Stop Complaining and Start Celebrating Love | Dr. Jackie Black | Blog | Better Marriages | Educating Couples - Building Relationships

Stop Complaining and Start Celebrating Love

by Jackie Black, PhD, BCC

Is this a day you are looking forward to? Or dreading?

In my experience, women are more triggered by Valentine’s Day forgetfulness or inattention than men. So, in the spirit of averting a Valentine’s Day disaster in your relationship, this Tip is for the ladies!

Are you excited about showing your love and affection; and letting that special man in your life know how much he means to you?

Do you find yourself worrying that your partner might forget to plan ahead and not send you flowers, buy Godiva Chocolate or that tennis bracelet you’ve been hinting you really want to have?

Check out your expectations about “being remembered” and the meaning you make related to certain behaviors.
For example:

  • He bought me beautiful flowers: He loves me. He is so thoughtful
  • He gave me a very sweet card: He loves me so much and thinks I’m special.
  • He sent me a card from the kids: He is so wonderful and I am important to him.
  • He didn’t even go to the grocery store and buy flowers: He is so uncaring and unappreciative about everything I do.
  • He didn’t even get me a simple card: He’s so thoughtless and doesn’t appreciate me.

Heads up, ladies!
Valentine’s Day is not the designated day of the year that your partner is tasked with proving to you that he loves you and that you are special and the center of his world.

Valentine’s Day is just like every other day! It is another rich opportunity for emotionally intelligent partners to co-create the celebration that matches their love, commitment and joy of being together.

If you are looking for evidence that you are special or loved, you and your relationship are in trouble!  Emotionally intelligent partners bring their energy, sentimentality, and creativity to the table and together; they plan exactly how to celebrate their love and each other on Valentine’s Day.

So if you want beautiful flowers in the house put them on your list so you can have them there. If you want to receive a romantic card you probably enjoy giving romantic cards so set up a trip to a beautiful card store that has a wide array of choices and buy each other cards together. The surprise will be reading the cards together on Valentine’s Day; not getting the card.

One of the essential relationship success skills is the willingness and ability to be vulnerable and ask for what you need and want. That your man goes out on his own and buys a card or orders flowers means… that he went out and bought a card or ordered flowers. Those behaviors alone do not mean that he loves and values you. He may love and value you! We hope he does; AND those behaviors are not the behaviors that are the true indicators of his love and valuing.

So, this Valentine’s Day sit down together and plan the way you are going to celebrate your love and your gratitude for being in each other’s life.  Avoid the trap of Valentine’s Day. Instead, use it as one more rich opportunity to take the time to care for each other and your relationship together; in ways that are meaningful to both of you!

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!