Valentine’s Day- February 14, 2022
Valentine’s day has always been a polarizing holiday. It sets apart the have’s from the have-not’s. I say have’s to mean those with relationships, boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, significant others, husbands, and wives from those without. It has become a commercial expression of love through flowers, chocolates, gifts, and romantic dining experiences. I should know. I’m a food writer and I’ve received many press releases from marketing departments informing me of their offerings.
Most of my life, I fall under the have-not’s category. While I didn’t have a partner to wine and dine and woo me in the past, I would delight myself with little things. One year, I saw a balloon vendor in Manila with a plethora of balloons. The Starbucks barista took a nice photo of me with the balloons. I did buy one balloon. I tell you it doesn’t take much to make me happy. I saw similar vendors on the subsequent years and it just became a tired photo for me. The photos surfaced back on my Facebook memories. I too was reminded of a post in 2019 celebrating the love of my dog Spark for me. And our beautiful loving bond. There’s nothing like a dog thinking you’re the best thing on earth.
I am familiar being single. Being the have-not. A lovely man recently entered my life. Oh, it is refreshingly wonderful. For someone who is used to being strong and independent, how wonderful it is to share life with someone. It means being raw, vulnerable, and open. I worry telling people that someone makes me happy now would jinx it. I have many times in the past been excited about a blossoming romance. In my giddiness, I blurt it out to a few friends then, I poof I am ghosted by the man. I don’t want that to happen this time. I don’t want to jinx it. I want it to last. A friend said, “If it’s meant for you it will last.”
I had to let that sit. I know what it means, but I had to let my heart feel it deeply. To be honest, I don’t know how to do this dating thing. What is right? What is acceptable? I warned this guy that immediately. On one of our first dates, I told him those exact words and ended with, “All I know how to do is to be myself.” He assured me that is okay, as he doesn’t know how to date too.
I find comfort in reading this from Moonomens on Instagram:
“What’s meant for you will come and stay.
You will not have to force it and feel desperate about it.
What’s meant to fall apart, will fall apart,
And nothing and no one will be able to stop it.
Instead of feeling not worthy or stressed out,
Allow yourself to feel inner peace
so that you can bring your best into each and every moment.”
I do believe that. In our world today, we are guided by so much expectation. We follow listicles, articles, and blogs on where to go for summer or winter holidays, or which restaurants to try for every single occasion. It has become the norm to conform on how things should look like, even love.
If your man does not stage a beautiful dinner or give you flowers, or a gift today, does he love you less than a man who does? Hmm… I don’t think so. Love and relationships are so unique, and tailor-fit to the personalities of the individuals sharing it. Isn’t the gesture sweeter on non-valentine’s day, when he thoughtfully brings you monitor wipes because he noticed your laptop screen needs a good clean. Or when kindly offers to go dress shopping with you for photo shoot, just because he knows you hate shopping. Or when he thoughtfully drives to your house with a home-cooked meal so you don’t have to cook dinner, or when he thoughtfully installs the bidet for you without you having to ask him or when he kindly drives you to and from the hospital for a medical procedure, even if he’s not feeling well and has a lot going on in his life. On Valentine’s Day, there is an expectation for grand big gestures of love. Trust me, many will be disappointed today. I am no love or relationship expert here. But perhaps, look at all those little thoughtful loving acts done not on Valentine’s Day. They mean so much more.
To all the coupled and uncoupled, don’t get jealous of those who receive great big flower bouquets today. Take out your journal, and stop to remember all the moments your little heart burst from the kindness of your loved ones. Remember those very personal gestures where you felt really loved and where it really hit the spot. We are too busy with our phones, or cluttered minds, and our demanding schedules, we fail to see loving moments. Feel the gratitude and let if wash over you. YOU ARE LOVED.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!