You’d think, as a romance novelist, that I’d be one of the first people putting my hand up to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. The truth is that I’ve never celebrated it: not as a married woman, and not in my single days.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in love. I celebrate love. My home, for goodness sake, is filled with love hearts made of wood, fabric, glass and felt. I LOVE love! I adore hearing my husband sing love songs. I become engrossed in rom-coms.
And while it’s true that Cupid shot me 19 years ago with his arrow, and I’m still enjoying happily ever after, my desire to celebrate this Hallmark-endorsed day hasn’t increased.
In fact, every year I can’t help but shake my head at the untold money spent on chocolates and flowers. How easily us humans get sucked into commercialism! I love good-quality chocolate (though, to be fair, I’m a savoury girl and would choose something salty over sweet every single time) and my house always has flowers in it, but if a man was prompted to give me those things because of a date on a calendar and copious red reminders in every shop, then what would it say about our love?
To me, love is what happens every day of the year. Day in, day out, it is about respect, kindness, compassion, empathy, humour and companionship. How we live each and every day with our loved one means far more than a single day marked on a calendar. If I have to single out ‘romance’ days, I prefer to celebrate the anniversaries of my heart: the day my husband and I first kissed ~ April 16th 1995 (we moved in together the next day), and the day we married ~ December 29th 1996.
St Valentine’s Day has Christian origins, and was based on the saints named Valentinus. The stories were all based on martyrdom: hardly healthy grounds for love! The main story is to do with ‘farewell’. Is this really how we want to celebrate love? Obviously over the years the day has ‘evolved’ to be an occasion on which lovers express their affection through gifts. Mass-produced greeting cards have become the mainstay of this day.
One of the things that disturbs me most about this cultural tradition of Valentine is how it sets up those without a lover for misery, and perpetuates just how alone they are. How many heart-broken teenagers walk this planet lamenting the fact that the postman didn’t bring them a card? Doesn’t anyone love them?
If you’re looking for love, look inside you. Be the best version of yourself that you can be. There is no one on this planet (as wonderful as they might be) who is capable of plugging up the hole in your heart. Learning the art of self love is the key to all healthy and happy relationships. Believe in yourself. As your self value increases, you’ll find yourself drawn to people who carry a similar vibration.
Want to attract a loving, healthy and long-term relationship in your life? Write a list! Write a list of exactly what you are looking for in a partner or relationship. Write it down each day, in order of priority. It doesn’t matter if the priority changes each day. What is important is that you become clear and focussed about what is important to you. Many people go into relationships without understanding what it is that they’re seeking. Write what you want, not what you don't want.
If you're in a relationship that doesn't make your heart sing, but for whatever reason you don't want to end it, then use the list writing to create the relationship you do desire. Focus on what is important to you, such as ease of communication, affection, humour, companionship, empathy, understanding, common interests, sexual compatibility, and so on. Create the relationship of your dreams.
Life is too short for regrets, and for second-best relationships. YOU deserve the best relationship. There are seven billion of us on this planet. Believe me, there is someone out there who thinks you’re wonderful and would move heaven and earth to be with you. And it will happen, I promise you, when you believe that you’re worthy.