Val Baldwin, CPC and Relationship Coach shared an article she wrote about keeping expectations realistic for Valentine's Day. Here is what she had to say:
"Is Valentine’s Day a day you look forward to or a day you wish didn’t exist? If you are a woman who doesn’t look forward to Valentine’s Day, you are not alone. Surveys show that countless women feel frustrated and let down on February 14, primarily because of unmet expectations. Women look for expressions of love that will meet their over-the-top fairy tale romantic ideas. Even low-maintenance women can’t help but hope for a little extra romance. And many times, even well-intentioned men can’t possibly live up to these expectations.
In a recent study of what makes married women happy, it was found that the biggest predictor of women’s happiness is their husband’s emotional engagement. This means how affectionate he is, how empathetic, and how tuned into his wife he is, is the most important factor in predicting a wife’s happiness.
This speaks volumes of what women want and expect. And men, who tend to be more action-oriented in how they show their love (by helping with the chores, repairing the garage door, and bringing home a paycheck) can really miss the mark when it comes to trying to express their love….especially on Valentine’s Day.
Here are 4 steps to insure your Valentine’s Day expectations are handled in a loving, respectful, doable way for both of you.
1. DEFINE YOUR EXPECTATIONS: Make sure you know what you want to do for Valentine’s Day. For instance, do you want to go out to dinner, have a romantic meal at home, receive a gift, exchange gifts with your sweetie, or pretend the day doesn’t exist? So often I hear women complaining that their guy bought the wrong gift or picked the wrong restaurant. If you don’t know what you want, how can you expect your man to? If you have an idea of what is “right,” you and he deserve to know what it is, so you can both be happy.
2. HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: It’s perfectly normal to have expectations for your husband. I expect my husband to shovel the driveway. I expect him to help with the laundry. I expect him to give me a big hug when he comes home from work. We all have a general idea of who our spouse is and what we expect of them.
The problem with Valentine’s expectations is when they are not realistic and we use them to judge our sweeties or try to get them to be someone they are not. Having unrealistic expectations is what makes so many women disappointed on Valentine’s Day.
So don’t expect your husband to take you out to breakfast like your dad did for your mom if your husband doesn’t know about this tradition. Don’t expect him to suddenly read you romantic poetry if he’s not the poetic type. Don’t expect him to “just know” what you want. We cannot expect our husband to be like our dads, our old boyfriend, or our “movie star fantasy man”. They are individuals and they need to be appreciated and loved for the individuals that they are.
3. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARTNER WHAT YOU WANT: It’s important to be clear about your expectations and to be able to share your thoughts. Your sweetie is not a mind reader and to expect him to be is unfair and ultimately will lead to disappointment.
If you want to go out for breakfast, tell him. If you want chocolate and flowers, tell him. Then appreciate whatever that looks like because the man you love just spent time, money and energy trying to please you. You do need to be clear (spoken in a loving way of course) if you have certain expectations.
4. PLAN THE DAY TOGETHER: This is a great option so you can both be happy with the results. Or split up the responsibilities. One of you can plan the dinner and the other can plan what happens afterwards. Or every year trade off who’s in charge of Valentine’s Day and the other plans your Anniversary.
Remember that Valentine’s Day comes once a year, but that expressing love and affection in a relationship is something that needs to happen every day. Love is an action word that need to be practiced regularly. Happy Valentine’s Day!"
Learn more fom Val online at http://www.valbaldwin.com/.