Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. But for some
people, it is a day of disappointment. Maybe you are
disappointed that you did not receive a valentine.
Maybe your Valentine gave you a second-rate gift.
People are flawed and sometimes they will disenchant
your illusion of perfection. Whether your husband forgot
your anniversary or your girlfriend gave you a dreadful
present, they are still your person. So how do you can take
control of this unpleasant emotion and turn it around in a
way that is helpful to you?
Disappointment in relationships is often directly connected to
not setting your expectations in advance. Take this opportunity
to reflect on what your expectations are of your partner and yourself.
Consider keeping your list of expectations short and meaningful to increase your odds of satisfaction rather than disappointment. Don’t lower your expectations. Simplify your desires. Instead wanting a boyfriend who brings you flowers once a week, focus on a man that cares for you in his own way.
Another way to take control of your disappointment is to mindfully consider the cause of your disappointment. More than likely, you feel disappointed because you do not feel appreciated by your partner. Many times people experience appreciation in different ways. A great way to identify you and your partner’s way to experience appreciation is to find out what your love language is. There are five types: quality time, physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, and gifts. Express to your partner that when she put down her phone and you have dinner together (quality time) is when you feel loved. Tell him that when he washes the dishes (acts of service) you feel the most connected to him. It is important to point out that your partner most likely has a different love language than if you constantly feeling underappreciated.
Focus on effort rather than perfection. In a world of Disney fairytales, it is easy to be swept away by the unattainable desire for flawlessness. Look behind the gesture and see the planning that went into it. Just like you want your partner to be grateful for the love that you show them, appreciate the time and effort that they put in attempting to impress you.
Fall in love yourself first! You are the one person in the world who should most certainty prioritize time and attention for “you.” This is easier said than done. However, if you set aside time for self-care (e.g., spending time with friends, meditating, baking,) as you do an office meeting you will be in a better place to manage disappointment in others. Self-care prevents burn out, increases productivity and satisfaction with life. Self-care should not be thought of as a reward for completing a task but as an essential part of your day. Keep a daily appointment to do something for yourself. Pick a different activity every day that rejuvenates you.
But even when we love ourselves well, we can’t live without other people. We as humans are born into relationships. We desire intimacy with a partner. With romantic relationships come feelings. Our partner brings about excitement, joy, and peace in our lives. They can also hurt us so easily because they hold our hearts in their hands. Our partners see us at our most vulnerable. We crave validation in our relationships but our partners will disappoint us. This puts us in an awful mood which reduces the quality of life and our work performance. A mad can undermine relationships with others by equipping tongues with painful negativity. One way to use this pessimism for improvement is cognitive restricting. It helps you change the negative or distorted thinking that often lies behind these foul moods. The goal of cognitive reframing is to challenge yourself to find a positive outlook of challenging situations, avoid seeing only the negative, and identify a brighter narrative of what is happening to you. So, when you feel like “Negative Nancy” is taking over, stop and take a breath. Step back to look at the bigger picture. Dig deep to find the underlying factor for your emotions. Are you disappointed by his gift or the way you interpret his feelings for you based on his gift?
Any day you can be disappointed but on Valentine’s Day, there is a higher risk. With all relationships, there is a probability of getting hurt but the odds increase in romantic relationships. When you put those two together, it can be a recipe for disaster.
How will you manage your thoughts on the day of disappointment? Let’s review.
Day of Disappointment
Florida Psychological Associates LLC