Monday, January 28, 2008

No Expectations while You Love on Your Man Challenge

February is just around the corner and with it comes Valentine's Day. Aah... Valentine's Day... Hope springs eternal for women everywhere just by the mention of the holiday. Sadly, our men are filled with dread and fear at the same thought.

We put incredible amounts of pressure on ourselves and our men to create perfection on that one day of the year, February 14. Why do we expect a year's worth of romance in that single day? Flowers. Chocolates. Jewelry. Love Letter. Dinner out.

All that on one day? Really?! No wonder the poor man starts sweating bullets just thinking about it. That's a lot of expectations to live up to, and, fess up now, aren't they usually UNSPOKEN expectations? 'Cause whether you've been dating a month or married a decade aren't you really thinking he should know what you like by now without having to be told?

Don't get me wrong. I'm no Valentine Hater. I enjoy flowers (I'm a classic roses girl), chocolates (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, if you please), jewelry (I've been thinking about some real gold hoop earrings), love letters (who doesn't), and eating out (On the Border!) as much as the next girl. I'm just wondering if it isn't all a bit too much for our men to live up to.

After all that effort to please us, what do they get in return? A woman who's disappointed that he didn't know she wanted lilies instead of roses, the Lindt heart instead of the Hershey's one, the ruby pendant rather than the sapphire, the 3 page hand written letter in place of the store bought card he spent an hour picking out, and don't even get her started on the restaurant he chose!

I'm thinking that our poor men deserve a break this year. Maybe, just maybe, a Valentine's Day with NO EXPECTATIONS. Yep. I said it. (Women across the country just declared me a traitor to the Sisterhood.) But, stay with me here, what would happen if you expected nothing from your man?

I'm not talking about where you say you expect nothing, and you think that you expect nothing, but in your heart-of-hearts your really do expect him to take a little initiative and, if nothing else, pick up a card and bouquet from Wal*Mart. You ladies all know what I'm talkin' 'bout.

And while we're working hard to expect nothing from our men, maybe we can focus our thoughts and hearts on encouraging and lovin' him. After all, if you are thinking of ways to show him your respect and admiration it's gonna be a lot harder to think about how he's not romancing you.

And, since we women typically start nurturing our Valentine's expectations on February 1st, maybe that's when we should start focusing on our men. And, since those unspoken expectations have a way of thinking he's planning to surprise us later in the month, maybe we should extend our No Expectations while You Love on Your Man Challenge to the end of the month.

I'm just saying, maybe, it would be something worth thinking about. While you're thinking you could, if you are so inclined, pop over to Revive Our Hearts and take a look at their 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge or even their 31 Days of Praying for Your Husband.

And when you've finished thinking and reading maybe you could leave me a comment saying how you plan to participate in No Expectations while You Love on Your Man Challenge so the rest of us could learn from your excellent idea.


Tad and Monica said...

What a great post. So very true. I love reading your blog though I so rarely ever comment....:)

Billie said...

I agree...I get mad when he spends money on flowers on this day...I'd rather have it spontaneously. He is good to me on V-day, but he knows that I am too frugal to expect anything from him!

Alicia said...

It is a great post. I've already been challenged just by reading Day 1 of the 30-Day. I will agree to the challenge and Encourage my husband for 30 days straight.

Amy said...

I have read this post a few times and followed the links as well. This is a pretty big challenge--because I do think that I often have unvoiced expectations around V-day (especially since my Dear Husband, with my full support, is generally gone for about 10 days soon after V-Day)! But after much consideration in regard to my heart, I am EXCITED to take this challenge. The 30-day Prayer guide looks very helpful...and I think I'll surprise him with a special date night! Thanks Stephanie! Let the encouraging begin!!!! Who knows, we might get so accustomed to it that this will be a new habit...

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Reese's peanut butter cups??? Oh, yeah--me too. My very favorite.

Dawn in KY said...

This is a GREAT post! Everywhere you look in our society men are put down & made out to be fools. What a wonderful idea to spend a month encouraging them! And how sad that we need to be reminded to do that (me too, I am not just pointing the finger at other ladies!).

It is a little funny that we put so much pressure on this one day - shouldn't we find time for romance throughout the rest of the year too! I would love to be surprised with Reese's cups any old day!

And to brag on my hubby - he is much better at this stuff than I am. He knows that he just has to leave me a sticky note and I am thrilled. He really makes a great effort to do those little things that mean so much. I need to take a note from him!

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