Help for the love sick
A Valentine's Day Survival Guide
By Lori D'Augostine
It's that time again. Some may wear black, while others will encounter the most romantic day of their year. A line is drawn in the sand and for this one day you are either recognized as the object of someone else's affection or if not careful, the subject of your own disappointment.
Even if you're in a relationship, it may not be all about roses and candy for you. Perhaps you feel pressured or fear the reprucusions of an unhappy Valentine. Of course, no one wants to remain date-less, nor paint a plastic smile on their face all day either.
No matter which side of the fence you are on, you will be faced with the same inevitable question, "What am I going to do on Valentine's Day?"
Therefore, you must have a plan. Do not go into this day unarmed or it will be a battle. Here are some helpful tips proven to keep you from the Valentine's Day blues.
Lonely Hearts Club
Your alarm clock goes off as it does every day. Yet, today is different. It's February 14th, which means one thing -- HIDE! Then, the doorbell rings. Could it be? Has God heard your pitiful prayer? Has your Prince Charming finally arrived? He seems enchanting, and he's even holding a bouquet of flowers! Wow, could this be? Your male/mail-order groom is awaiting ... say something, Sleeping Beauty!
Oh wait, he's a delivery man and the flowers are for your roomate. You scribble your name on his clipboard and slam the door shut. (Maybe you should have checked to see if he had a ring on his finger?)
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you may be suffering from "lack-of- love" sickness. It doesn't sound like an isolated occurence either. You may have been suffering for many years and the symptoms are just more prevalent on Valentine's Day. How do I know this, you might ask? I know because this is my story!
On this particular Valentine's Day in 2000, I was in mourning and wore black all day. After finding a vase for my friend's flowers, I noticed the handwriting on her card.
"Will you be my Valentine? From ..."
It was from the guy I liked! What? Traitor! One hour later, I found out that my dog died.
This was not a good day for me to be the lone ranger of the Lonely Heart's Club. In fact, a friend of mine made herself a cardinal rule to never spend Valentine's Day alone. One year, she made the mistake of going to the movies and said it was one of the most depressing days of her life.
This is not a day to burn pictures of your ex either! Stop basking in your misery and channel your energy into something positive. Valentine's Day is for singles too. After all, did you know St. Valentine was a single man himself? Team up with your single friends and get creative, like my friend Jennifer:
"Last year I just decided I was tired of Valentine’s Day being about not having a date or anything to do. I realize so many of my friends were in the same boat. So I decided to throw a party. It went so well I’ve decided to make it an annual thing.
We all get together, everyone brings a dangerous dessert, and we watch a DVD of Scrubs. I call it 'My Scrubby Valentine’s Day Party.' The only requirement is that you have to be single (not married, not dating). We have fun and pack on some pounds. What’s not to love?"
Here are some other proven suggestions:
- If you're a lady, buy yourself a piece of jewelry or make an appointment for yourself at the spa! This is a day to celebrate you. The Bible says, "Love others as you love yourself." It's okay to love yourself! So do it, in style.
- Men, this is the perfect opportunity to have fun too. I realize that Valentine's Day is traditionally marketed towards women, but you can certainly lay claim. Go to a movie or sporting event with some friends. You can also bless the special women in your life (mothers, sisters, and friends) by treating them to a date and/or buying them flowers.
- Show your friends and family how much you love them by sending cards or gifts. As a single person, you can make an enormous impact.
- Volunteer to babysit for a married couple, while they enjoy a romantic evening out.
- Pray for and write letters to your future mate.
You have high hopes! Finally, that long-anticipated day to escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life is here. The doorbell rings, and it's not the pizza man. You're doing dinner out tonight! You scurry to find your best cologne as your wife greets the babysitter. After kissing your toddler goodbye, he begins to cry.
"Awe, don't cry, daddy and mommy will be back soon," you say. Just as you plan your great escape, little Johnny throws up all of over the kitchen table and the babysitter panics.
This couple's plans were jolted by extenuating circumstances. This year, the husband is reluctant to plan anything for his wife. Of course this is an extreme example, but I wonder how many people are nervous about planning anything special for Valentine's Day? It can be disastrous when things don't go as planned. What can result is another ailment I call, "sick of love."
One remedy: Expect the worst and plan for the best. That is, keep your expectations in check. If you don't get that designer, diamond heart pendant that you were hoping for, do not dismay. Your significant other still loves you. But be careful, there are definitely some dangers to avoid. Valentine's Day doesn't have to be Doomsday!
Valentine's Day Faux Pas
The gifts you receive on Valentine's Day do not determine the depth of a person's love. If that were the case, then there would be a lot of unloved people in this world. Love can come in many ways, and it comes 365 days a year, not just on one day. Please don't make the mistake of putting all of your heart into one basket!
Be careful not to over-romanticize Valentine's Day. I have heard of many-a-man prematurely proposing on this day. I'm not saying that this is altogether wrong. It is just very easy to get caught up in the euphoria of the day. It's not a day to abandon reality. If you are not ready to get engaged on Febrary 13th, what makes you think that anything will be different the following day? Do not suspend your logic in attempt to be romantic.
Valentine's Day is not the day to use and abuse for your own interests. Watch your motivations. I'm talking to singles and married couples on this one. If you're single, be careful of asking that special someone out because the stakes are higher on this day and can lead to greater disappointment. If you're married, this is not a way to make up for long lost time. The same issues will be there the next day, if not dealt with.
The person arranging the date should always make plans based on the other person's interests and according to what is appropriate to their relationship level. A person may perceive this as pressure when pushed beyond the appropriate levels of commitment and intimacy. If you are not sure of what to buy or how to plan a date, there is nothing wrong with asking for advice. Close friends and family are always a great source of information.
There are a gambit of date ideas for you and your sweetheart to discover on the Web. Check out some of these suggestions on CBN.com's Special Valentine's Day Section.
Mended by God's Love
Last but most certainly not least, my survival guide would not be complete without the most important word of all! Above all else, guard your heart for your Maker! Above yourself and above the love of your life, spend your Valentine's Day with the Lover of your Soul!
Your heart will not feel complete on this day or any other day, without the One who can love you like no other!
Jude 1:21 says,
"Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life (NIV)."
Our kinsman redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ is coming! The Bridegroom, Jesus Christ is preparing a place for His bride (the Church). Bask in His complete and everlasting love for You. His love is unlike any other.
Ever since that Valentine's Day disaster when my Prince Charming didn't show up at my door, I have decided to take my hurts and fears to God each Valentine's Day. The truth is, my Prince is here and His name is Jesus Christ. Every Valentine's Day whether I'm in a relationship or not, I go out on a date with Jesus. Sometimes the date is in my own room. I'll write love letters to Jesus and read His love letters back to me.
I have some brothers and sisters who spend this day fasting and praying. This is always a sure way to obtain greater intimacy with the Lord. Whether, you're single or not, "lack-of-love sick" or "sick of love," the Healer of your heart wants to spend time with you.
"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance (2 Thessalonians 3:5, NIV)."
If you abide in His love on Valentine's Day, you are guaranteed to not only survive, but draw closer to your Savior and inspire many. It's only His love that sustains and compels us to have love for Him and for others.
For more on God's Love and Loving others, go to CBN.com's Teaching Section.
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