Valentine's Day is one of those holidays we either love or hate, depending on our perspective. For those who aren't happy with where they are "at" in terms of their love lives, the day can be sheer hell. Whether you are single, with no love in sight or divorced or widowed and you're grieving the loss, a day that celebrates love and romance almost seems like an insult-an excruciating 24 hours we do our best to pretend is not making us acutely aware of just how alone we really are.
We don't have to be single or divorced to feel that way either. If we are married or with someone who is not a romantic, just seeming to go through the motions, or at worst making no effort at all, that can be the loneliest feeling in the world. We get angry, disappointed, or wonder why we are with someone who is so uncaring and unemotional. Tired of the same old sappy card bought at the drug store, and a few red roses that you know cost a fortune and are sent just because your honey is afraid he'll be in the dog house otherwise?
If anything I've said feels uncomfortably familiar, then here are some things you can do to make it better. Remember, when dealing with anything in life, don't let the day sneak up on you. Be prepared!
- If you are married to a nonromantic spouse-- accept it. Many women marry men like this and then spend the rest of their lives (futilely, I might add) trying to get a romantic response out of him. Sit down with him ahead of time and plan a romantic evening, but remember, you are celebrating your love as a couple, not just how much he is in love with you!
- Men cannot read your mind. Don't tell him you have no expectations or downplay the importance of the holiday, secretly hoping he'll surprise you. Men who are not romantics will take you at your word and most of the time you'll just end up disappointed. Be honest about your real feelings.
- If you are in a new relationship (and even an old one) and you want to encourage your partner, make sure you compliment, praise, and be grateful for anything you get, even if it is a card or small token. If you get upset and appear ungrateful, the response you will likely get is pure discouragement, and that might lead to fear of trying at all. Perhaps your expectations are too high.
- Treat yourself ahead of time. Knowing that you are going to get a massage or buy a new fragrance for yourself will make you feel loved, even if by no one but yourself!
- Make plans to have fun with a group of like-minded friends. Girlfriends unite!
- Be a Valentine for someone who really is suffering and alone. Visit a nursing home, a child in the hospital, or volunteer in a soup kitchen.
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