Valentine's Day and Self-Sabotage: How to Not Ruin this Holiday for Yourself and Everyone Else
Ah, Valentine’s day. A day of mini Cadbury Eggs and overspending on inanimate objects to prove your love for your significant other. It can be a real relationship-testing time of year for some couples.
Do they love me? If they really love me, they’ll have a grand romantic gesture planned with a candle lit dinner and a dozen roses, stuffed teddy bear, and maybe jewelry – as a surprise, obviously – on the 14th. If they don’t, how can they say they love me?!
For some people, the spectacle of it is all very nauseating. For others, it’s EVERYTHING. But wherever you fall on the Valentine’s spectrum, it’s coming. Full-fledged pink and red and white all hearts everything.
Personally, it’s not my most favorite holiday since I really hate stuffed animals. I think they’re clutter. ((Most likely because I have a lot of air and water in my astrology chart, so pls don’t buy me things that don’t serve a purpose; have a mentally stimulating conversation and feed me instead.)) I also in general tend to err on the side of experiences > objects. My wife and I, in the spirit of celebrating our marriage at literally every opportunity (because we’re that gross and obsessed with each other), have pizza and chocolate covered strawberries every year for Valentine’s. That’s our thing. It feels way more meaningful for us than exchanging gifts. And actually, we don’t even do gifts for our anniversary because good food over everything. We have figured out that we would rather spend our money on a great experience, preferably supporting a local business, all rolled into quality time together.
We have a v small house anyway, so more things = less room and I’m not about being a prisoner in my own home. But I used to be, hardcore, one of those people that was on the other side of the spectrum.
Are you wearing your unmet expectations out to dinner?
16-24-year-old Natalie was an entirely different person. She would have been sincerely disappointed/probably an emotional wreck if her partner didn’t acknowledge their love and appreciation for HER in some way to mark the holiday. I mean, that’s what we’re taught to believe, right? Consumerism is strong in this country – don’t even try to deny it – and we’re conditioned to partake in it as a way to constantly validate ourselves. I mean, take note of the commercials! Somebody is always trying to sell you an emotionally meaningful experience via a product. We’re essentially brainwashed to believe that we NEED “x” in order to feel “y.” It’s bullsh*t because by falling for that kind of emotional marketing, isn’t what you’re really wanting the actual experience and catching feels around it? Meaningful relationships, interactions, and experiences have all occurred organically for much longer than Kay jewelers has existed. Just ask your grandparents. And if the emotional experience, at the end of the day, is what your soul is craving, then aren’t you just setting yourself (and your partner) up for failure when the ‘product’ doesn’t provide that? Think about it.
I’ve said before, and will say again, that true mental health starts with awareness. So, how does this apply to Valentine’s day? Well it doesn’t, specifically, because it’s applicable on all occasions - Valentine’s just happens to be the closest. Once you can be aware of the real reason behind your motives, you can approach yourself and your needs with SO much more clarity. And, subsequently, by you being honest with yourself, you can be a better partner in return since you know what you want. It’s a win-win.
The perfect Valentine’s gift
Side note: there is NOTHING wrong with wanting material gifts – it is one of the 5 love languages, and I’ve totally been there.
The question you should ask yourself though, before creating these “special occasion expectations”, is simple: do you really want an elaborate dinner and gifts, or is it the 1:1 attention, quality time, and/or loving effort from your partner? Can you be sincerely honest with yourself and decipher what your soul actually wants? And are you coming from a place where you’ve been conditioned to believe that grand romantic gestures and gifts prove someone’s love and commitment to you, or a genuine “I accept gifts to fill my love tank” place?
I know I was that person, seeking validation from my significant other - or literally anyone else - in the form of gifts and grand gestures at every opportunity. All it really took (besides getting out of the emotionally manipulative relationships I had called in) was time for self-reflection, honesty with myself, and the resulting awareness to realize that at the end of the day what I really wanted was to love MY whole self, without the validation that I am lovable from someone else. If you can get to a place where you know, and I mean really know what your soul actually wants, you can approach your life from a much more grounded place.
They say that the best relationship you can cultivate is the one you have with yourself. And I mean, sure, dinner and flowers with your beloved are always nice, but have you tried getting what you actually want?
It could change your life.
** If you’re feeling some type of way about this holiday and want to get through it, have you thought about PSYCH-K®? See what it’s all about here, how we can work together here, or if you’re ready to take control of your life book here! **