That First Valentine’s Day

Image courtesy of KEKO64 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of KEKO64 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wow, I haven’t written a substantive post in a while. Work has been overwhelming lately and I started a wood refinishing project that has been taking up my limited free time. Blogging has kind of taken a backseat while I have been trying to keep my life under some type of control.

I decided to make some time to continue Part 2 of Chasing a Daredevil and Twins Before We Wed – Blogging Challenge. You can find Part 1 here, which goes through the progression of my marriage in pictures. Since I can’t post daily, I am posting to this challenge when I get time. Here is the challenge:

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The Progression of Marriage

I have been married for almost thirteen years and marriage can become tedious after all that time, especially once kids enter the scene.  I decided to join Chasing a Daredevil and Twins Before We Wed – Blogging Challenge because I thought it would be fun to reflect back to the days when my relationship was new, fresh, and kid-free.

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Valentine’s Day Stinks!

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Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I can’t stand Valentine’s Day.  The media treats Valentine’s Day as the one day each year that my husband must spend money on me, put on a big show for me, and act like someone he’s not to prove how much he loves me.  We have been married thirteen years. He is not romantic and I don’t expect him to be. I just want him to be loving, respectful, and helpful.

On Valentine’s Day, I am expected to transform into a sexy-underwear wearing, coy, vixen to please my man. Give me a break.  I don’t have time for that nonsense.

As far back as I can remember, I never bought into this Valentine’s Day garbage. Don’t get me wrong, I was flattered and appreciative if someone gave me flowers or took me out to dinner, but it was never necessary. Some big, phony, romantic to-do where my date and I are just trying too hard is just annoying to me.  Over-the-top romance might work for some people, but not me. I now realize that buying into the expectations that everyone else puts on me about what my relationship should be with my husband will only make me feel disappointed with him, me, and my life. Disappointment leads to anger and I really don’t want to be angry.

My husband could care less about Valentine’s Day.  Like any other day, he just wants me to be happy and not complaining or nagging.  He will go along with whatever I want on Valentine’s Day to ensure there’s no nagging.

Here is what I have found that makes Valentine’s Day tolerable and lets me get through it without disappointment and anger:

Lower your expectations or get rid of them altogether.  This is the key to an enjoyable Valentine’s Day.  I think that lowering your expectations regarding something like Valentine’s Day plans is acceptable. During my first Valentine’s Day after I got married, people asked me what special things my husband and I were going to do for our first Valentine’s Day. Since we were both broke law students, I didn’t expect anything. Since I expected nothing, I was happily surprised when I arrived home and my husband was making a surf and turf dinner. It was lovely. In my experience when I expect some perfect scenario in my mind, I always end up disappointed. So I’ve learned to lower my expectations. My advice is to get rid of your expectations and be open to whatever happens on Valentine’s Day!

View it like any other day.  If you treat Valentine’s Day like any other day, then you are managing your expectations. I don’t think there should be expectations on either person to act differently just because it happens to be Valentine’s Day. This doesn’t make sense to me. You and your partner should always be loving and respectful to one another. You should be treating each other like every day is Valentine’s Day. If your partner is only treating you like you are special on Valentine’s Day, then you have bigger problems than what kind of jewelry you expect to receive on Valentine’s Day.  

Work together.  Instead of placing all of the pressure on your partner to come up with some type of perfect romantic scenario for Valentine’s Day, work with your partner to devise something fun for you both. Working together so you both can have a wonderful time certainly helps bring you closer. Working together also manages expectations. By working together, you will be taking the pressure off of each other.  Considering that Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, have fun planning something special together!

Don’t compare your relationship to others.  This is the worst thing that you can do to your relationship.  It just creates unreasonable expectations.  Remember that the relationships that you are comparing your own relationship to are not perfect either. Your relationship is not like anyone else’s relationship and it’s special in its own way, so stop comparing! If one of your colleagues gets a great bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day, don’t feel sad about your situation, don’t feel jealous of her, and don’t feel angry about your relationship. If you are unhappy about something, do something about it.  Your partner isn’t a mind reader.  Tell your partner what you want.  If you would like to get flowers once in a while, let your partner know.  If you want something different in your relationship, then change what you’re doing and talk to your partner about changes you want to happen. Then, move on and enjoy your day!

Focus on your family. Since Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, why not share your love with the entire family. If you have kids, get them involved. Do a fun family craft activity or plan a family dinner with a valentine theme. Get everyone involved, have some family fun, and show each other some love!