For some the most dreaded, for some the most cherished day of the year has gone by – Valentines day. I don’t know what it is about this day that makes people so unhappy. Personally, I hate a christmas day, birthday or easter sunday, alone, much more than when I was single on Valentines day. Sure, it’s not easily ignored. Everywhere red hearts and roses appear and it might be more difficult to be reminded that one is single or, worse, in an unhappy relationship.
For both, lovers and haters, there are however ways to celebrate this special day, without feeling the need of desperation. Yesterday proved that to me just once again.
After all, Valentines day is not only about sexual, romantic love, it is about love – period.
Hating or ignoring the day won’t make it any better – realizing what potential it can have, not only for stores, but for oneself, however, might just make it a wonderful time. And even more: Sure, that is the one day, when all concentration centers on love, and whether you want to celebrate it or not is most basically up to you. But it is a good reminder that love too must be valued, celebrated, not ignored and seen as naturally granted.
But if you are still unsure of how this celebration, valuation thingi works, stay with me – even the single ones of you.
Love for a significant other –
notice the “a”. Being in a relationship is for some people as rewarding (when it is with the right person) as being single. However, being single doesn’t inherently mean that one is alone. Note the difference! Even though you might not be in a year-long relationship, chances are that there is someone in your life – a love affair? – a friendship plus? – a best friend? Use this time, not only to question this love, but to appreciate it. Ask yourself, Why is this person so important to me? What value does she/ he give to me, and how am I enriching her/ his life? Remember the fond memories you have of and with that person. The way you feel when you are around this person. This doesn’t have to come with an all-positive outcome, mind you! Maybe you’ll realize that his relationship doesn’t make you happy anymore, that you need time for yourself or have encountered too many toxic people in this past year.
Love isn’t always as easy as it may seem. So even if you don’t like Valentines day, neither as a partner, nor as single, you can still view it as the positive possibility to review yourself, your relationships, the depth of your love and appreciate or change whatever you find out.
You might just find something about yourself too. When was the last time you showed your partner how much he means to you? The last time you told your friends how important they are in your life?
Don’t get stuck on romantic love only – there are many people whose love you can cherish on that special day!
Love for your parents –
the people who held you as a small baby, encouraged and supported you during your teenage years and came to be equivalent communication partners in respect and admiration. Still, you will always be their child, and they will, most likely, love you for the rest of their life. Possibilities nowadays are vast, you can easily move away, study abroad, marry that long distance partner of yours – why not use this day, to celebrate not only romantic love, but also the most profound love of all – the one between parents and their children.
I will make a wild guess here and say that your parents will appreciate a call, even a funny meme, or, if possible, something more profound or symbolic.
People nowadays, and in my age, are incredibly focused on themselves and mostly I think that that’s a good thing – we need to grow independent of our surroundings to live to our full potential. But ignorance of the people who loved us their whole lives is too pronounced already, so use this day to remember what they are to you. And show it too!
Love for yourself –
people who know me know too that I am an advocate for self-love – not only on Valentines day but on every single day of the year. Yet, during stressful times, social pressures and busy calendars it might fall a bit short. Why not use this day then, too, for loving yourself. Everyone celebrates her own body differently – I love hot showers, face masks and scented candles, another might be most “herself” during exhausting hiking trips, yet another might love cuddly – tvseries – bingeing with hot chocolate.
Whatever you love most, whatever makes you happy, brings your moods up, lets you feel comfortably in your skin – use this day of love for really appreciating yourself, your mind, your body! You are your biggest asset. No one can tell you how you need or should treat yourself, but as long as you know and do so on a regular basis, life can’t be all too bad (also, because people who tend to treat themselves right are less likely to let toxic people in their lives).
Selfish love is such an “ugly” term in our society – I believe though, that it is the most important love of all. And if you have denied everything I said so far, are still grumpy and in a bad mood about this day of love and refuse to see the other people who deserve your love you can’t deny this one thing : That even if no one is worth of you love on the outside, you, inwardly, are the most worth of your own love of all. And if you use Valentines day not for whining, moaning, and bewailing the dreadful day, but instead for profoundly reminding yourself of your love for yourself, the day loses its resentment and can turn into something wonderful.
If we look closely, there is always love in our lives – if not for a romantic partner, then for the friends you made, the parents who await your call or, so importantly, yourself. Love is a wonderful emotion. It might have fallen prey to consumerism, but who are you to care, when you don’t have to buy that 1000€ diamond bracelet, but can cherish the day for what it is: a reminder of love, its value and the happiness that lies within.
(PS: Pro-tip: You don’t have to wait for the next Valentines day to come – love can be celebrated on any other given day too!)