Today is the most wonderful, romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day, except that it's not. I have hated Valentine's Day every year since puberty. I never said I hated it, holding out hope that one day Mr. Right would get it right.... HE NEVER DID!!!!! Before you check out, there is a hopeful ending......this Valentine's Day is amazing. Yes, I'm writing this at 8:00 a.m. so there is time for disaster, but I'm not the least bit concerned. We celebrated yesterday so he's totally off the hook today.
So, what changed? I did. Well, that's unfair, we both did. My change started a little longer ago so I'll take the most credit but I will tell you a tiny bit about our evolution in the art of marriage.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about my marriage, if you want to read it here it is. After reading it a couple of days ago I realize that I probably should clarify a few things. It sounded in that post that we work to make things good, that we aren't crazy in love, we are just determined. I tend to not want to share the really good stuff because it sounds like BS but truth is, I think he is the sexiest man alive, I am madly in love with him. Sometimes my actions do not match my feelings but it is true and I am learning to be more intentional about making those truths line up. Obviously, he feels the same for me because, emotionally high maintenance is a grossly understated description of my personality, yet he loves me like no one else on this planet could.
I didn't like Valentine's Day because my expectations were never met. He bought me gifts but he didn't plan anything special, he didn't "romanticize" me like I thought he should. I realized that I expected him to know the vision in my mind of a romantic evening when we are wired completely different. I decided after last year to make 2016 different. Here are the things that I did differently.
~I made reservations to the restaurant I wanted to go to well in advance.
~I told him what I wanted, not in gift form but in how I wanted the evening to go.
~I made a decision to be happy no matter how the night went.
Something that has truly been transformational for me, and for him since he has to put up with my crazy, has been learning that I should not expect what I don't ask for. That translates to all relationships but this has been great in marriage. In the recent past I actually enjoyed being pissed off about the things he didn't do when he had no idea that I expected him to do them. I have spent enough time talking with women to know that I am NOT the only one that does this. Unless you enjoy being pissed off all the time ask for what you want!!!
Now here is what he did differently. He started paying attention. He has always been a really great guy but I've felt at times, especially on days like birthdays and Valentine's day, that he just doesn't get me. This year he gave me a pair socks that did something deep in my heart. I don't know how to explain but for some reason they told me, "I get you, I think you're nuts, but I get you and love you". What an amazing feeling! True romance isn't about expensive gifts and fancy meals. Romance has become for me, being truly known and loved. Having a husband that pays attention to what I need, that listens to me and never makes me feel like I am emotionally needy, even though we all know that I am, is the most romantic thing I can possibly imagine.
I hope today you embrace the simplicity of romance. That you are able to tune in to what you really need from your Valentine and then ask for it. Maybe you need them to truly hear you. Maybe you just need them to just sit with you and hold your hand. Maybe you tell them something you have never told a soul. There are million scenarios but I hope today more than anything that you feel truly, deeply loved. Happy Valentine's Day!