Hi there ~ Nice to see you again.
Today, I stand up for Valentine's Day. I’m Team Valentine’s Day all the way. Homemade cards and everything – including all those years I wasn’t in a relationship. And, yes, I realize not everyone is Team V-Day. It’s commercial, and some might argue it’s not a “real” holiday. Well, to that I say: Stop. Just stop. Doesn’t it feel better to just share the love? The world is far too cynical.
You’ll probably see many headlines about being your own Valentine, and, yes, more power to you for self-care. But I suggest also enjoying Valentine’s Day as yet another day to express appreciation to those who matter most. Another day to remember that, to quote Esther Perel (Google her, she has a lot of fascinating perspectives):
The quality of our lives depends on the quality of our relationships.
Yes, V-Day is a great day to focus on relationships. And, like love, relationships are a doozy. They require putting yourself out there, consistently. They require constant effort to maintain a balance of novelty and comfort, whether small or large. They require curiosity and autonomy and surrender and trust and loyalty…Relationships are high-maintenance. As Drew Barrymore put it:
[Y]ou have to reinvent love every day…Love is the one uniting, relatable thing in everyone’s life. It’s what we all want and struggle with and fight for.
My world shifted in multiple ways this year, including the whole getting married thing. D and I kind of worked backwards, at least in the modern sense: We dated for a few months, he proposed, and we’ve been getting to know each other more and more ever since. When you know, you know – and then you discover and deconstruct and adjust and realign as you go.
Ted Mosby, the romantic from How I Met Your Mother said:
…[L]ove doesn’t make sense. You can’t logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical. But we have to keep doing it, or else we’re lost and love is dead and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do.
I agree: Love is the best thing we do. Love realigns. Love motivates. Love big and small takes you outside of yourself and keeps you fighting the good fight and ending the fights that bring you down.
One of my favorite ideas from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is this one:
The mark of an unhealthy relationship is two people who try to solve each other’s problems in order to feel good about themselves...It’s not about giving a fuck about everything your partner gives a fuck about; it’s about giving a fuck about your partner regardless of the fucks he or she gives. That’s unconditional love, baby.
D often says that we go together “like peas and carrots”. After I’m done laughing because it sounds like a song from Sesame Street, I always take a mental step back (because that’s what I do, I can’t help myself) and think, “Yes, somehow we do.”
We definitely don’t give a fuck about everything that the other person gives a fuck about. But we always give a fuck about each other, and that’s what really matters. We love each other even when we can’t begin to wrap our own brains around what’s going on in the other person’s brain. That’s kind of the fun of it, right? Two people, with so many of the same values, yet with such different ways of thinking, who somehow can’t imagine not spending the rest of their lives together...and who currently co-inhabit an apartment the size of a shoebox.
Yes, Valentine’s Day is upon us. So, in the spirit of that, why not share some musings on love, right?
Now go out there and tell some people how much you love them. And excuse me while I go listen to a few hours of love songs on the The Best of Broadway, Valentine’s Day edition.
Thanks for stopping by. And keep sharing your stories, because someone wants to hear them.