"In love, one and one are one."
-Jean-Paul Sartre, philosopher
Julie wanted a nice night out with her husband, dinner out on the town with candlelight, followed by a romantic movie at home where they could cuddle on the sofa. Julie made hints in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day. While eating dinner together last week, she mentioned that she saw a new restaurant open up near her work, and suggested that they try it one night. The television showed clips of popular v-day movies at the gym. Julie noticed a clip from the Note book and immediately let Jonathan know that she had not watched that movie in a while. She needed a night out because she and John had both been so busy at work lately, and it felt like they barely spent time together over the past two months.
A few days leading up to Valentine's Day Julie spoke about a co-worker who was planning a big surprise for his girlfriend. Julie stated that she couldn't believe how much work he was putting into it, and that she would never expect Jonathan to spend that much money on her for one day. That money could be put to better use. Jonathan agreed that it would be a better idea to do something simple and maybe more meaningful.
Julie felt she made her hints pretty clear. John confirmed that simple is the way to go with the whole co-worker bit. I'm so excited for Valentine's Day, she thought. Julie didn't say another word about Valentine's Day until the day of. When she hurried home from work she was shocked to find John laying on their couch with a beer in one hand and a bag of chips in the other. Turns out John had nothing planned, and naturally Julie was upset.
Valentine's Day is an occasion where we want to celebrate our love and commitment to our significant other. It is also a time where we hold expectations. Often people in relationships leave much unsaid, and come to expect that their needs and wants will be fulfilled, if their significant other cares enough about them. Having this mind- set is a set up for disaster. Julie had a picture perfect Valentine's Day planned in her head, except she forgot to let John in on it. Yes, she left him subtle hints, thinking she made it easy for him, but really she had the wrong approach. Often, people mention they want their significant other to do something not because they asked, but because they thought of it on their own. This is a nice thought, but no one knows what you want or need if you don't state it.
A good relationship includes communication, respect, and trust among others things. Follow these tips for good communication to ensure you get what you want this Valentine's Day. This includes the following:
1) Discussing Your Wants
Make it known what you want. Julie wanted a special night out, but she didn't even tell John that she wanted to do anything for Valentine's Day. Discuss with your partner what you want to happen.
2) Expressing Your Needs
If you need something let your partner know what it is. Julie needed quality time with her husband. A sense of love and belonging are needs that all human beings value and share.
3) Sharing Your Feelings
Let your significant other know what you are feeling. This is a step toward honest communication. You cannot expect another person to know how you feel if you do not express yourself. Julie felt upset that her husband did not have anything planned for Valentine's Day. She should include John in a conversation about what upset her. They can avoid this upset next year if they share their feelings, rather than keeping it to themselves.
Valentine's Day is a celebration of love. If you want a celebration ask for one, if you want a quiet night in that's more low-key then ask for that. The bottom line, don't expect others to read your mind, because this strategy tends to only work if your significant other is a psychic.