Emotional Intelligence Psychology Romance

On Mind Reading

Mind Reading Expectations can be toxic to your relationship. Find out how you can hack your fairytale and drop the MRE's.
Mind Reading Expectations can be toxic to your relationship. Find out how you can hack your fairytale and drop the MRE’s.

Mind Reading, Expectations, Emotional Intelligence, Valentine’s Day

Given that I don’t watch much television (“any” turned into “much” once I started watching “Downton Abby”), I find watching commercials a rare event in my life. Other than the carefully crafted and clever Super Bowl commercials, I find myself doing a lot to avoid advertisements selling me the latest and greatest.

I especially find Valentine’s Day advertisements annoying. Why? Because many of them focus on just a handful of clichéd themes surrounding the nature of romance. Usually, there is  an engendered story: man needs to buy his wife a gift to show that he loves her, and he feels pressured to pick just the right thing without being told what might make her happy. Get it right, and she’s happy and over the moon! Get it wrong, and he’s in the doghouse for days to come. 

What are we really seeing here? It’s the management of expectations, specifically around that of mind reading, called Mind Reading Expectations, or MRE. The man is supposed to know what the woman wants without her having to tell him, a sort of, “Where’s the fun in that?” mixed with, “He should know me by now.”

Change Counseling Love and Romance Psychology Relationships

On Being The Best Valentine Ever

Ah Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! You know it’s Valentine’s Day when every business tries to connect the concept of Love with their product or service. I’m still waiting for it: “Acme Plumbing celebrates your Valentine’s Day sweetheart. Purchase your V-day meal at Mikey’s Burger Barn, and get a discount on any plumbing service the following day.”

Here’s a little NSFW humor around love that could have been worked into a V-day theme:

How to Love and Romance Online Dating Online Therapy Relationships

The Problem With Valentine’s Day Romance

When we think about Valentine’s Day, the concept of sustainability is not what one usually conjures in one’s head. The other day, I passed by a couple playing tonsil hockey in the middle of the day on the commercial business level of my office building. Snuggled deeply into a comfy couch in front of a gas fireplace cozily encased in brick, they mashed each other’s faces happily without a care in the world. Ah, love! It’s what makes the world go round. This image is what we think of for V-day.

It also makes marketers go ape sh!t when Valentine’s Day season comes to a head. As one person whined, one cannot open the circulars of a newspaper without being assaulted by messages that one should be enjoying a waterfall of bling, chocolates, champagne, and romantic getaways, or else there is something wrong. Specifically, that something wrong is with you. It makes single people want to trash the paper. It’s enough to cause those initiating or maintaining committed relationships of all kinds to groan in either frustration or anxiety concerning the overwhelming social pressures and expectations of how you mark, celebrate, or otherwise define the importance of your main squeeze.