Valentine’s Smalentines!

I have to admit that I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. After decades of being single, that date caused so much heartache for me. Even now that I am in a relationship, I don’t like to celebrate because it never brought any joy for me. The holiday only put additional stress on me to be in a relationship (as if I needed any more pressure as I edged closer to 40).

I used to dread the months between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, filled with couple events only to serve as a reminder of my never-ending single status. I remember a huge sense of relief on February 15th and vowed that the next year wouldn’t be like this one. Year after year, I would let this date on the calendar have power of over me. I wasn’t very Zen in those days!

If you aren’t in a relationship, the day can be a downer if you let it get to you. You may feel sad as you go through your office having to breathe in all those roses sitting on top of your co-workers’ desks and then sink down at your cubicle watching the clock for the dreaded day and evening to be over with already. Worse, you hear the giddy cheers of a girl, who is barely out of college, gleaming over her new engagement ring the next day. You may wonder, “What is wrong with me?” or “Is she even old enough to drink?”

The problem, after all, isn’t Valentine’s but the idea you hold around the day. You can waste your day being bitter and sad or you can change your attitude and tell yourself it is just another date on the calendar. Sadly, Valentine’s is sometimes the only day some coupled women get attention from their significant other and the roses and candy are an empty gesture of a worn-out relationship. For another, it could be a fake romance with a new infatuation that will soon fade and they will be back in the dating pool once again. Just because they are a couple (or pseudo-couple), doesn’t mean they are happy or have the relationship that you want.

The best relationship is when you feel that you don’t need a special occasion to celebrate each other. I feel that every day is Valentine’s with Roberto and we surprise each other with gifts at random occasions, not only when a holiday calendar says so. Instead of wishing you had the superficial chocolates, flowers and fancy dinner this year, maybe there is something more real that you want and deserve to have in a lasting relationship. Focus on the deeper qualities of the type of man or woman you want, not the surface frivolities. Just because your “one” didn’t arrive by February 14th doesn’t mean that they are not coming, She or he will, soon enough, and you can have your own special holiday to share together.

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