This episode is all about managing expectations surrounding special occasions and holidays so that they don’t turn from a special day into a stressful day (No one wants that)! And with one of the biggest relationship holidays this weekend, we want to talk about Valentines Day, ways you can prevent conflict, and some fun date ideas!
Did you know it is Beating 50 Percent’s 5 year anniversary? This is a milestone for us and we want to celebrate with you! Tune in for a giveaway you are going to LOVE!
In this episode you’ll hear:
- A very simple, yet powerful, list of questions you can ask to set expectations for special dates in your calendar.
- 4 things you can do to protect your relationship in the heat of holidays + special occasions.
- The power of asking questions + staying curious and the value it brings to your relationship.
Links to all the things mentioned:
Managing Expectations Around Special Occasions + Holidays
Special occasions. Holidays. Anniversaries. They can be stressful, but don’t have to be! Special days don’t have to turn into stressful days, if you can master managing expectations! Here are some of our best practices when it comes to planning + preparing for special occasions and holidays.
First of all, understanding how you were raised to celebrate holidays + special occasions is crucial. Once you have that baseline you can iron out the kinks and plan out the differences and similarities around those dates. Sit down and have those conversations. Talk about each holiday, what it meant to your family growing up, how you celebrated, and what you want them to look like for your relationship, now.
Missed expectations are really just the inability to meet the desires of your spouse. So, when it comes to special occasions and holidays, knowing what your expectations are (both you and your spouse) you can prepare for the best outcome possible!
We created a fun calendar with questions to help guide you through each of the holidays + special dates in your life. Click HERE to grab that (or see the list of questions below!)
Look at your calendar. What special day is coming up? Consider sitting down with your love and making some intentional plans together.
Questions To Ask For Each Holiday or Special Occasion:
- On this day, we want to celebrate ______?
- What do we love (or not love) about this day?
- Our favorite old traditions:
- Possible new traditions:
- Top 2 essential things on this day:
At the root of all this, it comes down to understanding one another. Asking questions cut through the noise and complications of not understanding. Instead of spending days, years, months of not understanding - just ask questions to gather clarity AND have healthy expectations!
You don’t have to sit and map out the whole year, but just start somewhere. With one holiday! We know it will bring incredible value and have such a great impact on your relationship.
Here are a few things YOU can do to protect your relationship in the heat of the special occasions, holidays, events … or even date nights:
- Practice Expectation Management: this is so simple but so intentional! When you are on their way to an event, occasion, celebration, date night, your family's house … whatever it is, grab one another's hand and simply ask … what are your expectations for this? Don’t let this pass by. Try it! Even once to see how it works for your relationship.
- Communicate With Family: obviously this doesn’t need to happen for date nights or your anniversaries, but the bigger holidays - we know this will help. Have the conversation before the moment so that everyone is prepared and comfortable when it comes. Maybe your family has deep holiday traditions that they still abide by? But when you are in a relationship balancing two families, having the conversation ahead of time about what YOU want it to look like for your own relationship or family now, is important. You are not bound to or obligated to doing everything your family did or wants you to do as you step into your own family + relationship.
- Talk About Subjects You Want To Avoid On That Day: decide what needs to be avoided and communicate it with your love BEFORE that day so that you are prepared to support one another during the moment.
- Don’t Let Social Media Rob You: especially around the bigger holidays that are so visible on social media; it can cause comparison or unrealistic expectations around a day that is meant to be so personal for your family.
- Say Thank You: the power of a thank you to your spouse can go a really long way.
All of these are simple but also really great reminders because often simple things are overlooked and forgotten.
36 Questions That Lead To Love
There was an article released by the NY Times a few years ago that studied this thought:
Can mutual vulnerability foster closeness? Can you actually fabricate or intentionally pursue or design intimacy via intention? Or is it always by happenstance? The idea they were exploring was that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness.
To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.” Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.
In Mandy Len Catron’s Modern Love essay, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” she refers to a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one. Seriously! Look this up -- it is SO good!
We are questioning people. And truly believe that questions truly do lead to intimacy. It leads you to be curious and a student of your spouse. When was the last time you asked your spouse a question? Stay curious and ask questions!
Celebrating Beating50Percent 5 year anniversary!
Let’s reminisce a bit! For those of you who have been a part of this community and mission from the beginning, you may know this. But for those just joining, we want to share how it all started with you!
On Valentine’s Day 5 years ago, Jeremy + Audrey did a thunderclap on social media. They had people post their 3 sentence love stories as they launched our Beatin50percent blog. Their hope was to encourage and equip couples to give MORE to their relationships and (ultimately) to date intentionally, pursue creatively, and love faithfully.
So, they had a launch party at a wine bar in Portland and invited their friends and family to come. Jeremy’s photography portraits were displayed as they told couples love stories. They had a photobooth where everyone put their 3 sentence love stories on polaroids.
Then a sequence of launches happened to fuel the mission:
- The launch of the 7 Day Marriage Challenge! It was a challenge packed with videos and encouragement each day. There were about 30k people part of it!
- The start of a weekly blog (maybe that will come back one day!)
- The release of Navigators Counsel (the OG Marriage Journal)
- The #WeekendIDos began - search the # on IG and join us! It is SO fun!
- Jeremy + Audrey did a few small speaking events + marriage meetups through Beating 50 Percent
- The attempt at a YouTube channel
- Love is a Verb sweatshirt … does anyone remember that??
From this community, Jeremy + Audrey have been able to launch their first book, A Love Letter Life, and so many other amazing books + journals since. They were also able to launch a podcast! Which has just continued the mission + vision of this incredible movement and community.
THANK YOU! To each and every one of you. Thank you! Without you, Beating 50 Percent would not be possible and continue to grow.
Continuing a tradition …
A Valentine's Day tradition for the Beating50percent community has been posting 3 sentence love stories to flood the internet with REAL LOVE STORIES on Valentine’s Day!
Here is Jeremy + Audrey’s 3 sentence love stories:
@jeremyroloff - We met on a blind date before church and I fell in love, she did not. We were friends for a year, I told my mom I was going to marry this girl, but it was another 2 years of pursuit. A couple hundred campfires and truck rides later, I asked her to be mine 10 days before moving to California, our love endured, and September 20, 2014 we started our forever.
@audreyroloff - We were freshman in college when our good friends set up on a blind date before church, and from that day forward he was patiently persistent, I was stubborn and guarded. After a two year friendship 😅 he said "will you be mine" up on the railroad tracks, and that's when we began 3-years of writing each other letters on our typewriters while we endured a long distance relationship. Our long-distance relationship ended in an unbreakable covenant on September 20th 2014, and since then we have continued to grow in oneness, Godliness, and more in love... always more.
We want to celebrate the anniversary of Beating 50 Percent with a giveaway!
It’s simple: Post your 3 sentence love story on Valentine's Day and tag @beating50percent.
One winner will receive a $300 AirBnB gift card, all of our books, and a Zoom double date with us. AND - four additional winners will receive all of our books/journals.
Behind the Scenes Podcast is partnered with Compassion International. When you sponsor a child, you receive a FREE copy of our latest book, Creative Love. To Sponsor A Child - Compassion.com/Roloff or Text ROLOFF to 83393.