With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, there’s all kinds of pressure to make it a day all about passion, romance…and competition for who can give and receive the best gifts. This can be triggering for many. Instead of it being the magical, love-filled celebration that it professes to be, for some it serves as a reminder of the relationships they’re longing for, losses they’ve suffered, or highlights the painfulness that exists in current relationships. If this is something you identify with, there may be other ways of celebrating this holiday that help you feel love, experience joy, and find meaning in unconventional ways.
You Don’t Have to Have a Significant Other to Celebrate Love
What if you’re single on Valentine’s Day? It’s okay! Identify all of the other significant people you love in your life, and find ways to celebrate your relationship with them. Maybe this can look like sending a card to extended family members, having a special dinner with friends, or buying your beloved pet a new, special treat. You don’t have to feel left out or exclude yourself from Valentine’s Day just because you’re not currently in one, specific kind of relationship.
You Can Celebrate a Relationship, Even if it’s Not in Tip-Top Shape
What if it’s the opposite…what if you HAVE a significant other, but your relationship is in a rough spot? You can still find a way to navigate Valentine’s Day that doesn’t add additional pain to the relationship. Talk ahead of time about the expectations you each have, and try to find ways to connect that feel comfortable for both of you. For example, maybe instead of store bought gifts, you agree to give each other the gift of respect for the day, and decide that you will each talk as kindly as possible to each other, and avoid bringing up hot-button relationship topics. Or, instead of an overly romantic date night, perhaps you decide to keep it low-key, order in food, and watch a movie together. Think outside the box, and be very specific with your concerns and desires for Valentine’s Day.
Celebrate the Love You Have For Yourself
One of the trickiest things for most of us to do is to be kind to ourselves. Too often, we are our own worst critics, and spend a lot of time beating ourselves up, and focusing on our weaknesses. Valentine’s Day could be the perfect opportunity to practice changing that, and concentrate on your gifts. For example, you could make a list of all your positive attributes, and hang them up somewhere as a reminder, or do something really nice for yourself that you normally wouldn’t give yourself permission for. Make it a day of self-love!
Just Love Your Life
The focus of Valentine’s Day doesn’t even have to be directed towards certain people. Another option is to acknowledge and honor all of the things about life that you love. What are you passionate about? What brings you joy? Big or small, consider some of these things, and find ways to incorporate them into your day. If you love to ski…spend the day on the slopes & concentrate on all the things you love about it. Enjoy cooking? Make yourself an extra special meal, and relish in the happiness it brings you! If you can’t think of a person you want to connect with…connect with the other things you love most.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to only represent romance and passion in the traditional sense. Sometimes we forget that we can define special occasions however we want! While doing something new and different can feel strange, it may also surprise you! So this year, toss all of the stressful expectations out the window, and find a way to experience Valentine’s Day that feels right for you.