Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Other Side of Valentine's Day

I received a distress call the other evening from a dear friend. The gentlemen she had been dating for a couple of months and become quite fond of, text messaged her that he wanted to end the relationship. He said that she was ninety percent of what he was looking for, but the ten percent was a deal breaker, which was travel distance between their homes. His maximum allowance was twenty-five miles and their distance was thirty-six miles.

Honestly, I kept my comments short and brief, suggesting she should simply move on. I saw no point in wasting time and energy on someone who does not feel you worthy of ten extra miles past his cut-off distance and texting a breakup.  While I certainly understand her devastation in believing their relationship could be more long term, at some point, we have to move beyond drama, particularly when there is not a lot of time involved. I truly believed she did a lot of the right things to grow the relationship, just with the wrong person.

In actuality, while I was sorry about the situation, the point of this story is not my friend’s breakup. It was something she said during the course of the conversation that struck a chord with me. She expressed that she was now going to spend another Valentine’s Day alone. While I certainly understand her sentiments particularly in a situation where the break up is fresh, I encouraged her not to get hung up on one day. If you are not in a relationship, there is really no need to acknowledge or celebrate a day that has no benefit to your current situation. Also, recognizing more serious situations such as loss of a loved one, divorce and separations due to military service can cause intense feelings of depression, there are other ways that may be helpful to cope with the loneliness this day may bring about. Most important is to look for ways to spend the day that is not focused on what someone does for you, but what you do for yourself. Some suggestions include.

  • Make someone else happy. Consider ways you can bring a smile to others including the elderly, children, domestic violence victims, sick and shut-in. Volunteering will also provide you with a sense of gratitude for what you do have in your life.
  • Host a family and friends get together. You will be surprised at the people who would rather not go out to restaurants for dinner.  The theme does not have to be Valentine’s Day and ask everyone to bring a dish or beverage.
  • Make plans to start or finish a project you have wanted to do for a long time.
  • Do something you may not ordinarily do such as book a glamour photo session, get a complete make-over or take a fun art class to stimulate your creativity.
  • Don’t look at old pictures, love movies and songs that bring memories to make you feel sad. Watch funny movies or read inspirational books.

It’s important to remember that you have to live beyond one day and should always focus on things and people that add value to your life. Above all, my most endearing suggestion is to spend time with God. With God’s presence we are never alone. Happy You Day!

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