Valentines: A day of love or depression?

Valentines.  A day of chocolates, roses, love and romance.  Right?  I mean all the commercials say so: the handsome guy brings the beautiful girl a bouquet of flowers, or better still a diamond bracelet.  They embrace, they kiss, he swoops her off her feet and heads for the bedroom.  What?  It’s not like that for you?  Well what’s wrong with you?

Here’s my answer…NOTHING. What’s wrong is the expectation that’s been planted in your head by people who want to sell you something–florists, candy makers, Hallmark, jewelers.   They paint such lovely pictures, don’t they?  Problem is, those pictures bear no resemblance to reality.

What’s real is that some of us feel sad and lonely on Valentines because we’ve lost our partner, or maybe we’ve never even had one.  Others of us have just had a fight, and we’d rather stick pins in our eyes than be all lovey-dovey.  These are real circumstances that don’t come close to matching the picture on the T.V. screen.  And if you buy into the picture, it will surely bring you down.

So what do you do?  Ignore the pictures, erase the unreal expectations, and simply be in the moment with what’s real in your life. Rather than trying to match what you see in commercials, get real and feel what you feel–loving, sad, joyful, lonely, angry.  It’s all okay.

Here’s another suggestion…

Instead of waiting for someone else to make you feel special, make yourself feel special.  Have a massage, or a bubble bath, stay in bed a little later and have a cup of tea.  Think of all the good things about yourself, put them in a card and read it more than once.  Stop criticizing yourself; switch gears and give yourself some love.  Can’t think of good stuff?  How about these?…

Are you a good friend?  Do you lovingly care for that sweet pet of yours?  Do you volunteer at a local shelter?  Are you always striving to be a better person?  Do you try to see the good in everyone even though it may not be obvious?  Are you friendly with the cashier at the grocery store?  The waitress who serves you dinner?  The person who cleans your house? Do you take the time to help someone in need?  Remember there are no small things.  Seemingly small things ripple out and make a big splash in your own life as well as in the world.

In short, you don’t have to wait for someone else to provide you with love on Valentines, or any other day. Give it to yourself.  Self-love is the greatest gift of all; the love from which all good things flow, both for you and for our world.

Happy Valentines Day!

Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, to learn how my husband and I got through our crisis and made our bond ever stronger.  You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including

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