To my married and dating friends, I offer these suggestions from my vast history as a Control Girl. Over the past twenty-five+ years, I’ve found these to be the five most effective ways to ruin Valentine’s Day.

Or not. It’s really your choice.

1. Create a secret mental image. 

Picture some sweet, romantic thing that your friend says her husband always does on Valentine’s Day. Or maybe picture a scene from a movie. It might involve long stem roses or a candle-lit dinner out. Okay, do you have a crisp mental image? Now tell yourself that this is how Valentine’s Day should be, but don’t share this image with your husband. Keep it tucked away in your mind, where he can’t see. Then, get bitter and angry when he doesn’t meet your expectations.

Or… why not talk to your man and give him a couple of hints? Grin at him in a flirtatious way, and say, “You know what might be sweet on Valentine’s Day?”

2. Make rigid demands.

Say something like, “You better be taking me someplace really nice tomorrow. And I sure hope you made reservations.” Let him know that you have high expectations. He’s with a classy girl. Make sure he feels all kinds of pressure to surprise you with something big. Crack the whip. It’s Valentine’s Day, for crying out loud. He better have thought ahead.

Or… you could let him surprise you. Rather than demanding he meet your standards, you could let him decide how best to say, “I love you.” 

3. Be hard to please.

Can you picture a child, with wonder in her eyes on Christmas morning? Be exactly the opposite of this. Fold your arms across your chest and give your husband a sullen expression. Dare him to try to please you. Sigh and roll your eyes if he tries anything remotely romantic. Be critical of any gift that he places before you. Tell him all the ways he has failed to please you, both in the past and today.

Or… you could go with the wonder-filled child-on-Christmas-morning expression. You could treasure any token of your husband’s love, and let him know how much it means to you that he thought of you. 

4. Doubt his intentions.

If your husband or boyfriend fails to take you out or get you a gift, be fully convinced that this is because he doesn’t love you. It’s impossible for a man to forget or overlook planning for Valentine’s Day. Men are never busy or preoccupied with their careers in early February. If your boyfriend does try to pursue you with a romantic gesture, question his motives. If your husband tries to pull you close or kiss you, resist him; he’s obviously just selfishly trying to meet his own needs. If he gives up at the end of the day and goes to bed facing the other direction, It’s obviously because he no longer thinks you’re pretty. You have every right to be angry, sullen, and sad all day on Valentine’s Day.

Or… you could believe that your husband or boyfriend truly wants to please you. You could give him the gift of believing that he  truly loves you and wants to (someday, if he’s your boyfriend) crawl into bed each night with the beautiful woman he chose.

5. Be completely disrespectful.

Your husband spells love r-e-s-p-e-c-t, so make sure that you spend the day rolling your eyes, sighing, arguing, shooting holes in his ideas, and putting him down. Nothing tanks Valentine’s Day faster than some heavy doses of disrespect. Nag at him for the way he picks at his toes or forgets his phone. Criticize him for not mailing your package or changing the light bulb. Treat him like you’re the mommy and he’s your little boy, who needs constant reminders or threats.

Or… you could smile warmly and openly consider his ideas for what would make a great day together. You could let him lead and trust his judgement. But let me warn you… if you keep this up, he’ll think you’re making passes at him. (wink)

PS. Do you wonder if your control issues might have something to do with the tension or stress in your relationship? Take My Quiz to find out more.

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