Many people find themselves stuck in an unusual rut on Feb 14th. For those of us that are single, valentines day can often be a painfully obvious way of reminding us of our predicament. For those of us in relationships, valentines day can serve to stir up negative feelings ranging from resentment to depression about the state of our relationship. Many people that are happy throughout the year find themselves feeling depressed on a day that is supposed to be happy and filled with love. Valentines Day has become in many ways “relationship complaint day”, even if the complaints only exist in our own heads. I was shocked by the amount of couples I know that seemed happy all year long, until Valentines Day rolled around. My ears were bombarded with complaints like:
“He/she forgot again”
“He/she isn’t romantic enough”
“Can you believe he/she gave me this! [stares at gift they dangle in my face while pouting that they didn’t get an expensive present].
“He/she doesn’t spend enough time with me”
and, thanks to the not social networking community “This guy/girl wrote on his/her wall! who is this person” [watches their face go from angry to sad, and then back again].
If Valentines Day weren’t confusing enough, there are people that find themselves reflecting on the health of their relationship (or lack thereof) to shockingly overdone amounts. I have had friends that took off work to pretend to be in a relationship, and spent the day at home in tears reflecting over the one that got away. Is it any wonder that today is tempting for emotional eaters and bingers to “act out” their feelings by having a binge episode. Even those in wonderful happy relationships end up feeling tempted out of “happiness” in some cases to binge. They even have excuses that make their loved one seem like an enabler, “Well, he/she bought me this large box of chocolates! they were meant for me to enjoy, I can’t let them down”. Many people feel that eating all of an edible gift is the only true way to show appreciation, and this causes them to feel guilty for having just one bite/piece.
For those that try to celebrate Valentines Day as a “self-love” holiday the temptation to binge is still there. Many people even get a “hey, I am alone…its only one day…i deserve this” mentality about binging on Valentines Day, and this can cause episodes that are reckless of binge eating.
There is one trick to make Valentines Day more tolerable, and it isn’t trying to pretend that it is “just another day” (trust me, the grinning couples you’ll see everywhere will remind you otherwise). The key to having a wonderful Valentines Day is to realize that love is shown by “actions” not by eating. This simple truth remains if you are treating Valentines Day as a self-love day, and also does if you are part of a couple. Here are some Valentines Day (and everyday!) tips for you to enjoy a special day of love:
– Treat Valentines Day as “de-stress” day by showing love to your heart by relaxing more (bubble bath, favorite tv show, nice cup of tea, etc)
– Dedicate Valentines Day to all of the things you love, by indulging in your favorite pastimes and guilty pleasures (80’s tv shows, knitting, etc)
– Remember your friends and family on this wonderful day of love! by the time you wish everyone a happy v-day, the day will be almost over !
– Take yourself on a date! Go to that amazing cafe/restaurant you have had your eye on (even if you just order a cup of tea once there)
– Don’t overanalyze everything just because this is a relationship day! (skip the nagging, arguing about he/she getting valentines wishes from members of the opposite sex, etc)
– Don’t get gift focused (be nice! if significant other gets you a less than impressive gift, still do your best to be gracious and thankful)
– Don’t expect things to be “perfect” (don’t expect him to turn into Romeo, or her to suddenly get what is romantic to you)
– Realize that people have lives even on Valentines Day (if he/she has to work, oversleeps etc give them a break for being human)
The key to Valentine’s Day is taking the pressure and stress out of it, because only then can it be truly enjoyed. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect on this day, and go into a depression if you’re single or your relationship isn’t exactly front page materiel. This is not a day about feeling bad about ourselves and our relationships, its a day about feeling loved! Also remember to GIVE love to your loved ones, don’t just sit back pouting about your gift (or lack thereof) concentrate on what you can give too!
Have a Happy Valentines Day!!!
Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net