It’s the day every man in America has ONE shot to get it ALL right. Buy the right flowers, if he can find any left. Buy the good chocolate, if she isn’t on a diet. Take her to the best restaurant, if they still have reservations. Purchase the gift she has been dropping hints for, as long as it isn’t an appliance. Hire the best sitter, if the neighbors haven’t snagged her first. Shower her with gifts, words of affirmation and praise and on and on.
Welcome to Valentine’s Day.
Now, before you accuse me of being a Valentine Day hater, let me be very clear that I LOVE Valentine’s Day. I enjoy flowers, chocolate and a quiet dinner at a non-kid friendly restaurant as much as the next girl, but sometimes I think Valentine’s Day creates a whole lot of pressure.
Pressure for the guys to plan a perfect day and pressure for the girls to be satisfied with the day he has planned. All this pressure can land you into the notorious Valentine’s Day fight.
So here is my plea…
Guys, please plan something special for your significant other because you want to show her that you adore her. Please do whatever would be pleasing to her and not necessarily what ‘most’ women like. Please plan this in advance and do not wait until February 13 to put your plan in action.
Ladies, I don’t know if you are like me, but I can sometimes travel down fairy tale road and imagine a day beyond it’s capability. So, this year, let us (yes, I’m talking to myself) remember to not give this day more credit than it deserves. Just as your marriage isn’t based on your wedding day, your marriage is also not based on Valentine’s Day. May this day be a reminder of the love we have with our special guy without a lot of pressure for perfection. Let’s recall the moments that have filled so many days.
The sweet text you received in the middle of a crazy day.
The full night of sleep you got because he volunteered to get up with the baby.
The care in his eyes when the doctor had a concern.
The nudging he gave your kids to compliment you for dinner, even when it was store bought rotisserie chicken, again.
The text that simply said, “I’m sorry.”
The surprise get away weekend he planned because he knew you needed it.
Or when he walked into a chaotic house and said, “let’s just go out for dinner.”
Love is in the small, daily gestures that happen when two people make a choice to love sacrificially.
As we reflect on the love we have with our significant other, please let us also remember that everyone has their own way of displaying love. It’s so tempting to compare when we see the highlights from everyone else on social media, but may we focus on the intimate moments that occurred on the other 364 days. Each husband was uniquely created to be the man he is, so he will display his affections different than others.
Now, I’m not making a case for a get out of Valentine’s Day pass for men, but I am just asking that we resist the temptation to make this day greater than possible. Sometimes what we envision in our heads is so perfect that it just isn’t realistic.
Instead of a fancy dinner, maybe a bill has to get paid.
Instead of a night out, maybe a child gets sick.
Things happen beyond our control, so let’s save ourselves the heartache of some perfect day we imagined.
Let’s not allow those voices in our head, you know the ones I’m talking about, tell us any different. Embrace this season of love and enjoy your Valentine’s Day, but remember it is ONE day. Let’s not have a fight on Valentine’s Day because of Valentine’s Day. Instead, let this day be a reminder of the love we have been blessed with throughout the year.
May this day be a day I replace false expectations with the reality of the love I have been granted.
Sometimes love and Valentine’s Day is a picnic at the park with the kids . . . and I’m okay with that.