Celebrating Valentine’s Day When Love Sucks

Valentine's Day Relationships

I love reading to my 17-month old son. I love it so much, but for mostly selfish reasons; it’s the only time he just sits on my lap and cuddles with me, and I also get to read all my favorite Dr. Seuss books all over again. As a child I always knew those little books were magical – I mean I could tell by the crazy pictures, Mr. Seuss had it goin on, but as an adult I realize just how many fantastic lessons we can learn from his crazy imagination.

I was reading 'Oh, the thinks you can Think' the other day and it really made me think (go figure) about how much control we have over any situation just based on the thoughts and meaning we give to it. We are our thoughts. Our reality is what we make of it.

Valentine’s Day is heading towards us like a steamroller, or as some say, “Single Awareness Day,” or for many of you it may be “WTF-is-going-on-with-my-relationship-anyways-day.” When your relationship is lackluster, and not exactly what you had imagined, holidays – even silly ones like Valentine’s Day can be like a stab in the heart because they serve as that crappy reminder that things just aren’t right.

But rather than hide under the covers all day loathing in self-pity, I want to encourage you to take some time for yourself, change your thoughts and reality, and celebrate anyway.

First things first though – take some time to acknowledge what you’re feeling. If you’re not sure what the heck is going on with your partner and how the two of you may or may not be celebrating together, acknowledge how that makes you feel. Write it down along with the ways you’d like to feel on this day (or any day for that matter).

Next, close the gap. What can get you from feeling the way you do now, to feeling the way you’d really like? If you want to feel loved, appreciated, or accepted, how can you create that for yourself?

Who are the people in your life, aside from your partner that make you feel those things? Are any of them free to do brunch, lunch, drinks, or some sort of class on V-Day? If you’re not sure, find out! Use your support system for all it’s worth. Most people automatically assume that their BFF will be celebrating with their honey, but because they love you too, they really are willing to be there to do something fun with you as well, you just have to ask.

Pay attention to those false negative beliefs you might be carrying and holding on to. That Eeyore voice in your head that says “no one has time for me, so why should I bother?” will keep you stuck, so tell it to be quiet, and ask a friend or family member for a little QT. 

If you’d rather go solo because that voice is just relentless, then think of other things that make you feel what you’re looking to feel on this day. Often giving helps us get those feels we love. Is there someone that you’d love to shower with a little bouquet or homemade cookies? You can channel your energy into creating something nice for a friend or relative to take your mind off of your relationship.

You can also shower yourself with the gifts you’d love to receive. Go get a massage, haircut, pedicure, or grab your own flowers, and spend time remembering that the most important love we have comes from ourselves. We have to fill our cups in order to give to others, so use this day as an excuse to pamper yourself, and fill up your own cup.

No matter how you decide to celebrate, acknowledge your feelings, but resolve to push past them even if just for the day. You have power over your thoughts. Notice how many times you tell yourself something negative about what the day means, and challenge yourself to shift those negative thoughts just long enough to feel a little positivity.

If nothing else, before your feet hit the floor on the start of Valentine’s Day, make a list in your head of at least 10 things that you are grateful for. This will shift your mood and remind you that no matter what’s going on in your relationship, your entire life is much bigger. “You can think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” Dr. Seuss.