I’m a bit of a unicorn in todays world of relationships, at 33, I have spent the last 19 years with one person, the same person. Valentine’s Day is my LEAST favorite holiday. It’s not that I hate love, but I hate the pressure of manifesting the magnitude of your love on that one day. It’s a setup for failure! There is just no way to show just how much you love someone in 24 hours or the few hours of that special day allocated to an overpriced dinner, jam packed show or any one of the many frantic activities the world resorts to on this one day dedicated to love!
Our first valentine was pretty awesome, I was 14, a freshman in high school and the ginormous flower arrangement (with a 3 ft. bear) I got as a gift seemed like an accurate physical manifestation of what my 14-year-old heart expected. As our relationship progressed, every Valentine became an anxiously awaited judgement day where I would asses just how much he loved me as evidenced by his planning skills and gypsy abilities to guess what would make me feel loved. Two things about my relationship you should know, he is a terrible planner and I’m very unpredictable, so you can only imagine the emotional saga the ensued every year. So on the dawn of our 19th valentine together, as the all too familiar anxiety begins to build up, I remind myself of the lessons I learned over the years:
- One of the most powerful reasons to be in a relationship is to get to know yourself better, so with every passionate argument I had, I learned something about myself. That is valuable and a sign of time well spent. The moment I shifted my perception to include “getting to better know myself” as a goal of my relationship, my relationship improved.
- The better I know myself and the better he knows himself, the more our relationship evolves. Over the last 19 years, I have been in at least 8 different relationships with the same person. Its crazy, but true! I have learned to be grateful for that opportunity. When things start to NOT work for me, I know we have hit a point in our relationship where one or both of us has changed, so we break up the old relationship to start a new one, with new rules and new understandings.
- The best gift is a shared experience. I love gifts, anyone who knows me knows I like THINGS!! But this year, I decided that instead of getting each other gifts we were going to share an experience. He HATES most colognes and I LOVE most perfumes! So we went shopping for a unisex fragrance we both enjoyed and bought it to share. Every time we get a sniff of the fragrance, it’ll remind us of each other. The gift that keeps on giving!
- Most importantly, I learned feeling special and loved is an inside job. The more I loved myself and felt I was a great human being, the better my valentines got, regardless of what the days’ activities were. I was fascinated! If you don’t feel you are special or worthy of love, nothing any one does or say will change that!
So, when the clock strikes midnight my lovelies choose Love and Joy! First love for yourself and Joy for the blessings in your life. Then on Monday, you’ll feel gratitude, for you get to have love and joy year round!! Happy Love day!