I am one of those jerks who love Valentine’s Day. I don’t care for the nonsense of teddy bears, red roses and diamond bracelets, but I do enjoy celebrating my love for all of the people in my life. It’s my firm belief you should do that all day everyday, but the extra emphasis is nice.
It seems like something is in the air this year because everyone and their mom is protesting today. I don’t get it! What’s so bad about Valentine’s Day? I was talking to a friend of mine about it the other day and she said, “Of course you like it. You’ve got someone.” Oh, I get it. I’m not entitled to my opinion because I’ve got a significant other.
FINE. I won’t finish the post I started about how this is our chance to tell everyone we love how we feel about them. I won’t talk about how amazing it is to give and receive love. I won’t talk about how love is the one thing which gives our existences meaning. Screw Valentine’s Day! Let’s all get depressed and talk about songs which remind me of my ultimate heartbreaks!
This manages to be the happiest and saddest song I can think of. I broke up with someone I loved with every ounce of my being because being together was hurting both of us tremendously. It was one of those relationships that wouldn’t have worked out no matter how much either of us wanted it to. With an extremely heavy heart, I moved away and ended the relationship. I played this song and bawled my eyes out every single day for over 6 months. I used it to remind myself that no matter how much I loved him, I needed to love myself even more. That’s one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned, and it’s a piece of advice I often dispense to friends with relationship woes.
There have been many theories as to what this song is actually about, but I believe she’s singing about loving a man who cares about her, but won’t fully commit. I once fell head over heels for a guy who I thought felt similarly about me. We played the “are we or aren’t we” game more times than I care to admit. He made excuse after excuse as to why he couldn’t be with me: he was concentrating on his career, he had his heart broken before, his childhood was rough. After a couple months of back and forth, I realized what he had been trying to say the whole time—he didn’t care enough about me to make it work. Anyone who lets every little thing get in the way of what could be a great love affair isn’t someone I want to be with.
This song isn’t necessarily about one person, but about multiple people in my life throughout the years. These were the people who told me I wasn’t good enough. These were the people who used words to cut me deeper than any knife ever could. These were the people who dragged me down to my lowest of lows. For many years I thought love meant constantly shapeshifting so I could become the version of myself each person liked. Since then I’ve learned love isn’t based on brownie points earned by being who everyone wants you to be. It’s being exactly who you are, and finding the people who adore the unabridged version of yourself.
I won’t go into the story behind this because the person it’s about is so ridiculously stupid that he doesn’t deserve a whole paragraph, but I was once romanced by these very words: “You’re so much fun to be with, really. But if I’m being honest, you’re not as hot as the girls I normally date, and I don’t imagine you fitting in with my friends. I’d like to hang out more, but it would have to be a secret thing. Is that okay?” Be still my heart. To add insult to injury, he kept trying to get in touch with me for months after I told him where he could stick his request.
Sometimes the hurt in a relationship doesn’t come directly from your partner, but indirectly from their ghosts of relationships past. When you’re with someone who is living with memories of former lovers cemented in their mind, your relationship is doomed to fail. I dated a guy who had been engaged to a long-term girlfriend before he was with me. Their relationship ended in a rather quick and brutal manner, and I don’t think he ever got over it. He couldn’t fully embrace our relationship because he had one hand always reaching towards the past. I could see in his eyes that he didn’t love me—he loved that I offered a Band-Aid for the gaping wound his former fiancée left in his heart. Band-Aids are solutions to short-term problems, and love should never be a short-term problem.
I got really emotional while writing this post, and guess what? I still like Valentine’s Day. I liked it then, I like it now, and I will always like it. So to all of you haters, I’m turning this post around and taking it back to Valentine City.
You have to believe in the power of love in order to receive the power of love. Sorry, but that’s just the way it works. For every ounce of emotional energy you’re putting into hating the spirit of Valentine’s Day, you’re taking away from the love already surrounding you. It can exist in a variety of ways: in your children, in your parents, in your siblings, in your friends, in your pets, but most importantly, in yourself. Love will come to you, but it won’t do all the work.
The next time you think about bashing Valentine’s Day around me, don’t. There is opportunity for love all around you, and as long as you’re whining over not having someone to give you a teddy bear you’ll inevitably donate to Goodwill someday, you’ll miss out on what already exists. Build that little bridge and get over yourself already.
Now go forth and have a wonderful day. Not because I said so, but because each of you deserves to feel loved by someone or something today. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Other original works by this author can be found at Sips of Jen and Tonic