This year, as every year, we choose days on which to celebrate the essence of life in its many forms. Valentine’s Day is no exception. But why stick to one day when love is the breath of life and can be celebrated every day?
What will you be doing this year to celebrate V Day? I want to approach this article with lots of humour and romance and felt compelled to offer you some ideas and advice. So whether single, on a first date, dating or married, do it differently this year if last was a wash out!
Does the thought of Valentine’s Day fill you with dread on 1st January as you wake from a mad night on the booze? Last year you pretended not to wait for Mr Posty but found yourself driving way over the speed limit to get home only to find more junk mail, bills and no red envelope. Does the day remind you that you’re done with the “I’m single and happy” mantra? I have had many a V Day with zero, zilch cards and I have to say, it did affect my mood even though I pretended otherwise!
According to Jane Ganahl, renowned US relationship author, men are the least happy being single, not us girls. Statistics show that while men may profess they don’t wanna have a ball and chain, they actually function better as marrieds! A surprise indeed.
Many would say in the spiritual arena, that the one true love is only experienced with the Divine, but whilst I agree in the main, nothing beats flesh to flesh contact in intimate bonding! Grrrrr!
So what to do on the day of Love instead of cry over the movie “PS I Love You” for the gazillionth time?
1) If you are going to have the day off and you love reading then I can recommend a whole heap of relationship reads. Here’s a link to my “must haves”, http://www.ginahardy.co.uk/store. The first 3 on the list are totally awesome! You will learn so much about relationship dynamics and how your past influences your partner choices. Relationship education is a must in my view.
2) Book an appointment to talk to me! http://www.ginahardy.co.uk/contact. I am in a conscious relationship and so walk my talk. If you want to find the love that I have, I will share with you the secrets. I am setting aside a few hours on the Valentine’s Day to talk to you about your love dilemmas and how you can start to find the love you really want.
3) Resolve to have a day of self nurturing. So many people beat up massively on themselves when relationships end. There is the inevitable pain of parting but then there’s the “what could have I done or been differently!” It’s so exhausting and time consuming and not healthy for the self worth. You time is essential. Health spas, a round of golf, a good workout or just simply be still in nature. Whatever floats your nurture boat!
4) Plan to spend quality time surrounded by good friends. Nothing beats a great set of friends who will show you that love IS all around! I have a darling set of good mates, girls and guys, some single some not who, just by being in their company, warm my heart and melt the sting of being alone when I don’t want to be.
V Day is your first date
You are single until further notice but have managed to land yourself a first date on Valentine’s Day and are at home scrubbing up. Ladies, the best underwear is being dusted off (even though you have NO intention of showing it to him tonight of course!) while dashing about with a dose of tummy butterflies. Men, the long lingering puckering-up struts start in front of the mirror, keeping you off the subject of “I wonder what she’s like in the sack”. (C’mon I may be a girl but I know these things!) Loads of thoughts are ricocheting around your head like a scalded cat. How is it going to go? Excitement one minute, terror the next, what fun, what angst!
Your date arrives. Hot pangs indicate a huge “yes!” on all levels. You go out for dinner and sit looking at each other and everything is going great. Conversation and wine are flowing. All is well in your pants and in your head! Being a seasoned dater, this is where all future hell can break loose because, if left unnoticed, what you want and what you end up creating can be as far apart as a gymnast’s legs!
So, I hate to be Aunty Boring but...
1) Set out on your date keeping firm in your mind what you want out of it. Is your goal to build a conscious relationship for marriage and babies or not? On a first date, it’s neither the time nor place to unfold your scroll of a “does he/she shape up” checklist and freak your date out as you merrily tick of a yes or a big no to whatever they say that evening! But you get what I mean. I was the master of going out and being taken over by the evil Miss Lustypants at some point in the evening. What I wanted and how I behaved to pave the way to the next date somehow got lost. Offering sex quickly and easily, in my experience is not the path to becoming a Mrs. It is, in the main, different for men and women but what you want and what you get is all down to you, so be discerning!
