No Date on Valentine's Day?
Being Single and Happy on Valentine's Day
By Laura Wilcox
"MAYBE NEXT YEAR, CHARLIE BROWN!" Those five words sum up the ending of Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown. Does his disappointment strike a chord in you? It's not uncommon for us singles to feel left out because we don't hear "Be Mine" from Prince Charming on the annual holiday promoting romance. Instead of breaking up with Valentine's Day, here are four ways to say "yes":
1. Let yourself get excited.
"I encourage a woman to be real about loss and to admit, 'I'm not going to celebrate the day as it's meant to be and that really stinks.' Then, let go of having to celebrate romantically and be open to new ways," says Edna Lee, a licensed professional counselor. The initial step to saying "yes" to celebrating is to grieve the reality that the day will not look the same as it does for couples.
While it's true that a single woman misses out on an experience, the next step is to recognize false assumptions in her mind that a relationship would be consistently life giving and romantic. Sure, a relationship might be in a good place, making the day special.
The other side of reality is that the day is filled with painful reminders. An insensitive guy withholds or forgets. Perhaps, the day brings sadness because he's struggling with a debilitating health issues and can't express his love. Life comes with baggage, making relationships unpredictable.
What can the single woman get excited about when it comes to celebrating a day in which she feels like the essential piece is missing? She can embrace the present moment of giving and receiving love in her relationship with God and people around her.
2. Open your heart to creatively gather friends.
Lee says, "When I was single in graduate school, a couple of girlfriends and I went out to dinner for Valentine's. As we looked around, we realized that many of the couples around us weren't talking very much. We had a really fun evening. This picture of us having the capacity to enjoy a special evening together on a day that can rob a woman of her joy is forever imprinted in my mind."
Given that the day can't be erased from the calendar, single women should allow themselves to look toward Valentine's Day with anticipation. Turning the day into a celebration means thinking creatively about gathering friends. It may be as simple as initiating with one or two for a chick flick, or the creativity could extend to groups.
3. Validate and invest in others.
A few years ago, I decided to mail Valentine's cards to single girlfriends reminding them of God's love through writing out a Bible verse. I signed God underneath as I wanted them to focus on how He felt about them and not about my gesture of sending the card. It brought joy to my heart to think of the surprise they received when picking up their mail.
Because Valentine's Day reminds us of romantic relationships, the tendency is to focus on what single women don't have. Taking time to enrich another person's life brings freedom from self-absorption.
Supporting the marriages of friends and family could translate into offering to babysit so that a couple can spend time together or gathering singles at a church to cook meals for couples. Beyond serving married friends, reaching out to a widow or a woman who is suffering physically with a note, flowers or time spent in prayer together spreads love in unexpected ways.
4. Expect God to come through for you.
Valentine's Day provides an opportunity to reflect upon true love. I John 4:7-10 points to God as the author of supernatural love. This truth reveals a refreshing reminder: a woman's experience of love is not limited to the presence or absence of a human relationship despite how the media or our culture defines love. She is not worth more because she has a guy by her side since God as her Creator defines her as His beloved daughter for whom a great price has been paid in the sacrifice of Christ.
God romances a woman by pursuing her heart so she can ask Him to make Valentine's Day meaningful for her; of course, taking the opportunity at the same time to talk to Him about her desires including romance from a man. God's inexhaustible, overflowing and incomparable love is a love worth celebrating on Valentine's and every day.
Laura Wilcox, the author of the women's Bible study Capture My Heart, Lord and the ebook Romance, Mates & Faith: Stories from Women Who Sought God, resides in Houston, TX. She worked with an international mission organization for over 20 years. Laura recently founded Sacred Story Ministries.
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