OK, tell the truth. Have you ever had a Valentine’s Day that just stunk?
Most people have, whether they were single and felt really alone or they were in a relationship. At some point or another, it happens.
Why is it that a day created to celebrate love ends up with disappointment and arguing?
Valentine’s Day (or any holiday) has a certain amount of anticipation and pressure on it. There are some general expectations, and if they aren’t met, it’s a recipe for certain doom.
Questioning the strength of the relationship.
Not feeling treasured and desired.
Feeling embarrassed to answer someone’s question about what you got.
Let down because you didn’t get the proposal you had been hoping for.
So how do you move on from a Valentine’s Day disaster?
1. Focus on the strengths of your relationship.
At a time like this, it can be hard to think of the strengths, but just because a bad day happened, it doesn’t change those strengths. They still hold true. Remind yourself of those aspects of the relationship that are great.
- “When I feel let down, he usually comes through later and shares why things didn’t go the why I had hoped.”
- “While I would love to have a special Valentine’s Day together, we do special things all year together.”
- “We are able to talk about sensitive issues with each other without it turning into name calling.”
2. Identify what you would do differently.
Looking back on the Valentine’s Day fiasco, can you see where things went off track? What can you do differently in the future to prevent there from being a misunderstanding?
- “He had no idea I really was hoping to unwrap that necklace I saw on that TV ad. Maybe I should have mentioned that. No one is a mind reader.”
- “I should make it a point to ask him what he wants to do for Valentine’s Day. Even though I would love a night out, he’s worked extra long hours lately and maybe a night out on a different night when there aren’t so many crowds would be more enjoyable for both of us.”
3. Show your love.
A common thing that happens after a disappointing holiday is pulling back and closing off some. Often, this is done to keep from arguing and making it worse. However, this seems to make sensitive feelings even more sensitive. Completely withholding “I love you’s” and hugs and kisses will just make it harder for both of you to reconnect, apologize (if needed), and move forward.
- “I appreciate what you did today.”
- “It’s OK. You know I love you.”
- “We’re going to look back at this and laugh one day. It’s going to be a great story!”
Feeling like these are good suggestions, but they may not work perfectly in your relationship? Be sure to take a register for my upcoming class, “Effective Communication for Healthy & Happy Relationships: How to Decode and Connect to Your Partner.” You can join us from the comfort of your own home and can ask questions about how to tweak and apply these things in your relationship- for much less than the cost of coming in to the office.