Now, I hate to be the traitor to my own sex and burst the bubble out there, but Valentine's Day is nothing but a setup for disaster! Ever since some other little curly haired brunette got the "BE MINE" candy in Fifth Grade, I knew I was doomed to disappointment, at least once routinely, every February 14th. Thinking I would outsmart my doomed future, I married a highly romantic man. Problem is, he doesn't like to perform on demand. And, as it turns out, I have witnessed in my counseling practice that neither do 99.5% of all other men (and lots of other women) on the planet. For that matter, my experience with gay people shows that they don't fare all that much better.
The fantasy that you have in your head for what this upcoming event should look like not only originated in the fabrications of youth but has been fed ever since by every TV commercial and cereal box you've ever seen on the subject. Over -inflated, like a giant helium balloon ready to burst, the occasion assures us that: 1. nobody has the great taste and caring attitude that you have, 2. it's clear your partner doesn't pay attention to what YOU like because they insist on giving you what they THINK you should like, and 3. clearly you aren't nearly as fabulous as you hoped or SOMEONE would rise to the occasion and overwhelm you with romantic and expensive assurances of your value in the market place.
Why so many people, women especially, pick THIS time of year to evaluate their self-worth is sad indeed. Eager to substitute just ANY body into the script, many single girls stoop to self destructive lows in assuring that they will not be alone for this all important occasion. Now, do YOU see this working out well? Going out with somebody you would NOT previously consider being with, pretending to share a bond together (and of course meanwhile sending out signals that he is really a looser and you are just desperate) does not make for a mutually empowering evening. Like I said, it's purely a setup.
So, do yourself a favor and whether or not you are in a relationship - TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF - REVOLT AGAINST VALENTINE'S DAY. Look yourself squarely in the mirror and remind yourself that you are awesome, uniquely divine, powerful beyond meaure, bright, caring, attractive, sensitive and talented 364 days of the year...and VD is no different. List, out loud, three of your most loveable qualities and decide WHAT positive treat you will give to yourself on VD. If you're in relationship, assure your partner that you love them dearly, but that you would like their support in rebelling against forced sentimentality and that you would like to agree to SKIP this quick route to stress and emotional letdown. Then look at the relief that crosses their face, and know that you have done something positive for your relationship, and for both of you as well.
Howard Bronson offers five things people can do to recreate a positive Valentines Day experience:
1)Don't bottle up all of your emotions just for this holiday. Instead, find something to celebrate about love each day, no matter how small and do something to celebrate love with a friend or partner at least once each week.
2)Don't expect another to make up for your own deficits about love. Issues of lack of love generally have to do with ourselves vs. anyone else.
3)Don't hide behind flowers, candies and other gifts. The best gift is to actually say something kind, sweet and celebratory directly to a friend or significant other.
4)Make reflection a kindly process. Examine what you yourself can do to make love work more effectively in your relationship. Criticism doesn't achieve anything. Love is an action word. Take real action that shows love. Don't try to buy your partner's affection or approval.
5) If anything, make this a time of thanks. Try to see how many things you can thank your partner for and then, do it, over and over again.
So here's a big HUG and smooch and my declaration that I think you are wonderful, and promise to love and adore you all the days of your life - and beyond. The chocolate? Well, that you will just have to provide for yourself - I'm hoarding mine! :-)