By Samara Fabrick
For many of us, Valentine’s Day is a chance to sit down with our kids to make cards for their classmates, think of fun ways to surprise our partner or have an excuse to eat that box of chocolates. However, for many Valentine’s Day is another opportunity to have a million expectations that are so often dashed by our clueless spouses and our inability to express our wants. Here are a few suggestions to make sure that your Valentine’s Day is a happy one filled with whatever your heart desires.
- Make sure you know what you want to do for Valentine’s Day. For instance, do you want to go out to dinner, have a romantic meal at home, receive a gift, exchange gifts with your sweetie, pretend the day doesn’t exist? If you don’t know what you want, how can you expect your spouse to?
- Communicate with your partner about what it is you want. It’s important to be clear about your expectations and to be able to share your thoughts. You don’t necessarily have to plan the whole day out, but you do need to be clear if you have certain expectations that, if not met, will lead to strife in the relationship.
- Are you a mind reader? Most of us are not. Understand that your partner might not be a mind reader either, and that to expect them to be, is unfair and ultimately will lead to disappointment.
- Be realistic about what the day means in the context of your relationship. Many believe it is just a Hallmark holiday and put little value on its importance. Some use the day to express love and affection that on other days is more difficult for them to do.
- Show love, appreciation and affection to the people in your life. You have no excuse, on this day of love, not to lavish it on the special people that you love.
Whatever it is that you want your Valentine’s Day to look like, it is important to understand your own expectations and then express them to your partner. So often I hear women complaining that their guy bought the wrong gift or picked the wrong restaurant. If you have an idea of what is “right,” you and he deserve to know what it is, so you can both be happy on this pressure-filled day. Remember that Valentine’s Day comes once a year, but that expressing love and affection in a relationship is something that needs to happen every day. Love is an action word that needs to be practiced regularly.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Samara Fabrick is a licensed psychotherapist in Beverly Hills specializing in life issues.