Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Making The Best Of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is upon us. And depending on our situation, it can make us quite miserable.

Perhaps we’re abroad and far away from our loved ones, perhaps we’ve got access to love but not of the romantic kind, or maybe we do have a partner, but we’re so at odds with each other now that celebrating our love feels ludicrous. 

No worries. Even though Valentine’s Day might remind us we don’t have the best love lives, we shouldn’t let that ruin our mood. 

After all, kindness is for everyone. So let’s not use this holiday to worry about what we don’t have, let’s treat it as an excuse to give love to anyone we want. Whether that’s our partner, our secret crush, our mom or dad, our friends, our colleagues, our pet, or even ourselves.

And if we want to truly honour love, we should stay away from what’s expected. 

Buying someone flowers and chocolates is fulfilling an obligation, not spreading warmth. Tenderness is about showing gratitude. And expressing that we have a unique understanding and appreciation of who someone is. 

Typical Valentine’s Day gifts hold no meaning besides being symbols of investment. If we care about the person we’re celebrating, we ought to properly show our thanks by being extra thoughtful.

We could write a note that shows just how much we see and understand our special person. We could gift a book that we’ll read together to strengthen our bond. We could create and honour a new ritual, such as joining a salsa class every week, to give a new dimension to our relationship. We could let go of our grudges, fears, and disappointments so we can grow closer.  We could ask our Valentine in what ways we’ve been letting them down so we can be more kind. 

And most importantly, we could do well to understand that one day in February isn’t going to change everything. But it can be the start of a better relationship, if we let it.

Let’s surprise the people we care about by being more affectionate and attentive than normal. And let’s try to keep that up as best we can on the day after Valentine’s, the day after that, and the day after that.

Being kind and more playful is a gift for all.

P.S. For all the single people, a bitter sweet comfort: half the people in relationships aren’t as happy as they let on. And many of them won’t even be together to celebrate next year’s Valentine. It’s better to be alone by yourself than to be alone with someone who’s not right for you.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach