Unmet Expectations

This post is inspired by Valentine’s Day but can apply to anyone in any situation so don’t skip past this if you are not in a romantic relationship 🙂 So often we are left disappointed by others. We hope they will notice what we like or want and when they don’t fulfill our expectation we are hurt or angry. We wonder why they don’t know us well enough to know what we want. The truth is, unless you specifically state what you want, the other person must guess. It’s up to you to speak your expectations clearly and be sure the hearer understands you.
Often I get objections to this. Like, “If I have to ask for what I want then it doesn’t feel as good when I get it.” Back to reality: if you don’t say it, you can’t expect to get it. I’m not sure where the idea that partners should be able to read our minds came from. It’s a common yet destructive belief.
What happens when you’re told directly and then the person reveals that’s not what they meant? I remember a line from The Breakup with Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn where she says he never gets her flowers. He tells her she told him that flowers were a waste of money and her response was, “Every girl wants flowers!” How was he supposed to know that? He listened to her request but she was not being honest. So who’s at fault here? She is. She did not speak what she really wanted but expected him to read her mind.
How are you doing in this category? Do you expect people to read your mind? Are you being honest about your wants and desires? If not, it’s up to you to speak honestly and directly. This doesn’t mean you will always get what you want but at least you will have made your expectations clear.

Valentine's Day Blues

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it brings with it a host of issues for people. For some people, Valentine’s Day reminds them of the relationship they don’t have and there are those who don’t like the pressure of Valentine’s Day.
If you are alone this Valentine’s Day and wish you were in a relationship, make sure you do something good for yourself that is both healthy and legal. I know of a man who is having an Unvalentine’s Party. For him, self care involves being with friends and having fun. If you love flowers, buy them for yourself. Take responsibility for taking care of yourself and not moping around waiting for someone else to do that for you.
If you don’t like the pressure to have to do something for your partner, think about this: Valentine’s Day is just one opportunity to show the person you love how you feel about them. It’s like an anniversary or birthday. It’s on the calendar. Many people who don’t like the forced nature of Valentine’s Day don’t actually do anything special for the one they love on other days either so the “I don’t participate in Valentine’s Day because it’s forced” belief in that case is just a cop out.
I agree that it’s not best if the only day we do something special for the one we love is on Valentine’s Day. It’s not a replacement or catch-all; however, I recommend that you acknowledge the day in some way. A simple card with words from your heart, a walk together, washing his car or a foot massage are a few ways that you can set aside some time to communicate to your partner “I love you.”