Will you be my Valentine?

Today is my birthday. The day before Valentine’s. As my father and friends who have birthdays near Christmas might say, they always felt, well, a bit cheated. Combination Birthday / Christmas gifts were commonplace.

It was indeed rare that they didn’t have some kind of holiday-themed birthday. When they wanted so much for their birthday to stand alone, on its own, it was often grouped together and sometimes, just an afterthought.

I’m certainly not complaining about my birthday, though! To have a birthday next to Valentine’s did mean that I received my fair share of combination cards from boyfriends that read, “Happy Birthday / Valentine’s!” That’s okay. Valentine’s Day isn’t so much a major holiday; we don’t take the day off of work or school.

And yet, it is a unique, influential holiday on its own – I always loved the gesture of exchanging handwritten cards in elementary school, and later, of waiting with anticipation as the rose-a-gram’s were delivered in class from boys to girls in high school.

[The ‘rose-a-gram’ was a single rose, hand-picked in one of the relationship-defining colors of red (love), pink (like), or yellow (friend), with a simple To and From note.]

 

I loved those, and I collected them – I probably gathered more that I ever would’ve imagined because of the proximity to my birthday! Yet, a greater lesson I learned from having this lovely, holiday-adjacent birthday is that our expectations themselves can make or break our, ‘good day.’ In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that these very same expectations can make or break our eventual, ’happily ever after.’

Why expectations are so powerful is that, bottom line, we all want to feel heard. We all want to feel validated for our simply being alive. No one ever wants to hear one day in their eulogy, from wherever their afterlife may be, “She was okay. She lived, she had some fun moments, and then she moved on.”

We all want to believe that we make a gigantic difference; that we greatly contribute to this enormous experiment called human life.

In fact, it is so darn central to us that you can feel this need in all relationships. In every single relationship that you’re in! How amazing is that! In any argument, in every argument, you will hear the three important tenets of all human existence:

  1. Did you hear me?
  2. Did you see me?
  3. Did what I say mean something to you?

It doesn’t matter if it was a discussion with your man, your mom, or your child. We all want to feel validated for our existence. Which is really incredible in that it always comes back to us. That through all the arguments that we may create between each other, it all comes back to the fact of –

We possibly argue, always and simply, to be heard.

If that’s the case, then, and you understand this and forecast it, you can probably also guess as to the very things where your partner may be frustrated or hurting. You can then, of course, provide the solution.

If, for instance, you want to stop an argument dead in its tracks, you could turn that same reasoning around and say,

  1. “My dear, I hear you.”
  2. “I see your point.”
  3. “I may not agree, but what you said is valid and important.

When you go into Valentine’s Day, whether coupled or single, give others the feeling that you hear them. That you see them. And, that you understand them. You may find that they, in turn, return the favor. ♥️