How not to RUIN your Valentine’s Day
Worried about an unhappy Valentine? I feel you. If you’re in a committed relationship and have young kids, you might have felt that sharp decline in romance over the past few years (no, you’re not alone).
Disappointment, loneliness, and even big fat resentment can creep into our partnerships – and then, to add insult to injury, along come the romance-filled symbols of Valentine’s days and anniversaries.
It’s like they want us to feel bad about ourselves and our partners.
Valentine’s Day – or any cultural symbol of love – has a way of sabotaging unsuspecting marriages in the most private, dark corners of our hearts.
Today I’m sharing a live session I held a while back (want to get in on these, live? Join my group here) in which I’ll offer three questions you should be asking yourself in order to transform Valentine’s day from the Hallmark-Hollywood-Fast-Romance-Frenzy it’s become to the nutrient-rich romantic diet, you deserve.Valentine's Day has a way of sabotaging unsuspecting marriages in the most private, dark corners of our hearts.via @ParentingJunkieTweet This
Because, honestly, so often these “symbols” and “shoulds” of connection and romance are nothing but deep-fries and slimy hot dogs – they might “fill us up” but they don’t sustain us. They’re like placeholders for true, deep connection – the type that heals our childhood wounds and elevates our consciousness. The type that offers real, unconditional acceptance, and teaches us humility, grace and compassion (to ourselves, first and foremost).
I’m willing to bet you’re harboring quite a few “shoulds” about your partner. Any of these ring a bell?:
- S/He SHOULD give me more attention.
- S/He SHOULD be a better listener.
- S/He SHOULD be a better parent.
- S/He SHOULD be more romantic.
- S/He SHOULD apologize.
- S/He SHOULD surprise me.
- S/He SHOULD appreciate me more.
- S/He SHOULD value me more.
- S/He SHOULD express love more.
- S/He SHOULD buy more gifts.
Yada, yada, yada… I do not for ONE MINUTE minimize these fantasies and wishes. I hold them myself, daily. We’re very much in the same boat if you feel ‘let down’ or disappointed from time to time in what your partnerships “SHOULD” be and isn’t. BUT, through self exploration, study, therapy and meditation I’ve come to learn how my own mind is actually the one sabotaging my happiness in my relationship.
If you’re curious about why that might be, or how we might change it, grab your journal and start with these three questions:
- Whose ideas are you believing?
We are all continuously sold ideas – from our families, friends and culture at large – about what marriage romance and relationships “should” be. About what it takes to make a “happy” or “good” marriage. About which boxes need to be ticked.The problem is that these are constructs, they’re fallacies and they’re gnawing away at the very authentic and real connection you have – by placing plastic, unrealistic and unworthy placards of ‘good relationships’ before our eyes.
Instead: Get silent for a moment and connect to your own intuition about what it means, on the internal level, to feel connected to your partner.
- Who are you trying to control?
When we have a list of predetermined “SHOULDS” we often engage in elaborate performances to contort our partner, and ourselves, into these molds that may or may not fit our truest needs. The fact is that trying to control another person is always doomed to fail – it’s impossible and is usually expressed through criticism or passive aggressive behavior. Whenever (yes whenever) you criticize someone by telling them they’re falling short, or aren’t enough, or don’t measure up or have disappointed you – you’re almost guaranteed to trigger their defensiveness. There is no happy ending to the control paradigm.Instead: Control your own self and your environment. Take matters into YOUR hands and become the powerful agent of creation that you are. Envision your ideal connection and request it, honestly, and create it inventively.
- What are you focusing on?
What you focus on you attract more of. If you’re focusing on all the ways your real partner is not your fantasy partner – you can be sure to continue to experience disconnect and disappointment.Instead: I’d like to gift you something. Here it is: a pair of rose tinted glasses. Every time you’re with your partner, have these on, and they will pick up and highlight all the things there are to love about your man/gal.
Let’s also bust one big, ugly, hairy MYTH about relationships.
Here goes: It doesn’t take two to tango.
In the vast majority of cases, one person alone can create enough of a change to snowball the entire relationship in a new direction. If YOU want a certain vision for your relationship, YOU can make it happen – at least in large part by controlling the only two things you have some control over: yourself and your environment.
Take the first step to transforming your parenting partnership by filling out this 3-minute survey here.
Then, I’d love you to comment below with which one of these three questions was most powerful for you?
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