years! But if Valentine’s Day is truly for showing someone how much you think of them, my husband (then boyfriend) hit it out of the park! It was just not what I was expecting or what we are taught to expect, so I was disappointed.
I have had Valentine’s Days where I got jewelry and flowers and chocolates. That being said, my husband and I have had years where we watched a movie at home and ate pizza and showed each other the card we WOULD have bought each other, but didn’t. Many years ago, I told my husband that I didn’t want him buying me flowers for V Day. They jack the prices and the flowers die quickly. I told him to buy me flowers a day or two later when they clearance them! Plus, I prefer daisies or carnations to roses. I also told him not to get me any expensive jewelry because I don’t wear it. If I ever see something that I really want, I let him know. We also take turns planning the day. I mean, he’s my valentine too….it shouldn’t all fall to him! My point is that we laid out our expectations. Now there is no disappointment and my husband enjoys the day better because he doesn’t feel such pressure to do everything he is “supposed to”.
Truth be known, if we handled most things in our marriages, relationships, friendships that way we would be happier. It is difficult to meet expectations that we don’t know we are being held to. For example, my husband is great at washing and drying the clothes! He will diligently start a load, dry a load, and put it in a basket. I LOVE the help, but when I go downstairs there are 20 gazillion baskets to fold! I felt like I was drowning! I would get so mad! I was mad at my husband for WASHING. THE. LAUNDRY. Which makes me sound like an idiot! Finally, I just told him that I got super overwhelmed and if he was going to do it, I needed him to slow down and let me know that there were baskets to fold BEFORE he filled the basement. Problem solved. I let him know my expectation and he met it. He thought all along that he was meeting (or exceeding) my expectations by washing as much as he could.
If today you find yourself disappointed or maybe even irritated with how Valentine’s Day is going, ask yourself if your person knows what you are
expecting? Are you expecting flowers sent to your work? A fancy gift? A night out? Something very heartfelt (like a filing cabinet)? Let your person know!! They love you! They want to make you happy! Just give them direction. It doesn’t make it any less romantic, I promise!!
Love isn’t about finding a perfect person. It’s seeing an imperfect person perfectly. –Sam Keen