February 14. Valentine’s Day.  The ultimate day of romance? Or is it a stressful, sentimental, overly commercialized headache? This day is the second biggest day for the greeting card industry in the United States, right behind Christmas. With all of the hoopla, it makes you wonder if the original purpose of Valentine’s Day was lost along the way with the cards, cute stuffed animals, heart shaped chocolate boxes, et cetera. The purpose of Valentine’s Day is to celebrate love and affection. However, it seems like for many, Valentine’s Day may be a holiday that elicits more anxiety and/or apathy than love. Those people in relationships often feel pressured to make things perfect or temporarily ‘fix’ all of their relationship problems so this one day can be romantic and loving. On the other hand, people who are single on Valentine’s Day and surrounded by all the love songs and big stuffed bears carrying hearts that say ‘I love you’ may be left feeling like Scrooge on Christmas.

So what can be done to reclaim this day of love, appreciation and affection? What would happen if Valentine’s Day wasn’t about diamonds, chocolate, expensive dinners, physical intimacy or partnering but rather about affection and appreciation of those you love? Valentine’s Day – a day to reflect on love and appreciate it in our lives, including appreciating and loving ourselves.

So — if you are single, great. Instead of asking yourself the common “single” questions like “Why am I alone?”, “Will I always be alone?”, “Is something wrong with me?”, snap out of it and use this day to reconnect with yourself and the people you love. Valentine’s day could be a day to begin or renew a healthy and balanced commitment to ourselves. Ask yourself some important questions like: What is your relationship with yourself? What are your likes and dislikes? What is it you love about you? We place a strong emphasis on loving others but is it possible to fully love another if we do not or cannot love ourselves?

Healthy self-love can be a source of strength and even strengthen other relationships. However healthy self-love can be difficult, uncomfortable or opposite to what we’ve been told or believe we deserve. This Valentine’s Day, let’s try and reclaim the true meaning of love, appreciation and affection by starting with our most important relationship, the one we have with ourselves.

At Equilibria Psychological and Consultation Services, we have experienced therapists that work with individuals to explore their relationships and clarify their beliefs. If you would like to find out more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us at 267-861-3685.