It’s Valentines Day… This might be a dreaded day with not-so-great memories. Maybe you’ve felt let down or alone on this day. Or, maybe you’ve spent it with loving partners exactly the way you wanted, filled with chocolate, jewelry or stuffed animals. Maybe you’ve spent it with your girlfriends having picnics of Italian take-out in the circle park of your neighborhood.
Valentines Day has meant many different things over my life. I only spent one Valentines with a boyfriend before I met my partner at the age of 22. So, for me, Valentines Day wasn’t really a day of just romantic love, but of any of kind love.
Growing up my Dad always got me valentine’s gifts, something I hold close to my heart to this day. Cheers to great dads! I’ve also had crushes who asked out the other girl. I had some boys I wasn’t so into get me gifts – that’s always awkward, but my philosophy is to be kind and honest. I spent many Valentines with my girlfriends, eating, laughing and goofing around on lifeguard stations.
Whatever feelings come up for you around the day, I hope you hold space for whatever is true for you. Meaning, you tune inward and observe what you’re feeling and where in your body you’re feeling it. You don’t judge yourself or try to change what you’re feeling; you simply witness the feelings and the experience of being human.
If you’re in a relationship it can take time, but mostly communication, to get in the groove of what works for both of you. My partner and I are spending our third Valentines together. We’ve done the sushi dinner thing – yum! We’ve done the couples massages. Yes, and yes! And we’ve done the stay at home like it’s any other Tuesday. In all of these, what mattered to make the day special – and to make any day special – is that love is expressed and received.
You don’t have to show someone you love them by buying them something or taking them out to a crowded, expensive restaurant. I’m not hating on the classic Valentines Day – I love going out to eat and getting gifts. It can be wonderful, if that’s what you want, and it’s done in love. I’m saying that it’s not the only way.
So, whether you’re going out or staying in with your partner, friends, family, or by yourself, the most important thing on Valentines Day is that love is shown – maybe love for others and definitely love for yourself, and that may just mean some ice cream and Netflix, with no judgment, of course.
Sending you lots of love this Valentine’s day,