Valentine’s Day was last weekend.
For many of us, the day that is meant to celebrate love and romance often turns into a day of disappointment.
Today blogger and author Lindsey Bell is joining us for Top 10 Tuesday to share 10 tips for getting over Valentine’s Day disappointment. You can do it! Here’s Lindsey:
Valentine’s Day…aka “Let’s See How Bad He Fails This Year.”
So if your Valentine’s Day left you feeling disappointed, here are a few things to do to help next year go much better.
Top 10 Ways to Overcome Valentine’s Day Disappointment:
1. Rethink your expectations about Valentine’s Day.
I learned early on in my marriage that one of my biggest problems was holding on to expectations. In particular, unmet expectations that my husband knew nothing about. After a few years of Valentine’s Day fails, I finally realized I needed to rethink my expectations.
Was it really fair of me to expect him to plan an extravagant date and pick out a thoughtful gift…when I didn’t do the same for him?
Was it really fair of me to expect him to know exactly what I wanted for Valentine’s Day without ever telling him?
If you’re expecting your husband to know what you want, it’s time to rethink your expectations.
It might not be as romantic to have to tell him what you want, but my guess is, if you’re married to a good man who loves you, he probably wants to make you happy. He simply doesn’t know how. Instead of expecting him to read your mind, tell him some things you would like.
2. Talk it out.
For about five years of my marriage, I did things that really bothered my husband. But I never knew about them. He is a peacekeeper and avoids conflict if at all possible. He thought that by not telling me when I upset him, he was keeping the peace.
That worked…for a few years. But eventually, he realized he couldn’t keep stuffing his frustrations.
Now, when I do something that bugs him, he tells me about it, and our marriage is stronger for it.
If your spouse dropped the ball this year, talk it out with him. Things will never change if he doesn’t know he hurt you.
3. Ask yourself, is it worth it?
I love this quote by Jennifer Rothschild. “You may have the right to be angry, but is it a right worth exercising?”
Is it worth it?
Is it really worth it to be this upset? Maybe it is. I know Sheila often gets messages from men and women in really difficult situations. Some of you reading this might be in a marriage that is dealing with really hard stuff.
This particular post isn’t geared toward the hard issues. It’s geared toward those of us who are mad because our husbands went out on the morning of Valentine’s Day and grabbed the first gift he found. It’s written for those of us who are angry because our wives forgot about Valentine’s Day altogether. It’s written for those of us who are mad because we always have to plan any dates that ever occur.
Those of us in relatively good marriages, who are with people who genuinely want the best for us…when Valentine’s Day disappoints, ask yourself, is it worth it?
Are the anger, bitterness, and pain worth it?
Forgiveness is just as much for you as it is for your spouse, because the truth is, unforgiveness hurts you. Sometimes, it hurts you more than it hurts the person you’ve chosen not to forgive.
If your spouse blew it this year with Valentine’s Day, forgive him.
5. Make a mental note to tell him next year.
This year, Valentine’s Day is over…but next year can be different. Make a mental note to tell him next year exactly what would make you happy.
My husband likes to get me flowers. Though I appreciate the gesture, I would much rather him get me something that won’t die in a few days. Finally, a few months ago, I told him that.
It’s funny now that I waited so long to tell him. We’ve been married almost 12 years! (What can I say? I’m a slow learner.)
6. Ask yourself, did I make his day special?
It seems weird to me that men have so much more pressure on this holiday than women. It’s like we expect the man to bend over backwards making sure the woman knows she is appreciated and loved but the woman doesn’t have to do anything.
Valentine’s Day isn’t the day to celebrate women. It’s the day to celebrate relationships.
My job isn’t to sit back and be pampered and catered to on Valentine’s Day. My job is to work just as hard as my husband in making sure he feels loved and appreciated. I need to show my husband love, too!
7. Consider a redo.
If this year didn’t go well, consider a redo. Who says you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 18th?
Talk with your spouse about what went wrong and what could make the day better, and then start over.
8. Change the way you view the holiday.
Valentine’s Day has become something much different than I believe it’s supposed to be.
Instead of being about commitment, love, and reciprocal appreciation, it’s become a day of unmet expectations, competition, and frustrations. It’s also become a day when much more is expected of men than of women.
Make Valentine’s Day a day for each of you to show your commitment to each other. Better yet, make it a day for you to take the love you have for each other and overflow that love into the lives of others.
9. Do something for him.
If you didn’t put much time or effort into making his Valentine’s Day special, it’s not too late. Sometime this week, do something for him to show him how much you appreciate and love him.
10. Do something for you.
One final way to overcome Valentine’s Day disappointment is to do something for yourself.
The truth is, no person is ever going to “complete you” and fulfill every longing. Honestly, that’s not even your spouse’s job. That’s God’s job. Do something this week to nurture THAT relationship.
Do something this week to make yourself happy, rather than expecting your spouse to fill that need in your life.
What other tips would you add to this list?
Lindsey Bell is the author of the parenting devotional, Searching for Sanity, and of the upcoming Bible study and devotional, Unbeaten (releasing April 2016, available for pre-order now). She’s a stay-at-home mother of two silly boys, a minister’s wife, an avid reader, and a lover of all things chocolate. Lindsey writes weekly at www.lindseymbell.com about faith, family, and learning to love the life she’s been given.