Finding someone who makes your heart sing can be supercalifragilistic; the commercialized representations of romance that influx us on Valentine’s Day can be less than super! Ideally, I envision a universe filled with omnipresent love. Every February 14th, though, I seem to receive the opportunity to immerse myself in “love” and it’s often the dawn awaiting disaster. Valentine’s Day tends to trigger unconscious insecurities about finding genuine connections and ironically compels people to leap into the arms of false lovers- but our hastiness can leave us headfirst on cold concrete. It’s true “love” does seem somewhat spontaneous, but the recklessness that comes with forcing yourself to follow a Disney storyline may inspire crimes against Cupid that I don’t want you committing this Valentine’s Day!
Allow me to warn you what not to do by recalling what I’ve done…
That High School Boyfriend: I let him shatter my overly sensitive heart when he postponed dinner so he could study for an exam. I felt like a bandage-less wound sitting under the sun (I had poured myself into making him a heartfelt gift). Meanwhile, I was too focused on a fantasy to appreciate that he had surprised me with perfume and still wanted dinner on the weekend.
Moral: people express themselves differently so enjoy whatever your lover has to offer and have faith in your connection instead of suffocating the relationship with expectations.
That fu*kavalentinesdatedinner with my girlfriends: Inconceivably, I found myself at the same restaurant as my forbidden crush and his girlfriend. I naturally progressed to fake my fun with obnoxious laughter while silently cursing his date and my lack of one. I failed, though, to appreciate the love of six friends in front of me, present to share our own happiness.
Moral: Jealousy is a normal emotion, but focus on what you have, and embrace other people’s success as examples to cherish and learn from because happiness intensifies when you share it!
That one I should have friend-zoned: It wasn’t a lavender-scented bubble bath with rose petals and candlelight leading me towards his heart, but when I found myself traveling abroad in the middle of Ghana (and my hookup revealed a handwritten postcard proclaiming romantic feelings), I felt grateful that someone wonderful cared about me. My sweaty palms had more to do with wishing I could escape to CapeTown to be eaten by Hyenas, though, than wanting him to eat my heart out. You can be in a caring relationship, but L’Amore involves a satisfaction that people confuse with being content. Both of us cherished the idea of each other- which is why we let the comically underwhelming intimacy of our date at “love dat chiken” lead us into acknowledging more than just “dat chiken” deserved some love.
Moral: Everyone deserves love but sharing yourself with one other person is too significant of a commitment to settle on with someone who does not make your heart undeniably summersault.