Sometimes the day to celebrate love can bring out feelings of sadness for those who are not currently in a romantic relationship, or feelings of anger if the day does not meet expectations (whether they were conscious or not!). Unfortunately, it can achieve the very opposite of what the day is meant to do: to recognize and affirm the importance of love. Combine this with the commercialization of the holiday, and many people are ready to bury their heads in the sand and try to pretend that the day does not exist. We would like to suggest an alternate approach, that was shaped by some very good tips via Psychology Today, the blogs Assume Love and To Love, Honour, and Vacuum:
To those in romantic relationships, that have found themselves disappointed in the past:
Patty Newbold the writer of the blog “Assume Love” writes that:
• “Expectations, other than the one you were promised–that you will be loved–are premeditated resentments.”
• “Resentment is a marriage killer, and it grows from unmet expectations.”
Instead of expectations, (i.e. that your partner can read your mind and know what you would like, or that if you have to tell him/her what you want it means that they do not love you), Cheri Gregory (Blog: To Love, Honour, and Vacuum) suggests sitting down with your partner and answering the following questions:
- What would I like to do?
- What would you like to do?
- What’s in the budget?
- What’s reasonable considering our season of life?
- How much time & energy are we likely to have on Feb. 14th?
- What’s going on both before and after that day?
Though it might sound unromantic at first, it is much more likely to create a mood of celebration than disappointment.
If everywhere you look it feels like reminders of how you are not in a romantic relationship, and results in you feeling unloved, take some time to reflect on where and by whom you are loved, suggests Goal Auzeen Saedi in Psychology Today. A Valentine does not have to be romantic, in fact, too often we devalue our other relationships compared to the “one” or the “soulmate” we have yet to find.
Here’s hoping that Valentine’s Day can continue to be a celebration of one of the more powerful things we are capable of: love.