Certainly one of the more controversial holidays/observances, Valentine’s Day for some is an awesome day, as it’s one when love and romance are more in the public conscience than they are on most days, and there’s undoubtedly something cool about celebrating your own personal romantic glee on a day when so many others are doing the same.
It’s probably fair to say that those in a great relationship probably look forward to V Day more than do those in a relationship they wouldn’t characterize as “great,” and, almost surely, especially more than those who aren’t in a relationship at all. Although a certain contingent of those in great–or even Everything— relationships may take a dim view of Valentine’s Day, some lamenting it’s a fabrication of the jewelry industry, the chocolatier mafia, or the greeting card cartel. Or feeling it’s disingenuous to make special one day a year when expressing one’s love, desire, or both for another is encouraged, because that’s something that should be done all the time, effusively and extensively.
You won’t catch me arguing about that. One absolutely, positively should constantly be expressing one’s love for one’s partner, open heartedly, expansively, authentically, and eloquently. With no expectation of reciprocation. Because the act itself is the reward. You’re lucky enough to feel all these amazing things and it’d be a disservice to your partner and the relationship itself if you chose to keep those feelings to yourself. And constantly means daily, bub–even multiple times a day. In person, via text/IM, on the phone, via love notes tucked into lunches, taped onto coffee mugs, by your actions, your energy, etc., etc. The possibilities are endless.
Undoubtedly some guys reading this post raised their eyebrows during the preceding paragraph. Here’s the deal: expressing your feelings, your heart, your love in genuine, full, fearless, fun ways, frequently, is not inherently in conflict with manliness, with masculinity. Expressing fear-based insecurities like need, jealously, clinginess, possessiveness–decidedly unmanly.
Even though I revel in the constant expression of my feelings of love, I definitely don’t look askance at Valentine’s Day. Not at all. As someone lucky enough to be in an Everything relationship the last 2+ years, tomorrow will be my third Valentine’s Day with the love of my life, Lien. Nothing overly extravagant about our plans: dinner at a nice restaurant, a box of her favorite pastries, some flowers. To us Valentine’s Day ain’t about the “things,” it’s about celebrating and honoring how absolutely lucky and happy we are, feelings that continue to grow in strength each and every day, and that we celebrate and honor every day.
There’s not a romantic relationship out there that won’t benefit from the partners being open-heartedly expressive with one another. If you’re already there, congrats! If you’re not but you’d like to be with your current partner, then let go of fear and speak from your heart.
If you’re in a relationship you’d like to exit because you’re sure there’s a better romantic reality out there for both of you, maybe it’s best not to open-heartedly express those feelings on Valentine’s Day. (harsh, a bit…) But seize the opportunity to clarify your feelings and thoughts and start taking definitive steps toward that new reality.
What if you’re not in a relationship at all? No reason to feel “left out.” Get over yourself and let that person you’ve had a secret crush on know how you feel. Or take time on Valentine’s Day to work on your definition of your ideal partner as the first step toward manifesting that reality for yourself. And as part of that envision how the two of you will be celebrating future Valentine’s Days together.