The cynicism surrounding Valentine’s Day is enormous. It only takes one peek at our FB newsfeed to see people buying into it or remarking how it’s a “Hallmark Holiday”.
There is tremendous value in the holiday though. For some couples it’s an amazing opportunity to celebrate their love for one another, and for others it’s a necessary reminder as to the importance of expressing our love to the special people in our lives. The reminder is great, but what does it say about the state of love and relationships that we need this reminder?
And for single people, if the pressure they feel every other day of the year wasn’t bad enough, V-Day is that pressure on speed and steroids. Combine that lonely desperation with alcohol at the bar and it’s a recipe for some high pressure loving that will lead nowhere good, unless good is an orgasm.
Why do we need to HAVE to have someone to celebrate this day with, and if we don’t, we’re a failure?
I think V-Day just perpetuates a commonly endorsed misconception and belief about relationships:
Being “in a relationship” is better than being single.
The truth is that being happy has nothing to do with being in a relationship, and everything to do with just being happy, alone.
Research suggests this too. It’s happy people who have great relationships, not people in relationships who are happy.
In other words: Happy single people become happy romantic partners.
Happy people report greater relationship satisfaction, improved health outcomes, and a lower divorce rate.
Of course healthy relationships and shared connections are important, but it’s not a romantic relationship that is predictive of our level of happiness, but more so relationships in general.
People who have great interpersonal relationships with friends, family, and lovers, are happier.
Not surprisingly, they also have a great relationship with themselves. They can sit comfortably in their own thoughts and find peace and fulfillment through spending time alone.
“My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.” – Warsan Shires
Because truthfully, it’s always been about falling in love with ourselves first. It’s from that place where we choose relationship partners who add to our already amazing life. That way we know we’re picking kick-a*s people who remind us that love comes from a place that’s whole, not empty. If they don’t improve our lives and help us grow, and us do the same for them, then they are not welcome to join us on the ride.
Sure, even when we find someone from that place of fulfillment we can still take each other for granted and the little “wake-up” that V-Day can provide is important to remind us that it’s all about the little things.
The types of things that are the fuel to continued love and connection.
“Do what you did at the beginning of the relationship and there won’t be an end.” ~Tony Robbins
Love is born through everything we do. Love is a verb.
And we need to communicate it on the daily.
I’m not saying we need to buy our partner chocolate and such each and every day. What I am saying is couples can, and need to, consistently communicate love through how they speak to and interact with one another in each moment.
Something as simple as buying your lady her favourite coffee on your way home from work, or getting dressed up to look sexy because we want to capture their heart and show each other we’re still trying.
That’s it. People want to know that they matter.
They want to know that you’ll still fight for them and try to win their love.
They want to know that you’ll pry their heart open when they’re on the verge of closing it and still wine and dine them to get some loving by earning it, not expecting it.
They don’t want you to skip foreplay because “it’s just not something we do anymore”.
All of these things matter, and intimacy and sexual connection need to be a beautiful event and production at times.
Sometimes candles are nice. Sometimes lingerie is.
Team that up with some R&B and handcuffs and we have a party.
Valentine’s Day is just another day, and it’s all about how we use each and every day to improve how we are showing up to the world and to love.
Although this is the “official” day we celebrate, it should be no different than any other.
It is a beautiful reminder that we should never forget love requires effort.
Whether we’re single or taken, being happy and personally fulfilled is the most important thing we can do for not only ourselves, but also for our partner, even if we haven’t met them yet.
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