Newly separated, this will be my first Valentine’s Day alone. I can’t stop thinking about this Hallmark created holiday. It is making me anxious and filled with tons of anxiety. I don’t want it to – but it is.

As a married couple we loved celebrating Valentine’s Day. The entire day would be filled with tokens of our love for each other. From flowers, to chocolates to hand made love poems – we were that sappy couple that jumped into the Hallmark holiday with both feet. This day was about us and truthfully, I never ever thought about people who didn’t have someone to spend it with.

So it is not lost on me that this year as I am alone on Valentine’s Day that I can’t stop thinking about the many people who spend it alone. What message does society scream at us? Your not good enough because your not part of a couple? You don’t get chocolates or flowers today because you don’t have a partner? Ridiculous thoughts – Yes but they are there. I have had to rethink the holiday that I loved the most. Yes my ex was amazing at “doing Valentine’s Day”, but what about the other 364 days of the year?

If you are in a happy, loving relationship shouldn’t every day be Valentine’s Day? Shouldn’t you tell that somebody you love them each and every day? Surprise them with thoughtful gifts like flowers and chocolates? Be spontaneous and make them special dinners or come home early from work to just be with them? Why would anyone just wait for this one day each year — where you are made to feel guilty if you don’t do any of these things.  Doesn’t it go without saying that Love should be celebrated and not taken for granted. That Love is about constantly doing those special “little” things!

Maybe Valentine’s Day is for all of us who are celebrating alone.  To remind us that when we do find that someone special not to settle. To remember to keep that spark alive not because Hallmark tells you to – but because you can’t imagine not doing so. To acknowledge that the day in itself is meaningless – and not to get sucked into feeling bad or less than because your not a couple and most importantly to remember that you don’t have to be part of a couple to be whole.

Natalie, 54

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