Why is it that the day of love can often end in tears, hurt feelings, and an appearance of the little green-eyed monster known as jealousy? Thanks to commercialism, Valentine’s Day is a day that suddenly everyone is aware of their relationship status- be they single, dating, engaged, or married.
How well you’re treated (or not treated) on Valentine’s Day is often used to temporarily rate just how happy you are with that status. Isn’t it odd that this day to honor the patron saint of love often ends with couples fighting and comparing how happy they are to other couples?
(By the way, have you seen the Valentine's Day episode of Blackish? It. Is. My. Favorite. Log-in to Hulu right now and go to Season One Episode 13, “Big Night, Big Fight” right now and prepare to laugh. Let me know what you think.)
Why is it that you can be happily single 364 days of the year, and then feel like total crap on Singles Awareness Day? Why is it that a grown woman can actually be jealous that another woman received a stuffed animal that she’ll shove into a closet or give to the dog the very next day?
Here are a few tips to help you keep the green-eyed monster at bay on Valentine’s Day:
- Focus on what is going right in the loving relationships in your life. You may love your dog curling up with you. You may love your job’s flexible schedule. You may love it when your friends drag you out for a night on the town. Or, you may have Prince Charming himself singing serenades at the foot of your bed. But keep in mind all of the relationships in your life that give you support. Don’t just focus on that one relationship in your life- or the things that aren’t perfect in those relationships.
- Determine what you need to see, hear, and feel to feel loved. If you’re not a touchy-feely person, don’t be upset when you didn’t receive a day at the spa as a Valentine’s gift. Would you be happier watching a movie with your loved one than cringing when someone touched your feet? Share what you would like to do to celebrate your relationship before the big day if you can.
- Put this DAY in perspective. Yes, it does feel great to connect to your partner. But would you rather have all of it bottled into one day? Or would you rather have small tokens of your appreciation for each other throughout the year? If your sweetie doesn’t surprise you with roses today- does it mean they love you less? Reflect on the unique ways that you and your sweetie show your love to each other all year long. Do you have a phrase that makes both of you break out in giggles every time you say it? Is there a certain burger joint you go to after every trip to the river? Those seemingly simple things that are just automatic events are what really reflect the caring in your relationship, more than going all out on a certain day (designated by someone else).
- How do your loved ones show you that they care? Yes, those famous five love languages work for other types of relationships, too, from your mom to your girlfriends. When we are so busy looking for them to do this one thing so we know that they care, it's way too easy to miss seeing all of the other wonderful ways they show that they care. (Learn more about the 5 Love Languages in Gary Chapman's famous book. #aff)
The bottom line: relationships are stressful and hard enough without the pressure of commercialism popping in. Let today be a reminder to tell those all of those special people in your life what they mean to you not only today, but throughout the year. You can never say “I love you” or “Thank you” enough! And don't forget to look for all of the little ways they show that they love you- even if those ways are quite different than yours. Giant stuffed teddy bear, anyone?