Psst, everyone, Valentines’s Day is coming up! In fact, it’s this week…this Wednesday, to be exact! But you probably knew that, right? What kind of feelings does this holiday invoke in you? Excitement, specialness… or perhaps a bit of dread?
Husbands may sometimes feel intimidated by this renowned celebration of love, and a bit of pressure to get exactly the right thing. Conversely, wives may feel a bit of sadness at this time of year, longing for some illusive romantic magic.
My husband is a wonderful man and shows me love every day of the year. He is romantic in many ways and I am so grateful. But there’s something about the 14th of February that just left me craving something even more — a mystical feeling of magic.
What is it about this day, designed to bring such bliss, that can leave with mixed emotions? It is because of expectations. On Valentine’s Day, and on Christmas and New Year’s Day, we may start to feel entitled to an idealized version of reality, brought to us by our culture, our memories or our hopes. When these ideals are not met, we start to feel inadequate and blame our partner or even ourselves for not being good enough. It is easy to compare our day to someone else’s day, or even to the romantic fantasy in our head.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing inherently wrong with romance itself. We like to be desired. We like to be reminded once in a while that we are more than a roommate, a worker or a mom. But the danger can come when those expectations are not met and we start to resent the person we are with. So, what is the answer for the expectations that come with this day?
A Valentine’s Day Solution
This year, when I started to feel that longing for romance regarding the 14th of February, I made a choice to try something different. Instead of passively longing for something that I could not even define myself, I decided to take charge of Valentine’s Day this year! At first, I protested. “That doesn’t sound very romantic!” I protested to myself. “I want him to read my mind!”
But the more I thought about it, the better the idea sounded. Yes, I planned our Valentine’s Day this year and checked to see if my gorgeous husband was in favour. We are going to a castle! How much more romantic can you get? They are ice castles and yes, they do sound magical. Afterwards, we are going to a hotel and have a romantic dinner. My husband loved the idea.
We are actually going on a different night than February 14th because that particular evening does not work that well for this event. After all, the day is meant for us and not the other way around. We can use it to make our marriage stronger, to take advantage of this opportunity to take some time away from the mundane.
You know I learned from this idea? It was a reminder that marriage really is a give and take. Even when it comes to romance. It’s not fair or realistic to expect a man to take charge of all the wooing, just because I have fairytale fantasies. We share our finances and we share our home. Why not share the responsibility for romance, too?
So, how is your Valentine’s Day looking? Are you excited about the upcoming day? Any plans? Let me know in the comments below!