How to avoid Valentine’s day overwhelm

Picture of a cake that was made with love.
Appreciate what you get

Do you ever hear something and it makes you question everything you thought you knew? I heard this quote the second time I watched The Book Club movie; “Love is just a word until someone gives it meaning.”It made me think about what meaning I give to love.The quote challenges me and inspires me because I believe love is a verb. Love only has meaning because of the things you do to demonstrate it. Like baking a lemon drizzle cake, you can have the flour, eggs, butter but before they’re mixed together in the right quantities with a dash of heat you don’t have a delicious cake.

I have been lucky to have people who want to show me love but one occasion that I still remember almost 30 years later was when my brother was about six years or so. Imagine he was born when I was already in boarding school so we didn’t really know each other but he knew I loved mangos. I was just back home for the Christmas holidays which is mango season in Zimbabwe and he asked if I would like some. When I said yes, he got up our trees and filled a bowl with juicy, ripe mangos that he then washed and gave me. I was ecstatic! What touched and impressed me was the effort he made to make me happy. To me that was an act of love.

Even if you have not been lucky enough to have someone to show you what he or she believes love means or maybe you don’t agree with their meaning of love at all, would you like to change it? Would you like to add more meaning to what you believe love means?

Going back to the movie, The Book Club shows that age doesn’t get in the way of our desire and need to connect with other people. People want to dance and play as well as romance and sex and just to cuddle up with someone. Those well-accomplished women in The Book Club encouraged each other to get what they needed. They were putting meaning into love.

For most people Valentine’s Day comes with pressure; why can’t I find someone?

Am I a loser?

Why doesn’t he get me flowers, jewellery, or chocolate or take me away?

I have to come up with something impressive otherwise, I will pay for it for the rest of the year.  

Is this the kind of meaning you want to add to your relationship? Guilt, shame, stress, pressure and frustration?

Is there something else you could allow to add a different meaning to your love life? If you want connection, take a friend for a surprise cup of coffee or tea. Celebrating and showing love doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant gestures.  Remember who you’re doing it for, in other words don’t do something because it makes you feel good and disappointing when the other person doesn’t coo with joy over the gift or gesture.

What you can do instead

Do something fun and playful with your kids. They will appreciate the time you give to them and you will feel happier, I promise.

Take your girlfriend or boyfriend on a walk in nature and play identify the flowers game together. You will laugh and feel more connected that way.

Bake a mini cake for someone you know needs some loving. Take part in adding meaning to love in your life and in the lives of others. When those meaningful details add up they make for a fulfilling life. They add the rhythm to our hearts and make our hearts sing.

Grand gestures for V Day like flowers, cards, chocolates or whatever you fancy are great but it’s like a store bought cake. It’s great but it’s not like home made and they are the icing to the cake. Don’t wait for one day of the year to be romantic or to demonstrate love.  Would you want to wait for your birthday to have cake? Don’t you think having many occasions to show love during the year means you have the cake to put the icing on V Day? If for some reason you don’t get the icing on the cake it doesn’t take from the fact that you have a delicious cake. Remember to appreciate the cake rather than getting upset over the icing.

I know I have said too much about cake but I’m sure you get the gist. Let me know your thoughts because it’s always great to continue an interesting conversation. Please leave a comment below.

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