Wrirtten by: Andrea Fry
The Meadows, Primary Therapist
Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity for people with a tendency to define their self-worth through relationships to confront and to lean into their fears by practicing good self-care. Recognize: “Hey, I’m freaking out and this tells me I still have work to do around relationships.” Realize you might be placing too much value on finding happiness outside yourself.
If we need someone else to give our lives meaning, we run the risk of accepting some pretty bad behavior from others. We’re going to convince ourselves that being in a relationship is more important than having a healthy relationship with ourselves. As a result, our ability to set limits on unacceptable behavior may be compromised.
It’s important to recognize that fantasy is intentionally employed by retailers to market and promote Valentine’s Day. Advertisements and store windows are intended to fuel the fantasy frenzy. Even if we do have a loving partner, we may have unrealistic expectations. That’s why it’s so important to toss out the fantasy piece.
Are you expecting a diamond ring like the one in the Tiffany ad? Do you expect a major shift in your relationship because it’s February 14th? Are you set on your partner making reservations at the most expensive restaurant in town? Setting yourself up for disappointment can spoil an otherwise lovely evening whether or not you’re with a partner. Putting too much pressure on yourself and your partner can tarnish special moments any time of year.
If being without a partner this Valentine’s Day is getting you down, ask yourself what next steps you can take in the way of self-care. What does that wounded and abandoned part of you need to feel whole? What do you need from someone else? Consider filling that void yourself. Do you want to be nurtured? Treat yourself to a massage or buy yourself some pretty flowers. Are you craving attention? Become aware of your thoughts and pull out your affirmations. Say them aloud. Keep a journal or go to a sacred place to meditate. Connect with any aspect of Valentine’s Day that can help you move forward with your self-care. Think about the kind of relationship you want – and deserve!
We tend to attract people at similar levels to where we are at any given stage in our lives. If you’re in high-intensity, drama mode, you’re likely to attract the same. If you’re constantly jealous because your partner doesn’t give you round-the-clock attention, you’re probably going to be in fight mode more often than not. Partners who stay in volatile relationships obviously have their own issues because healthy people don’t tolerate constant bickering. When you’re healthy, you’re likely to attract the same.
Valentine’s Day can be about spending time with friends; engaging in creative endeavors; or it can be a time of introspection to figure out the kind of person you want as a partner. It can also be about paying tribute to the most important relationship you’ll ever have – the relationship with yourself!
The Meadows is an industry leader and the most trusted name in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. The Meadows helps change lives through the Meadows Model, 12-step practices, and the holistic healing of mind, body, and spirit.
To learn more about The Meadows, visit us here or call (800) 244-4949.