Something must be wrong with me.
I mean, I have the perfect excuse to celebrate, right? I have a husband. He is pretty awesome. We have an amazing life together. So why do I still loathe the mushy, lovey-dovey holiday?
Blame it on any of my past relationships going sour. Or unrealistic expectations. Whatever the cause, my feelings for Valentine’s Day are anything but warm.
I honestly think it has something to do with the unwarranted pressure to drop a bunch of money on something completely useless, just for the sole purpose of proving our love for each other to those around us.
Hold on… Wasn’t marriage supposed to be the ultimate proof of that? Especially the whole legally binding bit, where we share the house, bank accounts, debt, the baby, basically everything? But I digress…
I definitely don’t mind an excuse to be extra affectionate towards my other half. Isn’t that something that I should be striving to do every day, though?
Sure, there are days where I feel less than loving towards Dan. Sometimes, he’s a jerk. Sometimes, I’m a jerk. Surprise – we’re both human and we’re both not perfect. So why is it that expectations for those in relationships (and those who aren’t) all of a sudden get so ridiculous around this time? It’s easy money.
(I’m looking at you, Fifty Shades Freed.)
We’re also learned recently that spontaneous romance (and other related things…) can become increasingly difficult to pull off after having a kid. The logistics of planning regular date nights out can feel forced and mechanical like we’re just going through the motions. My heart used to race with excitement and anticipation for a night out. Now it’s pounding from the anxiety of trying to figure out a sitter for PJ and seeing if we could drop the money/time on an outing when we could be using those resources for something more productive. (The coffee could also contribute to those jitters, but I embrace the nervous energy.)
Here’s the thing – Dan and I are comfortable, and that can make us both lazy. Most of the time, we seem to like it that way. Heck, that was one of the things we actually bonded over early on in our relationship. We spent our nights playing Xbox together while gorging ourselves with pizza. We still do that sometimes today for date nights. And I love it. It’s like our little ritual.
Once in a while, I will long for the early days where we were still trying to look our best for each other every single day while going out to restaurants, parties, camping, traveling… all that magical, exciting, fun stuff. Valentine’s Day makes me feel like I’m not doing enough fun stuff in my life anymore and that I should drop an excessive amount of money just to feel like that again for just one day. It’s ridiculous, but sometimes I fall for that emotional marketing tactic. And I hate it.
But we don’t need a holiday like this to have a healthy relationship with each other. That’s the most important thing to take away from all of this, of course. We’ve been through hell and back together and faced times that definitely tested our bond together.
You don’t need a holiday to practice self-love, either! (I mean, it’s another good excuse to treat yo’ self.) Finding happiness within yourself first is key. It’s the most important. Making someone else solely responsible for your happiness is not healthy. Taking care of yourself first sets the foundation for the ability to share some of that love with someone else.
There is one good thing about Valentine’s Day, in my humble opinion: It helps me remember to take care of what I’ve got and to appreciate the good and the bad in my life. There are different kinds of love to recognize, too! I love my daughter. I love my friends. I love my family. I love PIZZA. The list of things that I’m grateful for can go on…
One of those things on my list? I love the end of Valentine’s Day.
Because I can get all of the chocolate in the stores for 70% off. That to me is something to truly celebrate.