As a woman I can say I have had those fantasies or expectations of those extravagant Valentine’s Day gifts, flowers, and dinners. I’ve also been let down by having such high expectations. My feelings and thoughts have changed quite a bit about holidays that have been glamorized or made “special”.
It became apparent when I observed my friends and their partnerships that I admire. I have friends whose partnerships are loving, supportive, encouraging, full of joy and happiness throughout the year. It really hit me one year when a friend of mine was busy chauffeuring children around, taking care of the home, being there for her partner and on a “special day” (Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day) my friend was exhausted and did not want to go out. My friend said to her partner, “If I want to go out to dinner all next week I know you’ll take me out.” That’s when it hit me… all of our days together need to be “special”!
What I am saying is don’t put all the emphasis on those few other days throughout the year. Show your partner you value and appreciate all they do to contribute to your partnership and your throughout the year. As women we have been conditioned to care for others daily and for us to be doted upon on a “special day” once a year. Well why not make everyday special? I’m not saying go out every night, unless you want to and can afford to, then by all means enjoy. What I’m saying is why not make yourself and your relationship a priority? What you put out there will be received by your partner as your values and expectations. What I mean by this is, if you don’t create boundaries and expectations for your relationship up front there won’t be any in your relationship. Do you want and deserve to be treated “special” one day out of the year, or throughout the year? I’m not saying it isn’t a wonderful feeling to be recognized on these “special days,” but I know I want to and I deserve to be valued, appreciated, and treated with love and kindness daily, with “special” indulgences throughout the year.
I recently heard a woman speaking about her plans for Valentine’s Day and it broke my heart that she was settling. This woman said, “well we went out to a restaurant last year and we each paid for our own meal, we’re doing the same this year. He made reservations for the same restaurant.” By the way this couple does not go out throughout the year. This woman felt as though this is all she was worthy of, which made me so sad. I don’t feel one partner needs to pay all the time, unless that partner offers. But if you have the idea and make reservations, then pay! I understand people can’t always financially afford to go out to dinner, then stay home and make dinner at home, or find something else to do that you both enjoy.
My thoughts when I heard this woman speaking was, “fuck that! Don’t settle!!! If you settle you will be settling throughout your relationship with that person. You will be giving up what you are worthy of. You will be letting go of yourself a little at a time and eventually end up with someone you don’t recognize.”
On the other hand I have a client who is loved, valued, appreciated, respected, by her partner consistently and they are having a lovely french meal at home. My clients partner enjoys cooking (score for her) and decided to try something new. My client and her partner make time to spend with each other doing things they enjoy consistently, so staying in and having a meal at home was ideal to them.
Let go of the extravagant over the top Valentine’s Day and have expectations to have those “special days” throughout the year, because you are worth it and so is your partner! Don’t get me wrong a hot air balloon at sunrise would be fabulous, but what if you don’t receive anything or go out will you be let down, angry, resentful? If so what are you going to do about it? Keep your relationship open, talk about your wants, needs, and expectations, because if you don’t communicate with your partner that is your contribution, or lack of participation in your relationship. Your partner cannot read your mind. If you are telling your partner what your needs and expectations are and they aren’t being met, then another conversation needs to take place about the direction of your relationship and what you both want or intend to have in your relationship.
So many women get hung up on the fact that they are single this time of year. Think about it this way, would you rather be with someone who does not value you and appreciate the gifts you have to offer? Or would you rather wait until the universe is aligned and you meet that special person who sees you, who values you and all the beautiful gifts you have to offer!?! And remember you do have someone special… YOU!
There are so many fun activities you can do on Valentine’s Day with or without a partner in your life… get out there and enjoy!