Seven years ago, I started dating myself on Valentine’s Day…
In other words, seven years ago, I vowed to never be bitter toward love. Like so many women who were dateless every time February 14th rolled around, that day was always bittersweet. The idea of couples pouring affection on each other and people expressing love warmed my heart… And at the same time, the lack of that in my own life always left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. All over the country there would be people expressing their love toward one another, and I would be home – alone, and loveless.
So starting in 2008, I made a choice NOT to be home, alone, and loveless. I reminded myself that I have a God who loves me beyond my wildest imagination – so much so that he paints the sky for me every morning and shines the moon for me every night. He wraps me in acceptance and showers me with grace. He loves me so much He died for me… and would do it again every day if He had to… just to let me know how much He loves me.
I began taking trips every February. I would fly somewhere new and date the city for the day. I’d wander the streets and explore the museums. I’d taste the food and breathe the air. I’d embrace every drop of goodness a city had to offer. I’ve always seen cities as people – each with their own distinct personalities… Each with their own quirks and flaws, but with so many things to love. It was a joy to watch happy couples walk hand-in-hand down Michigan Avenue as I basked in the beauty of snowflakes in Chicago. I partied with Miami and danced with Vegas. I had dinner with the Dominican Republic and dessert with Houston. I soaked up the sun with Hawaii and had the time of my life with Bali. I turned something that was a ping of pain into an abundance of joy.
I CHOSE to enjoy Valentine’s Day because I didn’t like the alternative. I CHOSE to date myself because in all my years of living and dating, I’d never had a Valentine’s date. I attribute this to 3 reasons:
Number one, I’ve only been in relationships on two February 14th’s… Both times with guys who used the “Valentine’s Day is corny” excuse to avoid having to celebrate it. “Yeah, totally corny. Pshhh!” I lied. (insert side eye emoji here).
Number two, I’ve dated some real class acts who picked fights riiiiiight around February 12th so that they could get out of Valentine’s Day duties. (In case you missed it, “class act” is code for the exact opposite of that.)
Number three, and worst of all, men tend to assume that women have experienced everything there is to experience with someone else already.
So let me speak on behalf of women around the world when I say, Gentlemen, please stop assuming. Expressing that you care about someone shouldn’t change just because you think everyone else is doing it on the same day. If anything, it should be even more reason to do it! Don’t assume that she’s had 100 Valentine dates, so one more with you won’t mean much. Stop letting your assumptions that she’s been sent flowers a thousand times keep you from sending her flowers. I don’t know a single woman on the face of the Earth who wouldn’t be tickled pink to have flowers delivered to her doorstep. (Yes I said “tickled pink”. I’ve been hanging out with Grandma a lot lately.)
The point is, even if she’s had 100 roses sent to her job a thousand times, and even if she’s been taken around the world by someone who came before you, doing something nice for her will never go out of style. Make her feel loved. Make her feel appreciated. You’d be surprised at how often she’s had a man do that for her… Most likely, it hasn’t been very often. There is nothing corny about love and appreciation. It’s a beautiful thing. At the end of the day, all anyone wants is to know that someone they care about cares about them… Even on Valentine’s Day.