When you think of Valentines’s Day what emotions to experience? Does a feeling of dread overcome you? Are you excited about it?
Let’s talk about five steps you can take to have a happy Valentine’s day.
Yes! You read that right. Challenge yourself to not look at social media from February 13 through Feb 15. Staying off social media will help keep you from comparing what your Valentine’s Day is like compared with others. Comparison breeds disappointment. You might be having an amazing day and then look on social media (or glance over at a friend’s life in some way) and suddenly you are feeling rejected, neglected and otherwise disillusioned. The culprit is not some major injustice in your romantic life–the culprit is comparison. Fight comparison all the way on V-Day.
This one day is NOT the measure of your significant other’s affection and love. We need to put it in perspective. Valentine’s Day is not some sort of final exam or verification system as to whether or not you are loved. The true measure of a relationship happens each and every day he gets up and goes to work faithfully, each day he chooses kindness. It is measured in every act of service. The measure of a relationship is not in chocolate and flowers, ladies…it is in his character. Cultivate immense gratitude for the every day, ordinary expressions of love.
When your heart is already full of gratitude, something simple fills your love tank. If you have been on a steady diet of Hallmark movies and This is Us this year, you need to come back down to reality. Just like the comparison of social media steals gratitude and contentment, your fantasy life will blind you to the beautiful and ordinary gestures that are the bedrock of healthy relationships. Get your head out of the clouds. If you expect next to nothing, even the tiniest gesture melts your heart. If there is someone in your life telling you to expect more on Valentine’s Day–they are lying to you. Valentine’s Day is a fabricated holiday in order for companies to profit. V-Day does not define your love. High expectations will rob you of seeing the ordinary wonders of every day life together.
Narcissism is never healthy. Yes, do something special for your special person, but don’t do it in a spirit of competition to show them how it’s to be done. Do something thoughtful. Keep it simple. Beyond that though, there are probably other friends in your life who would probably be encouraged to be thought of on February 14th. Write a note. Send a text. Maybe even a little gift. Think of someone else. I promise, those endorphins will be way better than whatever Valentine’s Day dream you’ve got going on in your head.
Let’s say your special someone comes through on Valentine’s Day with a gesture that makes you swoon. Please, keep it to yourself. Your humble brag on social media could tank a sister unintentionally. Besides, private is sexy. Keep that special moment just between the two of you.
May your Valentine’s Day be filled with the generosity and ordinary delights that make long-lasting love a reality. May you be filled with gratitude for the simple ways your special someone is probably hitting it out of the park already. And may you be more obsessed with giving love than getting it this year.
Happy Valentine’s Day!