Valentine’s Day is just ONE day of the year. Far too many couples experience that “one-night high” and then the next morning everything is back to the way it was creating an “emotional-withdrawal” similar concept behind drug withdrawals.
Because feeling good, sexy, in love is literally a scientific chemical reaction within us, a sudden binge on those chemicals could induce mild dysphoric effect that could undue all the hard work, time, money spent the night before.
This emotional withdrawal is a domino effect, where fights break out and the person feels like their efforts, time, and money spent the night before was a waste or that the person is ungrateful. As you can imagine or understand from personal experience, this creates resentments due to expectations not being met. It’s not rocket-science at this point that resentments can cause deep long-lasting divide between too people.
So as much as Valentine’s Day is promoted as a day for couples to bond, it can also be a risky endeavor.
Valentine’s Day for singles
For those who are single or dating, you’re also not off the hook either. Single folks might become very isolated, especially those who recently had a break-up or divorce, as Valentine’s Day can also be an emotionally torturous reminder of failed attempts at finding that “soulmate” which is often very elusive. They may suffer from of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.
Valentine’s Day in the early phases of a relationship
For those dating, the expectation that perhaps going on a date on Valentine’s may lead to becoming an official couple, or perhaps, this is the moment where he/she may drop on a knee and asks to marry you. These hopeful expectations can turn on us the very second we realize that the moment we have hoped for is not going to happen. This too will lead to a massive flush of our positive emotions and thoughts leaving us with more doubt and questions than answers.
So what are we to do? How can we avoid these traps? Reality check your expectations
There is no quick answer to the unlimited possibilities and scenarios that we all face in real life. However, here are a few basic and fundamental rules that can help.
1) Check and control your expectations
2) Research and confirm that you are speaking the correct love language of your partner
Most problems in life stem from having unrealistic expectations of ourselves, partners, employers, and family. That is not a request to lower expectations. It is a request to find the appropriate level to set the bar. But more importantly, back up your decision with real evidence as to why you have set the bar at the level that you did.
Set reasonable expectations in smaller and achievable steps
For example, little Sammy is failing 3rd grade reading. You are concerned. So you tell Sammy, “You need to read books, study your vocabulary, and do all your homework the minute you step off the bus every afternoon when you get home. No TV, no internet, nada. You need at least a C to pass.”
Yes. He may need a C to pass, but if little Sammy was accustomed to playing on his PlayStation non-stop instead of reading books, never doing his homework because you never paid attention before or simply gave him the answers because you do not have the time to help Sammy figure it out – then expecting Sammy to magically improve two letter grades after having no structure, routine, nor ever being held accountable is a recipe for failure.
The more realistic approach is to get little Sammy to improve from an F to a D, and then from a D to a C letter grade. You still have the same outcome/goal in mind, but by breaking it down into smaller and more achievable steps, it would more achievable and reasonable. Sometimes, we find ourselves doing things the way we do because we fail to realize how it may affect us in the future or other people. This is why knowledge is power, because it helps us become more aware of ourselves and also other people.
Love is certainly not any different.
Become aware of your partner’s feelings
We have to become more aware of how are partners are feeling, why they feel a certain way, when or how often they feel that way, and what their primary love language so that you better communicate emotionally with each other. It sounds easier than it actually is, and this why counseling is so important to the millions of couples trying to overcome challenges that can make or break a marriage, engagement, or partnership.
Rick Merillat, LCSW provides couples and relationship counseling to Cape Coral and Fort Myers. Reach out today for a free 15-minute phone consult to see if he can help.Please share this post!