I say screw it to the typical lovey dovey Valentine's Day; the let's spend money on silly red hearts, candy, and feel sorry for ourselves if we don't have someone to spend the supposedly romantic day with. I'm not much one for traditions and holidays that tell us how to feel and when to feel it. If you want a romantic evening with someone then go have a spectacularly romantic evening with someone, don't wait for Valentine's Day to pull out all the stops. If you want to be extra caring and buy a special someone a gift, then do it! Don't wait until Valentine's Day to do so. Be romantic whenever the hell you want. Yeah, you get to choose when to be super romantic, what a concept! ;)
This is actually a long subject that I want to talk about so I've split my Valentine's Day Edition into two Parts. I will get to the self-love importance (and not crying the night away in a box of chocolates if you don't have a date), but first I want to talk about the Relationship aspects--and the way in which we set ourselves up for disappointment and create defeating expectations on Valentine's Day. I want to ask the questions; why do we set ourselves up for disappointment? Why do we get our hopes all high, and/or make these ridiculous expectations of a romantic day or evening? Here are a few reality checks I'd like to share that may help you survive Valentine's Day--and gain a new perspective.
Part One: Relationships!
First, let's be real about our partners--should you have someone to spend Valentine's Day with. I'd like to point out that guy's don't tend to be all that romantic. It's not like the chick flicks and movies where the guy is standing outside your window playing your song with a beatbox on his shoulders and a horse-drawn carriage waiting to whisk you off into some perfect sunset. I'm not saying that there aren't guys out there who do ridiculously romantic things, but there's a hell of a lot more guys who just aren't so romantically inclined. There is nothing wrong with that, they just have different parts of their brains working than women. Our expectations that men are just like in the movies is not a healthy expectation to have and usually sets us up for disappointment. Instead we should try focussing on the positive qualities of our partners, and focus on the things they Do do for us, instead of focussing on all the things we feel they do wrong.
I'm always intrigued as to where this fairytale idea came from to begin with. That a girl must get all gushy, want presents and gifts from their partner, that their partner must do immensely romantic things all the time? Personally, I'd like to blame the movies and media, but it's hard to say at this point. There may be an innate nature within us females already that places importance on attention and caring from their partners--which in itself, is not unreasonable. Perhaps it is even some primal inner nature, like when male animals need to win over the female before courting. The male must impress the female. Truly, I'm not quite sure where it all started, but it certainly exists in many of us. Really, I don't think it matters where it came from, what does matter is doing something about it.
Balance! The answer to all.
In many cases guys do super sweet things for their ladies, bringing home flowers, making them breakfast, washing the dishes (??). But often these things get overlooked, comes with that negative attitude that makes you think he is not trying hard enough or cares because you have some other expectation in your mind of something he should be doing to wow you but hasn't. So you miss the things he actually Is doing. Tisk tisk. Perhaps like your expectations that he will put together some elaborately romantic date on Valentine's Day but instead he brings you home some flowers and tries to be romantic in his own way. But it wasn't what You had wanted or expected so you miss the sweetness altogether. If you want your partner to do more for you then appreciate what they do for you already, because you are probably missing it. Appreciation will make them feel good about what they're doing and encourage more nice behaviours. It's also simple Law of Attraction stuff--appreciation for what you do have so that you receive more good things.
The other piece of advice is to let go of materialism. You don't really want to be won over by Things now do you? I understand that once upon a time the "thought" behind a gift is the important part, but let's face it, today there are plenty of girls who just want lavish gifts that they pick out themselves instead of even giving the guy a chance to pick out something thoughtful. Tell me how is this romantic again? You don't want to force your partner into buying you things, it takes away any notion of romance and caring. Let them appreciate you in their own way. If they surprise you with a gift, fantastic! If they don't, still fantastic! Remember that your love is not something that needs to be bought. Love should be showed, not bought.
On the other end of things, you don't want your partner to not put in any effort at all either. Balance, remember? And this goes both ways! Too often women have this expectation that their partner should be pulling out all the stops and dazzling her with splendid gifts and surprises. Well, what have you done lately? It may be wise to take a look at your own actions before you go judging theirs. Regardless, both people should be putting effort into the relationship, otherwise there isn't a relationship to be had. Love needs to come pouring in from both people. Otherwise it's not a relationship, it's a mildly dying friendship. Know when enough is enough or whether there is something worth saving. You are never stuck in a relationship, remember that. You get to choose. Always.
But, again, both people should be putting in some effort. You should be doing nice, thoughtful, loving things for each other, as people often do at the beginning of the relationship because you're trying to win them over, but the longer you are together the less you feel like you need to do these things. I mean, you've won them already, so why keep trying? Do! Because it shows that you are actually still in love and care about the other person, that they are still worth the effort. Just because you are together, even "tied the knot" "til death do you part," doesn't mean you should just conclude that you don't need to try in the relationship anymore. Effort will keep a relationship strong. You Do still need to win each other over, or else the relationship becomes boring and stale and eventually the spark goes out. Keep the spark going. Do nice things for your partner! Period. Not just on Valentine's Day!
Of course, not everything that I have to say applies to everyone, different parts will apply to different people. Or perhaps not at all. But I have a feeling that chances are at least part of this applies to most people.
Balance. It is always the key to happy equality in all aspects of life. And a smile and positive attitude of course, that good attitude will allow you to enjoy all of your relationships and see which ones are worth having. So, to summarize a bit:
Express Gratitude for the other person and seeing their good side instead of focussing attention on their negativities.
Let go of Expectations and welcome what actually comes.
Always put effort into the relationship, it should be coming in from both partners.
Spend quality time with your partner. Be attentive, loving, caring, and thoughtful always. Be respectful. Communicate.
Oh yeah, and say "Screw it!" to traditions! ;)
Join me for Part Two--being loving towards yourself and having a positive attitude when you're single. Basically, how to survive Valentine's Day with a beaming smile on your face! ;)
Have a beautiful day!
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