The combination of expectation and Valentine’s Day often results in large and small emotional wounds. Following a recent conversation, a mental light bulb switched on.

Unmet expectations and fear are the greatest enemies of healthy relationships.

My Expectation
I realize I have expectations in every relationship – actions or words from friends, relatives, spouse, and co-workers that could, would, or should occur in different situations.

What happens when these expected actions or words do not present themselves?

I feel hurt, frustrated.
Sad, disappointed.
Sometimes mad.

Does the other person have ANY clue about my expectations? No.

Married Expectation
A few years ago, a family law attorney commented about Valentine’s Day and divorce. He told me there is a significant spike in the number of divorce filings immediately after Valentine’s Day.

Why? Unmet expectations.

Single Expectation
A single adult for many years, I well understand the hopeful anticipation of Valentine’s Day and know the pit of disappoint when another mass floral delivery day comes and goes with nothing left at the door. No Prince Charming. No candlelit, perfect dinner with the perfect guy.


(Sidebar – You do know there is no perfect guy, right? More about that another time. :).)

So, in a world filled with expectation, I now resolve to focus on me, on my actions and words. Not in an arrogant way, but in an I’m-the-only-one-whose-actions-I-can-control kind of way. I have hope of how I would like to see events unfold but I cannot control the unfolding.

What can I directly affect? I can take positive steps in my life by reaching out to others in need – those who are lonely, sick, down in the dumps. Do something to make their life a little brighter on Valentine’s Day.

When I focus my actions and words on others I lose the desire to focus on my expectations. In doing for others I discover peace and fulfillment.

God loves us. Let’s show His love to others by reaching out this February 14th. When that little gnat of expectation flies into our thoughts, wave it away for the day. God loves you. Pass that love on to others.

Happy Reach Out to Someone Else Day!