Married, coupled or single, we invite disappointment into our lives the moment we award the key to our happiness to another person. Yet, every Valentine’s Day masses of people rely on others to make their day special.
Big mistake, not only on February 14th, but for the rest of the year as well.
Happiness does not present itself on your doorstep in the form of a heart shaped box, nor will it be discovered tucked amongst a dozen red roses. It can’t be gifted and should never be contingent on the actions and/or affections of others.
Holding onto the notion that one day you’ll be swept off your feet by a knight in shining armor is not only naive, it’s about as probable as being abducted by a Bigfoot.
These spectacularly scripted love scenes mostly only exist in Nicholas Spark novels, on the Hallmark channel and cheesy soap operas.
The deceptive seed responsible for unrealistic romantic expectations is planted early on in children’s happily-ever-after fairy tales, then packaged and distributed to polite conforming society by profit driven retailers.
Expecting to bathe in champagne and rose pedals every Valentine’s Day is like expecting the romantic honeymoon phase of a relationship to last forever. It’s unrealistic, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing… It’s just life.
The honeymoon phase of a relationship is similar to that once-in-a-lifetime dream trip spent drifting the majestic waterways of Venice Italy in a gondola or an exotic island vacation spent surrounded by glistening turquoise waters – blissful and exciting, albeit short lived. Excitement that shoots straight up and rings the bell when struck with a mallet, then POOF, it morphs back into something ordinary, leaving many hopeless romantics disenchanted.
The fact is, you can’t pre-plan or schedule moments where emotional fireworks spontaneously explode in bright brilliant hues of scarlet and fuzzy pink confetti rains from the heavens.
Spontaneous moments are just that… unplanned and unexpected. While these blissfully awesome moments often blow the top off of everything wonderful, be mindful that this is a gift and not something that is necessarily owed to us.
It is up to us to proclaim February 14th as our very own special day to celebrate the loves of our lives; our children, family, pets, friends, acquaintances or simply a day to engage in random acts of kindness at home, at work or in the community.
The authentic warm satisfyingly fuzzy feeling you get from giving, far surpasses the random scraps of affection you feel are owed to you by others. Spouse and/or significant other and family included. You can’t rely on other people for your own happiness. Ever.
Valentine’s Day is probably the biggest kill-joy of all preconceived expectations. Everyone seems to have an ideal picture in their mind of how “it’s supposed to be.” The problem is that the scenario is in your mind and other people don’t have the script, and even if they did, it doesn’t mean they’d meet your expectations.
Be proactive – make an effort to become involved in a charity or cause that you’re passionate about. Giving unconditionally awards us control of our own mindset and is undoubtedly the most noble and satisfying course of action.
Understand that the intention is to give and not necessarily receive praise – as many recipients may not acknowledge your gracious efforts, and that’s okay. When you make giving about you, you nullify the unconditional factor. Give because it feels good.
Switch up this day or the rest of your life, grab the heart-shaped key and celebrate Valentine’s Day on your own loving terms.