Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you lovebirds.
Darling, heartthrob, lover, paramour, beloved, flame, truelove, significant other… ok lovebirds what do you call your romantic partner? How do we expect our partner to court us? How do we expect to be treated on a holiday about love when it’s really about materialism? How do we expect the flow of the relationship to go? Many people shun materialism and explain that they’re not really waiting for anything at all, yet put on a sour face when their partner comes empty-handed on the 14th.
What is the perfect Valentine’s Day for you? What does it represent anyway? When we get caught up in society’s definition of the love language of giving gifts, we disown any uniqueness to how we show and receive love. Maybe it’s not by gift-giving, maybe it’s another way. For many perfectionists, this is a touchy subject, because to receive love is to be vulnerable to the feelings that come with opening your heart to another person you should trust. Trust, vulnerability, seduction, openness to receive affection are sensitive topics for the perfectionist. Within those realms, there is a loss of control and an invitation to let someone else into the messiness of their heart and mind. The fear of being judged and rejected partners up with all of it and it can get kinda awkward for lovebirds.
What if for this Valentine’s Day, you try to remove your expectations around this holiday, whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not. As the expectations come up for you, notice them, feel them, and try to let them go. Holding on to unmet expectations can lead to suffering if not used as an impetus to shake things up. And, if in the end, your expectations match your reality, well then, you’re in alignment! In the end, the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. And if you can’t focus on that one, it will be quite difficult to get one right with another person. If you find yourself struggling with expectations around how you should act in a relationship, I am by no means a couple’s counselor or love doctor. Perfectionism and following rigid stereotypes can wreak havoc on your love life. Take heart lovebirds, there is hope!