My eighteen year old daughter recently texted from college telling me that she was so excited for Valentine's Day. Next text ---Everyone else here hates it---. This got me wondering, since my gal has no love interest or expectation of a secret admirer, what exactly it is that allows her to love a day that most chicks love to hate?
When I was her age I was dating a 32 year old. He was the "man of my dreams" and I spent most of Valentine's Day miserable. He was pretty wealthy and I was anticipating a good gift. (I know- don't judge me...I was 18!!!)
We had booked a dinner at our fanciest local restaurant but I was certain that Prince Charming would send me dozens of long-stemmed roses or at least a box of chocolates prior to our date. By 3:00pm I was despondent. I had spent all day at home waiting for a delivery that hadn't come. By 4:00 I was teary- maybe he didn't love me. At 5:00 he called me to say he was on his way to pick me up. He spoke in a clipped tone sounding distracted and distant. My worst nightmare was coming true- he was going to dump me on Valentine's Day!
Then the doorbell rang and a beautiful glass vase filled artistically with my favorite flower, tulips, was delivered with an apology for the lateness. My date arrived and I thanked him profusely. He continued to be cold and our dinner was a semi-silent disaster.
Here's what I later discovered...my guy had ordered these flowers to be delivered by noon. He had spent all afternoon waiting for a call from me thanking him for his thoughtful attention to detail. When none came he imagined I didn't like the flowers, I didn't care enough to thank him, and that I was a spoiled brat, proving what all his friends had been telling him "she's too young".
The stories we had both made up about what we thought a good partner would give as a gift, how a good partner would respond to getting a gift and what a "perfect" Valentine's Day looked like had allowed us to ruin what could have been a great night. My date gave me a thoughtful gift and took me out for a romantic meal. I was impressed, thankful and in love.
This brings me to my point. Most Valentine haters hate it because the reality of the day cannot meet their imaginary expectations. I suggest, on Valentine's Day (and every day);
1) Be present.
2) Don't ruin what is with what "should be".
3) The story you are telling yourself is imaginary. Make it a supportive one.
4) Understand love languages are different.
5) Love is always worth celebrating. When you don't feel you are receiving love, GIVE MORE LOVE!
If you have a Valentine-gone-wrong story, or even better, a Valentine-gone-right, I'd love to hear it! Love never decreases when shared so put your story in the comments.
I hope you have a beautiful Valentine's Day...here's what it has looked like at our house over the years.