How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Do you love it? Do you loathe it? Does it stress you out? Do you have anxiety about it? Are you excited? In the past Valentine’s Day hasn’t been at the top of my “Favorite Holiday” list, it hasn’t been at the bottom either. I see all of the cute ideas out their for pink pancakes, milk, and strawberries for breakfast and I want to do them. I’ve secretly hoped my cute hubby brings home a dozen roses for me, but not for the right reasons. I’ve wanted all of these things for show. I think I’ve been missing a really amazing reason to celebrate. This year, it’s shaping up to be near the top of my list. Let me tell you why and share some tips with you. 😀
For the longest time I think as a culture the emphasis we put on Valentine’s Day always has to do with a romantic kind of love. I remember being a little girl in elementary school hoping so badly that the cute boy I sat next to would give me a valentine. And he did, along with every other kid in my class. It was the norm, we all gave and all received. Fast forward to middle school and the secret carnation fund raiser happened. You could buy a flower and have it delivered to a secret someone during school. That was always exciting and could be heart breaking too. (img source: http://giphy.com/gifs/mean-girls-lacey-chabert-gretchen-wieners-u3OK0QIq7ccoM)
The holiday was always about attention. Always about who liked who and were they going to profess they’re undying 13 year old love to them!? Real nail biter situations. High school was all about couples giving to couples. It’s just the way it’s been.
When I got married I thought I had finally arrived at the time in my life where I would never go without a Valentine. I’d always go out Valentine’s Day for a romantic dinner, and surprise date activity (movie, glow-in-the dark mini golf, etc…) and then of course spend the evening with my husband. It’s just how it was supposed to be. Right? Doesn’t EVERYONE in the WHOLE world do the same things on Valentine’s Day? Receive the SAME gifts, chocolate, flowers, and love notes? Isn’t that what it’s all about? Well after our first year of marriage, it just wasn’t happening. It felt forced, something was missing. What was it? EVERYONE else was having the most romantic day of their lives. Why weren’t they? Yes we went through the motions. But that’s all it was, motions. Then I realized it. We were focusing on the wrong stuff. We were doing what our culture/ society told us Valentine’s Day was about. Instead of celebrating the REAL stuff. Love! All kinds of love. That’s what was missing!
It was turning into a motion. Oh it’s Valentine’s? Better get some chocolate and flowers! Which colored box of chocolate would he like best? A half a dozen roses or a full dozen? Well a full means I love her more, right? What. In. The. World?! The holiday is supposed to be about love, not about what you “should” be doing. It’s supposed to be about your love for someone else, be it romantic or platonic.
Then there’s the pressure of Valentine’s Day evening. To get as ‘sexy’ as you can for your significant other. I feel like the images that come to mind for the word ‘sexy’ are so troubling for a woman. The idea that you have to be a certain size, or have so many curves to be considered sexy is wrong. I recently watched a video on this very topic on The Carol Blog called Bringing Your Sexy Back: How To Honor Your True Feminine Energy. I highly recommend it! It talks about Valentine’s Day, being your OWN sexy, and how to love a little better because of it.
I think it’s so easy to get caught up in what we’ll be receiving on Valentine’s Day instead of what we could be giving. Due to this I more often than not I was completely let down. But I think I’ve found a few ways to make Valentine’s Day a more happy experience for you and me!
- Talk with your significant other about what you’re expecting. It’s not fair to think they can read your mind, and then be upset later because they didn’t come through. If you want roses on Valentine’s Day, let them know! Maybe you’d really love a different flower, tell them. If you can’t stand roses but really prefer a great big bag of peanut M&M’s tell them, or in my case my favorite home town bakery doughnuts. How exciting for them to get you exactly what you want, and know they’ll put a smile on your face!
- If you’re not in a romantic relationship at the moment give valentine’s to family members, best friends, or neighbors. I would be so excited to open my door and find that I’d been heart attacked by a sneaky neighbor! If that feels too easy, maybe attack their car!
- Give your children valentine’s! My mom always gave me one. I still have a little stuffed gorilla she gave me when I was 16. Every time I see him I think about her and the love she has for me.
- If funds are tight, which after the holidays and birthday season in our house, sometimes this is the case. Maybe light some candles for dinner that night. If that’s not your thing have a game marathon to see who truly is the champion in your house. How about a swing jumping contest?
- On the other hand, maybe you want to get out and go on a new adventure… Have you been rock climbing?! What a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day together 😀
- Remember that it’s about your kind of love. Showing love to another person is personal and shouldn’t feel stressful or forced. Do what comes naturally. For us dinner and movie was kind of boring, so we have exchanged love notes and made a cake together.
Find what works for you. I think it should be fun and enjoyable! Not stressful and anxiety stricken. Least of all depressing and sad. I know there are plenty of people out there who probably figured out Valentine’s Day is about real love a long time ago. But when I have “a ha” moments, I like to share them with you! I also don’t think there is anything wrong with a romantic dinner and movie on Valentine’s Day if that’s what you and your significant other want to do. I love movies after all! Society make us feel like there are set rules to follow to celebrate the holiday. The only rule for Valentine’s Day (in my eyes) is to fill your day with love! Whether it’s with people you love, places you love, or things you love to do. Make it about love, and it’ll be your greatest one yet, I’m sure of it!