“Let’s Talk About It.” – Setting Expectations

Valentine’s Day just passed, and I’m wondering how many of you, whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, may have ended up disappointed with what did or did not happen last Friday. I’m not a huge fan of the day per se, though I’m also open to anything which reminds us to care for those we love around this.

Often when we are disappointed about something, it is because our expectations have not been met. Sometimes we might not even know we are holding on to these expectations. Valentine’s Day feels like a weird one to those of us who don’t really care about the day. It feels weird to ask for something, yet feeling connected is all of our greatest desire. Personally, I don’t want dinner and roses on Feb 14, but I’m always up for take-out sushi.

The easiest way to work through the disappointment and conflictual feelings, is to get in front of it, and communicate with your partner and friends about what those expectations are, way before the event happens. Last year my husband and I had a conversation in the beginning of the year about our expectations for holidays, and it was amazing. We talked about birthdays, our anniversary, and the big and little holidays in between. We decided on eating out or cooking, and what days entailed a card, gift, or both. This made all of these days go so smooth, because we both knew and agreed to what was expected. The same thing goes for days with friends. I was single many a Valentine, and I spent some of them alone, but lots of times this became a group gathering of some sort which was lots of fun. The most essential part about making this work, is to be honest about this conversation for yourself. If you want something, please ask for it from those you love. They may not be able to give you everything, though it can lead into a conversation about what each of you does have to give. The most essential part of making this work, is to be honest about this conversation for yourself.


Karyn Zuidhof, Calgary Psychologist

As a Registered Psychologist, I have experience helping people with a variety of concerns including, but not limited to stress, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, parenting, and relationships. Together, we will use cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), and collaborate to find the thoughts and actions creating obstacles in your life, test them out, and combat them to decide if they’re helping or hindering you. Most of all, I want to help you reach your potential, and make the way there a little easier.

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