29 January 2015

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Oh No! It's Valentine's Day Again

What are the two most hated days of the year for single women? It’s probably no surprise: New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. Well, you have survived one already a few weeks ago. Now, you have to prepare for getting through the next one –- next month.

Why do most single women hate February 14? Because Valentine’s Day is a holiday that shouts, “You must be in love." Commercialism has designed this day for lovers. Hotels and restaurants and jewelers and florists (etc.) all have specials for men and women in love(Or at least, men and women who are partnered or married!). And if you are not with a special man, you feel left out.

This is why so many women hide out on Valentine’s Day. Yet, here’s a curious fact. This day, devoted to lovers, has a nefarious beginning. There are a number of stories about how Valentine’s Day got started. Ironically, two of the more common ones are connected to murder and rape. One version says Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian saint who was murdered for marrying men and women at a time the Emperor needed men to go to war. If married, goes this story, men wouldn’t want to leave their families. The emperor needed single soldiers so he killed the man who was marrying the couples.

Another version says Valentine’s Day actually derived from a pagan holiday where a lottery was held for young men to win a young woman (probably a teenager of younger) for the male’s sexual pleasure.

You can choose any story you prefer as the origin just as you can choose how to relate to Valentine’s Day. It can be a day of shame because you do not love and are not loved by a special man, or you can honor this day by acknowledging those people who make your life better. When you were in elementary school, you knew Valentine’s Day was not about lovers; if was about love and caring and friendship. It can be the same today -– if you choose.

If you choose to see it as about love and caring, then you don’t need to hide out, or claim you hate February 14. You can participate in the holiday -– by your definition. You have no reason to be embarrassed about being single; you don’t need to hide. Find ways to celebrate the day with those you care about. Send or make cards, have a Valentine Day meal with close friends, greet people with a “Happy Valentine’s Day” and mean it. Participating in the holiday tells the world you love yourself and you love others.

You can mope or you can celebrate your life -– the life you have at the moment. There is no telling what your life will be like later today, tomorrow, next week. So celebrate whatever you have. After all, right now is the only life you have. And, any day that reminds you of the people you love and cherish is a day worth celebrating.

Submitted by: Dr. Karen Gail Lewis

About Today's Contributor
Dr. Karen Gail Lewis is founder of Unique Retreats for Single Women. She’s a marriage/family therapist and author of several books about single and married women. Join her for a free teleseminar on Unspoken Truths About Being Single in a Married World. Register at DrKarenGailLewis.com

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