2) Ask the kind of questions that furnish you with knowledge about who this person, munching on Chateau Briand on the other side of the table, is. Do they match and say the things that you want to hear?
3) LISTEN and keep doing it. Really important. On a first date, you can miss so much information if the wine/beer goggles blur your clarity. For example, you are looking for a long term thing and they say they have just come out of a relationship and only want to “have fun”. Believe it! Don’t think, oh yeah I’ll change all that. Because as you proceed and have fun together you are going to get hurt when they remind some months down the line that they did tell you early on. Doh!
4) Watch out for their previous history and where they are now. Are they in the same place as you? Big age differences, for example, especially older women and younger guys, in my experience, can play havoc with the heart. I dated a few younger guys. Because I could for one thing, but as ever, my inner creator wanted the one true relationship but my toy boys were not in the same place in life as me. They may not have developed in career and emotional maturity (not their fault!) to take you on ladies. It can be very painful after you have fallen hook, line and sinker, when they say “I don’t want to waste your time.” Ouch. Discernment again. Don’t let your ego get the better of you.
5) Keep attuned to your instinct at all times. If the inner you shouts No! at some point in the evening, then no it is. How many times in your love and other life arenas have you gone against your instinct only to kick yourself afterwards?
6) Honour yourself and only let happen what feels right for you. Set your boundaries about what is good and what isn’t. I wish I had done a whole heap more boundary setting during my early dates. We often don’t have boundaries because most of us suffer from self worth issues. We want to be liked, loved and approved of so go way out of outside our boundaries in order to be accepted. Same as in childhood. We learned those behaviours there!
You are in relationship land and are married, co-habiting or just merrily dating and wondering what to do on V Day. Google will give you a heap of ideas, but on a more subtle level.....
1) This is a day of not trying to get your needs met! My work is about focusing on your relational space. This is the space and energy between you that is full of the emotion, instinct and unsaid stuff. It can be as war torn as Beirut or as pretty as a walled Spring garden. The quality of your relationship lies here. By getting couples to focus on it, in session, they begin to feel and see what it looks like. On Valentine’s Day, take the opportunity plants some flowers in your relationship garden. What does your relationship need, for both of your sake, to make it a better place today? A friend of mine decided, after a fairly stagnant period in their relationship, he would take his wife to a therapy session on Valentine’s Day. Sounds weird, but she had been trying to drag him to marriage guidance for ages. You may say woah, sounds too heavy, but she was utterly over the moon because it showed her he was committed to their future. Horses for courses!
2) If you are at a loss of what to do, are fed up with the meal and flowers gesture gentlemen and you live near Sussex, UK then why not come to a couples yoga class! It’s different, fun and doesn’t require talking. So if you want some serious quality time then get in touch with me for more details. Have a look at the couple’s yoga page on my web site for the benefits, dates and times. www.consciousunion.co.uk
3) Appreciation – not just on Valentine’s Day but every day! When couples come and see me, I start straight off by getting them to speak of what they appreciate about each other, even if they’ve been in hell for months or years. Everyone has something they appreciate but often it goes unnoticed and getting stuck in what is wrong becomes the norm. Show your appreciation and gratitude. It melts the ice of disconnection and fills up the love tanks.
4) Communicate your love for your honey in a way you know THEY would like. Some people love words of affirmation or gifts or touch for example. If you think, mmmmm I will buy her that shed that we need, don’t be surprised if your garden tools end up imbedded in your backside! Getting you to focus on what your beloved needs swings the balance from” what do I need to what does he/she need to make this relationship better.” This switch is one of the most critical in the move towards a conscious relationship. If you are both focused on nurturing the other, you never feel like your needs are not being met. It becomes a constant cycle of giving. How beautiful is that! Gary Chapman’s Love Languages is an excellent read on what I have talked about here.
So my dear friends, I hope this fires your motivation and expression to create the most excellent and love filled V Day wherever you may be in the world. Know that we are love, is forms our Essence, so we can never really be without it. It is only your view that tells you if you have it or not. As you radiate more love so it comes to you, so keep the love train going.
Blessings and love