I probably don't need to remind you that today is the one of the most polarizing holidays of the year. Here's a wild statistic that I just learned: Americans are planning to spend $25.9 billion this year on Valentine's Day. From romantic dinners to bouquets of red roses, couples far and wide will be making grand gestures of love in the hopes of deepening their connection, rekindling their sex lives, and getting those butterflies fluttering.
So here's a conundrum: why is a holiday centered on romantic love often a source of great conflict for couples?
One answer: “stealth” expectations. Coined by Brene Brown, this term describes the unspoken expectations that we have around how others “should” behave.
For example: our partn
er “should” know that even if we say we're okay with staying in and watching Netflix on Valentine's Day, we'll be silently seething from the other end of the couch as we spend yet another night in sweatpants. Or maybe our partner “should” know that even though we say that we don't need a “sappy” card, we will tell ourselves stories about how unloved we are when we don't get those written words of affirmation from them.
It may not be sexy or get our hearts fluttering, but it is SO important to communicate our expectations to our partners. Hoping that they will read our minds is often a recipe for hurt and resentment. One question to ask yourself often is - how can I set my partner up for success here? Remember, you are on the same team. So communicate early, communicate often, and remember that stealthy does not equal healthy.
Currently not in a romantic relationship? Use today to focus on the most important relationship of all - the one that you have with yourself. Click here to download one month's worth of self-care date ideas. (These can totally apply to you if you're in a relationship too). And remember that being partnered is NEVER a measure of your self-worth. You are brilliant, worthy, and so loved.
From my heart to yours - may you be content, peaceful, and present today and always.