I love reading the New York Times. They compiled a list of movies for those who love and those who hate Valentine’s day. I know it is not new, but it is refreshing for those who are sick and tired of the same old. Somewhere in the paper I read that a psychologist brought forward that maybe the couples on this day want to have a break from each other as the restrictions of the pandemic have forced couples and families to stay together in their bubble.
It reminds me of the core of what it is all about and it brought up memories of an interesting incident. A few years ago, I was approached by a local television station and asked if I was interested in doing an interview for Valentine’s day.
As it tends to be done, I was given the questions beforehand to prepare and I provided answers and returned these and I was told that depending on the time available, these questions would be asked.
I never saw the broadcast, but some who had access to the local television station and who had seen it, told me that I had done well. That is not the impression I got, so I think they were just being nice, but I as I am a person who beats themselves up on what I could have done better, I may have been a bit too tough on myself. The latter I just added as searching through my files, I found the answers I had prepared, and these are still pretty spot-on. Then again, the fact, that I was not asked again as the “local relationship expert” as I was referred to, is probably because I was not outrageously commercial enough. I concur. It is the reason why I do not have thousands of followers on this Blog or on my Instagram account.
The most cringe worthy and ironic part was this: I was asked What is the worst thing you can do on Valentine’s Day?
My answer was that the worst thing you could do is to go totally overboard with balloons and chocolates…when your partner has expressed in many (maybe too subtle) ways that this is what they hate! I asked: Can you imagine a person who is rather private and introvert being “surprised” in a public environment with a show of love bombing or a surprise proposal, while they hate surprises that make them feel put on the spot.
I also mentioned other examples that are the oppositive from showing love and care, for instance when giving presents that are a demonstration of being tone-deaf and insensitive. If the object of your affection is into lingerie, well, if you know their size and taste, you probably cannot go wrong, but if this person is someone who feels extremely uncomfortable in something sheer and revealing, you are either mean or selfish or plain insensitive. It just highlights that you do what you want, and it is not what your partner wants and therefore it is the opposite from expressing love and respect.
Here comes the ironic part: After my interview on live television, there was a surprise proposal of one of the staff members to the person they were dating. I will never know the details, but I watched this before, during and right after, and just knew that the person being put live on television was not prepared. Maybe the proposal was well received, and maybe not. The entire clip made me uncomfortable and even a bit of a fool, as I made it clear in my interview that how to show love for another is to do what they want, and you do it as a gift for them. It is not about what YOU want.
For instance, you cannot use a proposal to draw attention to yourself and to get a career enhancement out of it, when you know that it is not something your partner appreciates. If you know (and you should know) that the person you are dating wants to look good before attending an event that requires some care and attention for clothing and make-up, you are embarrassing them to ambush them when not prepared.
As many people’s life are displayed on social media, you wonder what the main incentive is. Is it to show love or to obtain more gain, financial or other ways from the display?
What to do for the person you love on Valentine’s Day?
It is interesting that despite all the websites devoted to what to do and what not to do, many are still clueless. The reason they do not know, is that there is something lacking in their communication. As the author of a series of very commercially successful booklets wrote, people are obviously not aware of each other’s love language. Yeah, true…whatever you call it, they are not LISTENING to each other and they are not ASKING the QUESTIONS that are important.
Some spouses get upset as they believe that after many years of marriage their partner should know what they want and what they do not like. Unfortunately, often, they are at a loss.
Of course, many people like stuff…chocolates, candy, perfume, flowers, and jewellery. Not that there is anything wrong with that!
But even with those you can go in the wrong. Putting some effort in it means that you ensure that what you do for your partner is what they really like. I am sure some have dropped hints. But when not sure, Ask!
In the case where one partner has deeply hurt their spouse, it is crucial to put effort in finding out what they like on Valentine’s Day and any special day. Maybe they want nothing. Maybe they want to roll up in bed and watch a movie, forgetting about the day…Respect this and honour this! That is showing that you care. It might not result in a popular meme and more attention for you, but this day it is not about you…it is about the person you say you love and if you do this right, you will receive this in return.
In the end, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show your appreciation and it does not mean that you can omit this the remainder of the year, it is just a reminder that what is most important in people’s life is to know that there are people who deeply care about you.
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3 thoughts on “VALENTINE’S DAY 2021”
Excellent thoughts, Elizabeth, especially your conclusion. A box of chocolates does not make up for 364 other days of indifference or selfishness. As to self-serving displays, I’ve always thought those who arrange for planes to fly banners, or sports venues to pop a question on scoreboards, were the worst examples of narcissistic expression of love. It says more about the person proposing wants. Great essay. – Marty
Thank you Marty !
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Dr. Scheepers. Thanks for your insight in this blog. My thoughts are acceptance/ hugs. Understanding/ hugs. Only way forward post coronavirus!!! I am because we are; live love laugh. Are absolute truths. Thank you for everything 👍