I’m Just Not That Into….Valentine’s Day.

Photo credit: Meghan Dougherty

Disclaimer:  This post will likely not have anything all to do with science. Unless you consider the neurotransmitters in my brain that have helped me reframe and thus respond differently to Valentine’s Day than I have in the past.

I’m not going out tonight. I’m not getting flowers, chocolates, wine, teddy bears, or anything else colored red today. I’m not being romanced by anyone, nor am I pining away for anyone. I’m not listening to sappy love songs, and I’m not going to watch any cliche romantic Valentine movies.

And that’s perfectly OK with me.  In fact, I’m great with it, and I harbor no resentment or ill will or jealousy towards anyone who will be happily engaging in the traditional Valentine’s hoopla.   I think alot of the reason I’m fine with the current setup is that I’ve learned to change my perspective on what life brings me, and find the good out of what I used to categorically label as horrible.

There’s alot of people out in the world today who are hating Valentine’s or bemoaning the fact that Cupid must have been using a harmless nerf bow on them instead of getting it right and bringing them some great, true, faithful love. I completely empathize with people who aren’t having a great experience today, but I’d like to offer my own personal list of why I just don’t think Valentine’s is worth getting wrecked over.

Listed, in no particular order, except for maybe #1…..I’m happy to have a non-romantic Valentine’s day because…

1. I get to pick the bottle of wine tonight, and I don’t have to share.  It’s a Chianti, by the way…

2.  Meals at restaurants on Valentine’s Day are ridiculously overpriced and frequently underwhelming.

3. I am not a fan of the consumeristic, contrived expectations that come with Valentine’s. I mean really, how much do you have to spend on someone to prove your love?

4. If someone can only conjure up meaningful romance towards me on Valentine’s day, then there’s not much substance to our relationship to begin with.

5. Valentine’s day has always seemed to be a subtle game of comparison.  Who gets what, how big is it, how expensive is it, how novel is it… . it’s just one more way for people, especially women, to employ ranking systems.

6. I personally am more thrilled when someone cleans my kitchen  or randomly sends me an unexpected gift on another day, than all the froo froo that comes with Valentine’s. I don’t want jewelry…I want BOOKS.

7. Romance is fueled by obligation, guilt, or hormones. (Oh look, there’s some science!).  Not to say there’s anything wrong with romance and the sweaty palms and beating hearts that come with it, but the state of being “in love” is unsustainable in the long term.  We fizzle out after a period of time with the other person, and unless there’s some foundation that’s been laid beneath the hot romance, the relationship will struggle.  It’s much more appealing to me to have a person who comes through for me 75% of the time and completely spaces Valentine’s day than it is for someone to blow Valentine’s day out of the water yet never really gets to know me or be there when it counts.  Anyone can manage one day out of the year; the true test is the people that stick with you over the long haul.

8. I don’t get worked up over not having a fancy Valentine’s day because I am very well loved already. I have my tribe of people – the ones who have seen me ugly with bedhead and no makeup, the ones who have heard me swear like a sailor, the ones who know my deepest shame and worst failures, the ones who know my dreams and what I most fear, the ones who push me to be my best self, the ones who hold to me when I’m not a good friend and don’t love them back well.

The fact is, at some point we’ll all get ugly, we’ll all get saggy in spots, and maybe we’ll eventually stop making adequate amounts of sex hormones ,which will result in a lost interest in or physical ability to do romance anyway.  But the thing that stays is our capacity to connect with others on a deeper, more meaningful level than romance or sex can take us. To truly know other people, and be known by them, will always be more important to me than whether or not I have a hot Valentine’s date.

9. Finally, I am my own best Valentine.  I will never leave myself, I always look out for myself, I’m really good at picking out gifts for myself, it doesn’t take much to impress or amuse myself, and in general, I show up for myself when it matters. And when I get down deep to my core, past the ego and selfishness to my true self, I live and move and have my being in the great, good Love that connects all things.




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