Love Isn’t Only for One Day of the Year

In this episode:

What we learned from too many years of expectations and let-downs is that gift-giving out of obligation dictated by the calendar isn’t what has kept us together. What has held us together is that my husband treats me with the same genuine love every day of the year.

Inspired Life

Gift giving is not my love language. And it isn’t my husband’s either. Lord knows it isn’t!

Valentine’s Day used to be a stressful day for us. Expectations could cause a lot of conflict, thus overruling the whole point of the holiday. It became nothing more than him trying to figure out what I wanted, and me expecting him to just know what I wanted.

Then we moved to me buying my own gifts. Otherwise known as going shopping and then calling it good.

“Hey honey, I bought myself some fancy new fashion boots and a sweater, kay?”

“Works for me.”

Holidays such as Valentine’s can be fantastic, and they can be discouraging. There is so much hype that goes along with it!

  1. If you have no relationship, it’s a sappy, irritating day.
  2. If your partner is a jerk 364 days a year, it feels very ingenuine to give flowers and chocolate, or go out for dinner.
  3. If you’ve lost the love of your life, it’s a painful reminder of the loss.

The holiday can be a comparison trap when you look at what someone else does to celebrate. And it leans way in the direction of making women happy.

Or it can be an opportunity to try to one-up each other, or to top what you did last year.

What we learned from too many years of expectations and let-downs is that gift-giving out of obligation dictated by the calendar isn’t what has kept us together. What has held us together is that my husband treats me with the same genuine love every day of the year.

Receiving his kindness and thoughtfulness 364 days of the year is far more valuable than a bouquet or a box of chocolates.

In the end, the checkbook comes out a lot healthier too.

I know there are some skeptics out there. I talked to one guy once who said he doesn’t believe any woman who says she doesn’t want a gift. But the best gift I could ever receive isn’t found in a store.

  • It’s the respectful way my husband treats me. That’s a gift.
  • And it’s the way he does little things for me that tell me he cares, like folding my laundry when I’ve left it all over the bed and he wants to go to sleep.
  • Or turning on my electric blanket for me before bedtime.
  • Sometimes he tosses a Hershey’s kiss from his La-Z-Boy across to mine…he knows how I appreciate it when he shares his chocolate.

Life, Repurposed

So, let’s talk about what had to change in us to get to this point.

  • First, we had to both realize that love doesn’t occur only once per year.
  • We also had to get to release expectations in exchange for what works for us.

Think about this in terms of any expectations you have in relationships, whether you are married or not. We get stuck if we can’t let go of unrealistic expectations.

  • We also needed to accept that for some people, Valentine’s is a big deal and it can stay that way. The real issue is when expectations cause conflict. If there is no conflict, then no big deal.
  • Valentine’s Day should be just another opportunity to show someone we love them, not the only one per year. We realized we didn’t need to force it on February 14 if it wasn’t for us.
  • We realized that we hate the crowds that are out on that day.
  • If we do decide to celebrate it in some way, it doesn’t ruin the surprise to talk about it and plan something. The element of surprise is what I think leads to some of the greatest disappointment!

Valentine’s Day is actually representative of some of the other holidays that can lead to conflict or disappointment if the expectations don’t line up with reality.

  • Mother’s Day
  • Anniversary
  • Christmas
  • Birthday

Guess what? I don’t really care if I get gifts for those either!

I don’t want occasions to feel like a pass-fail test of our love.

 

Recommended Resources

This article from Country Living had some of the most fun ways to celebrate valentine’s day all year long. Or if you plan to do it the traditional way. I’m totally  stealing these ideas for some date nights. They are very cost-effective!

Things to Do on Valentine's Day

  • Waffle bar
  • Go for a drive
  • Wine and chocolate tasting night
  • Love letters
  • A treasure hunt

Also, from that article, there is a link to some deep questions that make for perfect date night conversation:

Single on V-Day?

There is another Country Living article for you!

Single on Valentine's Day

  • Go to the movies
  • Take a class
  • Go to the spa
  • Read a book at a coffee shop

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(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. ) *This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.

Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.

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This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.

Posted in Articles, Everyday Life & Practical Tips, Podcast Episodes.