Julia Bekker: Mixed emotions about Valentine’s Day
Ah V-Day. Chocolate covered everything, roses, sentimental cards and more stuffed animals filling the shelves at the local Walgreens than boxes of Tylenol. Does this holiday make you warm and fuzzy inside, are you completely indifferent to it or do you feel like the Grinch on Christmas? I must admit, I’ve felt all of the above about it at one point or other.
Some people have strong opinions about this “Hallmark holiday” and tend to stick to what they firmly believe. Many either find themselves all for this romantic day or completely against the contrived occasion. But others have mixed feelings, including myself. It can be a complicated emotional time for some, and a day of disinterest to others. Whether you are fazed or not by this holiday depends on if you view it as a commercially manufactured event or a day designated to give a bit more love and attention than usual to that special person in your life who holds so much importance.
I, for one, have become apathetic toward the day itself; however, I am very much open to the meaning behind the holiday. It’s all about the experience and how it correlates with where you are in life at the time. If you are in a relationship, you look forward to celebrating and like the idea of having a reason to celebrate. If you’re single, you either don’t care at all about the day or feel extra sad and lonely. It benefits new couples and people who have been dating just long enough to celebrate most because it’s symbolic of love and indicates long-term intentions, as well as increased levels of romance. These couples are riding the high.
On the lower end are the recently single, to whom V-Day is often a dreaded time. If you’re heartbroken, trying to move on from someone or just out of a long-term relationship and aren’t used to not having someone to spend this day with, your emotions are heightened. It’s a sensitive time and Valentine’s Day can trigger some real, strong feelings.
For married couples, and those in lengthy relationships, Valentine’s Day can often be overlooked or minimized in significance. It is true that you shouldn’t just show your love and affection on one designated day; you should always be grateful and find ways to show your love and appreciation toward your significant other. But I also see no harm in utilizing this designed day of love to recognize that what you share is special. What’s wrong with having a day of added effort? Since when was an extra dose of romance ever something to complain about? Why not do something nice together or for one another, even though you should be exhibiting love and demonstrating thoughtfulness on a regular basis. Let’s face it; you’re not always coming home with flowers or cute gifts.
Take the time to do something a little out of the ordinary, even if it’s a small and simple gesture or activity. As they say, it’s the little things that count most and I’m sure that even those who could care less about this famed day wouldn’t mind a little extra love if it was given to them.
If you’re on team single, don’t fret, there are plenty of Valentine’s days to go around. But when faced with not having a mate to share in any festivities or even to sit on the couch with for the night, go out with friends you love. Or put some extra love and care into yourself. Buy yourself a gift, get a massage, book a trip or light some candles and take a bath. Enjoy your time alone. If all you want to do is ignore the day, sit on your couch and watch TV. Do it. It’s just a day on the calendar for goodness sake, and just like any other day, it’s your choice how you want to spend it. If you want to cry, cry! Although it’s not that serious, trust me.
As a dating guru ... if you will, and a true romantic at heart, I think if you are coupled up or newly dating someone you really like, it is a sweet gesture to do something for Valentine’s Day, and is the right thing to do. I recommend acknowledging it at least in some form, especially if you know it would mean something to your partner, even if you could care less about it yourself.
I wouldn’t suggest, however, writing someone off if they happened to forget or chose not to commemorate the day. If things are going well otherwise and you are being treated well, don’t get crazy. Let it slide, and if it really bothers you, have a chat. Let him or her know that it would make you happy to do something for each other on this day in the future, or that you would have really liked a piece of chocolate, maybe even a rose. Or start the trend by doing something for them yourself, that should set the tone for all your V-Days to come.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Julia Bekker, aka Hunting Maven, is a Connecticut native and professional coach and matchmaker helping singles and couples find and maintain love. huntingmaven.com