In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and this coming weekend is all about Cupid, a funny and fickle little guy associated with the warm and fuzzy feelings of desire, affection and love!
What is this thing called love? Well, it’s one big powerful field of unbelievable emotion that practically knocks you over the first time you experience it. Being in love and giving love are some of the most exhilarating feelings in the whole world and if I had my way we would all be feeling it as much as possible on February 14!
But what to do when romance is not currently in your life?
If you are single or widowed, you see the signs that Valentine’s Day is approaching and it all feels bittersweet. I vividly remember the first Valentine’s Day after my husband died as being a day where I wished I could have stayed in bed and pulled the covers over myself until it was over. Some people who were concerned about me generously invited me to join them for dinner. I think we all thought it would be good for me to be out and about. Big mistake! The restaurant was crowded with couples celebrating and red hearts were everywhere and I barely got through the evening.
So I completely understand how you can easily feel like a social outcast because you don’t happen to have it going on with someone special in your life. Maybe you want to forget about Valentine’s Day but it feels as though everywhere you go there are reminders of candy hearts, strawberries dripped in chocolate and special jewelry on sale.
While I don’t have a romantic love in my life right now (Hey, I am not giving up. The possibility is always out there!), Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays where I remind myself to think ahead, make plans and think good solid thoughts about myself.
From the moment we are born, we all want to feel loved and Valentine’s Day totally syncs up with our emotional needs. We all want to feel that someone cares about us and wants to make a fuss over us. I am a widow now but I cherish the memories of Valentines past, remembering when my late husband would give me sappy cards, bouquets of flowers and special romantic dinners. Those were wonderful times and I treasure them. Truly I do!
And there is always hope that love will happen again. In the meantime, I think it’s a good idea to be kind to yourself and here are some suggestions of ways to get through the day:
— invite friends over for a tea, a brunch or lunch. It doesn’t have to be a lot of people. Be with those you enjoy.
— go for a walk with a friend or by yourself. Maybe you don’t want to be with other people. While you are walking, you can allow the emotions to come. Perhaps being active will help you sort through the range of emotions that you are poignantly feeling. Even a short walk, for as little as 10 minutes, can enhance your mood.
— send Valentines to those people you care about. You can even go old school and make your own! I have sent Valentine cards to my younger nieces and nephews and other children that I know. It’s fun to let them receive a Valentine in the mail and let them know you care about them.
— avoid places that might be painful such as restaurants that bring back special memories or the neighborhood movie house that’s showing a romantic movie.
— write a letter or poem to the person you are missing.
Unfortunately there is no special formula for surviving Valentine’s Day because we all have different emotional triggers and we all heal in different ways.
Please trust in yourself and know that your instincts about what works for you will help to take you through this bumpy time.
Such a well thought out piece, Mary Kate. Personally I dislike Valentine’s Day because it seems so contrived. Let’s love each other every day.
Mary Kate Cranston
Truly, Debbie, that is a wonderful thought! Thanks for sharing!