This Sunday is Valentine’s Day. You probably knew that, huh? It’s the one day each year where we all try to find the perfect card and the perfect gift for the one we love. At its core is the idea of romance and love. And several pictures come to mind for me:
- Heart-shaped candy boxes
- Aisles full of guys on the day before trying to buy a greeting card
- Date nights
- Baby sitters
- Teddy bears
- Candy hearts with sayings on them like “Be Mine” or “Tweet Me”
And, even though this holiday is meant to bring couple together and strengthen relationships, I have found that I have experienced a growing amount of hate for it all. Ok, maybe hate is too strong of a word…or maybe not. I’m going to stick with it.
Here are 3 reasons I hate Valentine’s Day:
- I put far too much pressure on myself to make it a perfect day. I either obsess about it or try really hard to not think about it until the very last minute. But, no matter when I expend mental energy on it, I always (and I mean always) put lots of pressure and stress on myself to make it bigger and better than last year. I create, in my mind, pictures of my wife being surprised, honored, loved, cared for, and blessed in ways like she’s never been before. It usually leads me to overspend or get caught up in a paralyzing level of anxiety that I hardly do anything at all.
- I feel like I have to share my feelings even if I don’t feel like it. It’s hard for us guys to show emotions and be vulnerable. I’m sure our wives have noticed. On Valentine’s Day, it’s expected that we do those things…on command. We have to write a nice note on the inside of the card we bought – or even worse, write a poem. Eeks! We have to have deep, meaningful conversation at dinner. There needs to be a story behind the gift that we give her – how the teddy bear represents our honeymoon when the housekeeper on our cruise fashioned the towel into an animal OR the color of the rose means something romantic like the red stands for our unconditional love for each other and yellow stands for the family that we’ve created together, and so on. Too. Many. Feelings.
- I feel like the future of our marriage hinges on this one day. If I don’t buy the right gift, then the next 364 days will be horrible until I can fix it next year. If the card isn’t meaningful enough, we will be doomed to a year of mediocrity. If the restaurant I pick isn’t her favorite, then fights will ensue, feelings will be hurt, and life as we know it will be marked by my inability to recall where she likes to eat…and it will come up over and over and over.
Ok, I guess I should admit that this was written from an extreme perspective and that the 3 things list above may have a hint of exaggeration and sarcasm. But we do put a lot of pressure on ourselves to deliver on Valentine’s Day, don’t we?
I want to encourage us all to do three things: lower our expectations of one another and ourselves, find ways to honor each other every day and not just on this one day, and just relax and enjoy this Sunday whatever happens or doesn’t happen.
Are you with me? Comment below and let me know your plans for Valentine’s Day this year: