For many years, I’ve spent this loved-up day single. Alone, unattached, sans plus one. Sure, I would get together with fellow single ladies to dress up, celebrate our relationship status, and claim how awesome it is to be free while dancing to Beyonce's Single Ladies. Together we agreed being single was better, ‘who needs a man?!’, girlpower etc…even though, secretly, I did want to be in a relationship.
I can remember back in high school when, at home time, the names of countless girls would be called out over the intercom to collect their roses, teddies and chocolates. My name was never called out. Comparisonitis had a way of making you feel totally unloveable and uncool. Then I grew up and realised I was responsible for the way I felt and how I responded to the situations around me; no one or no thing could ‘make me feel’ crap, less of a human, not good enough etc. Especially not Hallmark!!
Whether or not you’re in a relationship, this time can bring up mixed emotions that are difficult to process. As a certified health coach, I believe relationships are by far one of the most important parts of our life. For instance, it doesn't matter how many kale smoothies you chow down, if you're in a toxic or tumultuous relationship then you're not going to feel your best.
Here are my top tips for navigating this time without turning into the Valentine’s Day Grinch or letting expectations taint the moment...
Remember rule #1: the most important relationship in your life is with you. You are number one and you matter most. This applies 24/7 and not just on Valentine’s Day. Spend extra time filling up your cup by doing something you truly love, whether that be giving yourself a DIY mani while watching your fave comedy or rom-com, getting a massage, going to a fun dance class with the girls, hiking and brunch with your crew, or throwing on a gorgeous dress and some red lippy and treating yourself to a super fancy dinner with your bestie.
Enjoy this time because you just don’t know when Mr Right will enter your life. Some day you may look back fondly on your single days and wish you wholeheartedly trusted and enjoyed the journey. Remind yourself that, if you want it, your time will come and that everything (including the right man) comes to you in the perfect time and space sequence.
The affirmations I used to attract more love into my life are: “I am in the perfect relationship with my soulmate”, “Everything I need comes to me in the perfect time/space sequence”, “what I want wants me”, “I am worthy of love”, “I deserve the very best in life and I accept it now”, “I am loving, loveable and loved”. Say them to yourself on repeat aloud or in your head.
For those who are loved up
Welcome to the club, lovely. Firstly, take a moment to be grateful for your special person. Think of three things that you’re most grateful for about your partnership. Next, try your very best to let go of all expectations today. Don’t expect grand gestures, lavish dinners and expensive gifts. I say this because in the past, unrealistic and unreasonable expectations have worn away at my relationships. I believe we ALL struggle with expectations and expectations are the root cause of so many relationship troubles. We expect so much of others, we compare what we would do in the same situation, we expect our partners to know what makes us happy, what we like/dislike etc, we treat certain interactions and relationships like business deals “I did this/gave that/spent this…so he/she should reciprocate”. But, sorry my friends, placing expectations on others will only set yourself up for disappointment and breed resentment.
Here’s an idea ladies: why not take the lead and make the first move? What would you like your Valentine's Day to look like? Dinner and a movie? Glam it up and head out for dessert and cocktails? Stay home and cook a delicious meal together while enjoying a glass of red? Stay in and put face masks in your pjs while gorging on vegan cheese and rose? Communicate with your partner how you would like to spend your day together and don’t expect your man to be a mind reader and know what you want to do.
Oh, another thing: try not to get to indulge ‘comparisonitis’. Ya know, you jump on social media and look at everyone else’s “perfect” loved-up lives, lavish gifts, romantic escapes, picture-perfect selfies. Stay in your own lane, be grateful for what you do have and remind yourself daily of the countless blessings your partner brings into your life. Personally, I prefer to keep special moments between my man and I sacred; there is no need to broadcast, prove anything, expect comments and compliments. It’s just for us. And friendly reminder, being present for your partner is one of the best presents you can give. So resist the urge to look at what everyone else is doing, getting and giving and just enjoy your precious time with your special someone.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to take a quick quiz to determine your primary 'love language'. Gary Chapman wrote the highly-acclaimed book 'The five love languages', which is must-read for everyone whether you're looking to take your relationship to the next level or manifest the partner of your dreams. It's a game changer because it helps you to realise that we are all different and express our love in different ways. For example, you may demonstrate your love to your partner (or future partner!) by showering them in cuddles and kisses, as you saw your parents do as a child, or conversely you may verbally articulate your appreciation and adoration because that's what would make you feel loved. In case you're wondering what the five languages of love are, without further ado:
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
Sending you virtual hugs.
I leave you with some photos of one of the MOST romantic places I've ever visited, Lake Como. This way on a trip in 2017 and I still remember my jaw hitting the ground when I arrived at paradise...move over Paris!