“Being alone is not the same as feeling lonely, but on Valentine's Day it can be hard to tell the difference." Unknown”
The cynic in me is still suspect of the commercial aspect of Valentines' Day but the optimist loves any occasion that encourages humans to acknowledge themselves and each other.
If you are in a loving relationship, Valentine's Day can be an exciting, romantic and beautiful affair. But if you're single or experiencing challenges in your relationship, it can be triggering and can highlight feelings of loneliness. I also believe that Valentine's Day increases the tendency for women to compare themselves with their friends, peers and others on social media.
In the past, being single on Valentine's Day was painful for me. I felt unworthy and like a reject as I watched friends and colleagues receive large bouquets of red roses, giant inflatable red hearts hanging off foil strings, or mysterious cards from secret admirers.
It took all my strength to set my face and countenance to, "I'm not bothered" as my head repeated the question over and over, "what's wrong with me?"
I reached a turning point about 10 years ago when the relationship I was in ended at the end of January. At first, I was filled with horror at the thought of another single V-Day.
Then collecting myself, I reminded myself that it was a good thing that the relationship had ended. That no matter how hard we tried to fit round pegs into square holes, we were a bad fit. Sitting across the table from him opening a card and gift would not change anything. Although it was bad timing, the relationship had run its course.
A few days later I sat at my meditation altar, allowing the grief, sadness, and reality to surface while breathing heavily and trying not to cry.
I had an epiphany. What I missed most about not sharing Valentine's Day with someone was the special attention and gift-giving. You see my love language is 'giving and receiving gifts' followed by 'acts of service'. I asked myself what gift I would like to receive and the answer came immediately.
I would like to receive a silver dove necklace from Tiffany & Co. So I bought myself this special gift, placed it on my altar, and on the 14th of February, I sat down in meditation as usual and opened the famous blue box with glee.
This was an act of love and a strong affirmation that I could take care of my emotional and physical needs. It was a turning point in my personal and spiritual growth.
There are many positives to being alone on Valentine's Day. In her article, The Best Things About Being Single on Valentine's Day, Karen Young explains why.
"Being alone on Valentine’s Day does have its perks. As you’re reading the list that follows and noticing the glass half empty turning into a glass half full, remind yourself that whatever the glass is – full/ empty/ wine/ water/ delicious chocolate coated snacks – it’s yours, all yours – and you don’t have to share it with anyone. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate being single this Valentine’s Day".
The delirious joy of knowing you won’t be disappointed by the questionable quality of presents or the lack of them.
The giddy pleasure of not having a Valentine’s Day argument. On Valentine’s Day, expectations have a way of soaring to dizzying heights and from there the only direction is down. The potential for disappointment is enormous. It’s exhausting having to estimate the exact heaviness of the sigh to exhale as you’re lying upset and angry along the edge of the bed.
The potential for new love. Nobody is suggesting you break that online dating website with your enthusiasm but someone out there is waiting to meet someone like you. Now, thanks to your vision and the fortunate stroke of serendipity, you’ll be available when they find you. Should they meet your exacting standards, they are a lucky person.
The money you save. Valentine’s Day is so expensive. Outfit, fancy knickers, present, cab fares, babysitters, food, drinks, all leading to the glistening finale of sitting crowded restaurant wondering how he could ever think you’d thrill over a vacuum cleaner and bumping elbows with the giddy young couple next to you who are discussing whether the $40 leak soup entree would do as a main for two. Save your money for something less painful. Maybe a full-body wax.
The satisfaction of knowing – with perfect certainty – that you’re not with the wrong person. Being with the wrong person is infinitely worse than being with nobody at all. When you’re stuck in the wrong relationship, the potential for something better is stuck too. Well done for freeing yourself up for the relationship you deserve when it finds you. And get ready. It’s coming.
Flowers. They have a life span. I love flowers. Love them. But when they’re given by someone special, or by someone who wants to be thought of that way, there’s always the problem of when to get rid of them. Too soon and you’re cutting across the sentimentality of it all, but leave it too long and they’re shedding bits and pieces like they own the place. No relationship. No flowers. No problem.
You’re saving the planet from packaging and paper that’s on its way to landfills and contributing to the slow, dusty demise of the planet. As for your wine bottles and pizza boxes? That’s different. Food and drink are necessities. And besides, everyone knows they’re recyclable. Here’s to you eco-warrior.
You can relax during dinner without fear of being a massive disappointment. Get into that tv-dinner-for-one, safe and sound in the knowledge that should an allergic reaction unfold, you’re not disappointing anybody. If the worst happens, nobody is going to get in your way while you pack yourself with antihistamines and fall asleep on the couch.
Whether you're celebrating V Day with your sweetheart, best friend, furry friends, or yourself, remember that love is all there is!
Lots of hugs until next time.