It’s in the air and in the stores; it’s out there screaming to us: “Buy Something!” A sweater or chocolates? Flowers or jewelry? A new briefcase or wallet? Here’s a test: Which would you rather have:
A new watch or Unlimited time with your special someone
A box of chocolates or Fun in the kitchen making chocolate cookies
A Hallmark card or A few personal, handwritten lines that make you feel special
This Valentine’s Day, I urge you to consider and cherish your relationships. Be careful that the media and the merchandising do not sweep you away to the point that you find yourself feeling disappointed.
Companies look at the calendar for ways to make more money. You know it; you’ve experienced it. Remember how Christmas crept into the stores right after Halloween and even before Thanksgiving turkeys had a chance to gobble?
Here are are 3 Valentine’s Day Mental MINDSETS to banish disappointment and make the day great!
AVOID COMPARISONS – Just because Janet got a new wedding band for Valentine’s Day or Anne Marie received an expensive nightie, it does not mean that their relationship is better or stronger than yours. Gift-envy has been the downfall of many couples but if you look closely, you might find that the relationship you admire has it’s own issues. Relationships are not measured in the cost of gifts.
BEWARE EXPECTATIONS – It’s true that we are bombarded daily by merchants/social media/television and from just about every other direction to remember our Valentine in special (and mostly expensive) ways. So, … you start to think, and then wish, and then … EXPECT.
If you don’t fill yourself with expectations, you won’t be disappointed. If it means a lot to you to celebrate Valentine’s Day, talk about it with your husband/partner. Don’t test him to see whether or not he responds.
SHOW YOUR LOVE IN UNIQUE WAYS –
Plan an “I Love You” dinner date on an unexpected day! Be sure to fill it full of surprises! How about your own special progressive dinner: an appetizer at one restaurant, main dish at another, and dessert somewhere else! Each of you can come up with two surprises during the evening. Often the element of surprise adds fun – and spice! – to a dinner out. (And, anyway, do you really want to spend all that extra money on a ‘”Special Valentine’s Day Menu?”)
Focus Valentine’s Day celebrations on your kids – or any kids. Children always appreciate the extra attention, so share the day with them. And be sure it includes special hugs and at least one “I love you!”
Make Valentine’s Day a day of gratitude. Have each family member make a list of three things for which he/she is grateful. Why should Thanksgiving Day be the only time we go around the table and say what we are thankful for?
In a famous experiment, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, researchers in creating stronger relationships, observed interactions between 130 newlyweds during a day at a bed and breakfast retreat. They saw that throughout the day, one or both partners would try to make connections with the other by bidding for their loved one’s attention. In some cases the wife or husband would “turn toward” their significant other and in other cases he or she would “turn away.” Those who chose to pay attention to and engage with their significant other were more than two times as likely to be together six years later. Through observing these interactions, the Gottmans can predict with up to 94 percent certainty whether couples will stay together or break up in the future.
Notice that it doesn’t say anything in there about whether he/she got a gift for Valentine’s Day. However you choose to spend February 14th, consider that over your morning coffee!
Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Gitusik