The first Valentine’s Day after my divorce (12 years ago) was sooooo hard. I felt like everyone around me was in love and celebrating their relationships and there I was, sad and lonely and miserable. On top of that, I had lost my sense of identity and to be honest, at that point in life I didn’t really know who I was or what I was doing with my life.
I’m not sure at what point the switch flipped exactly, but it wasn’t until the past couple years that I actually started liking Valentine’s Day. Now why in the heck would I, a single gal who has been single most of the past 12 years (I think I’ve had a boyfriend for 2 of the past 12 Valentine’s Days) like a holiday that is 1) sort of made up and 2) geared towards lovers?
I don’t know for sure, but I’ll tell you what I think.
- I’m a hopeless romantic. So this somehow automatically makes Valentine’s Day my holiday by default (although it’s not my favorite). But seriously, the romantic in me just likes the idea of a whole day being designated to expressing like or love or kind sentiments towards others.
- My love language is gifts. This does not make me greedy, nor do I need be showered with gifts to feel loved. But since this is my language, I also enjoy giving gifts, even small things, to my friends and family in hopes that they will also feel loved. And since V-Day is all about love – well, you can see where I’m headed here. It’s an occasion for me to recognize and gift the people who are most important to me, even in the smallest ways.
- I’ve learned to love myself. There is so much talk about self-love these days, but for real, it’s one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, especially when you are perpetually single like I am. I buy myself flowers and treat myself to ice cream and yeah, I would love to be swept off my feet by the love of my life. But hey, that hasn’t happened yet, so meanwhile, I do things for myself that make me feel good and happy and loved.
So this Valentine’s Day, if you don’t have a special someone to celebrate with, it’s ok! Bake cookies for a friend or buy your niece some heart stickers and a Paw Patrol card (oh wait, I did that). I guarantee that showing love to someone else feels even better (or at least as good) as receiving it.