Why Valentine’s Day Sucks

12 Feb 2013

I don’t know how you feel about it, but my decades on the planet have led me to the conclusion that…

Valentine’s Day sucks.

I believe it sucks whether you’re in a relationship, and have a man in your life, or whether you don’t.

It sucked, for me, when I was single, because I never got enough ‘Worship and Adore You’ type Valentine’s cards to make me feel wonderful. Or the flowers to fill every room in my house, or…

It sucked for me, when I was married to my emotionally abusive husband, because I’d spend hours reading all the “Darling husband, you’ve made my life complete” type cards, and search desperately for one that didn’t feel like a hideous lie. The wasband made my life “complete” – that is completely miserable. And much as I told myself I loved him – much as I did love this man I also hated – I did NOT love him unconditionally, and the sentiments in those words didn’t apply.

It sucked, for me, after I consigned the wasband to the Abusive Man Recycling Heap. Being separated, and then divorced, when Everyone Else in the Whole Wide World seemed to be s#delightedly ‘loved up’ – and spending good money on tacky, icky, Valentine’s Day merchandise – wasn’t a lot of fun, either. (I occasionally wished that shopping malls had a nice, discreet Pariahs’ Corner I could retreat to, with the soft, woothing sound of pan pipes, and the affirmation: “It’s okay. You’re okay” playing in the background.)

Valentine’s Day still sucks for me, now that I have a wonderful partner. That’s not how we run our relationship. Telling someone how much they matter shouldn’t be a one day in 365 thing. Expressing appreciation shouldn’t be a 1 day in the year thing. Making an effort to please your partner should not be a once yearly duty, for which you get more Brownie points the more you spend.

The sentiments – in the cards I’ve read, at least – range from gross to distasteful, and/or creepy. I’m simply not into “My life was nothing/would be nothing without you”.

To make it even more offensive, the sentimental cards often have sickly-sweet images or cutesy teddy bears, and hideous, utterly predictable rhymes.

Valentine’s Day, as I see it, is the emotional equivalent of pigging out on junk food. It has nothing to do with the reality of loving another person, and consistently putting that person’s well-being – and growth – at the centre of your world. It has nothing to do with loving – and valuing – yourself. We make it our habit to celebrate every day together, not just Valentine’s Day.

Here in the UK, we’re suckers for short-term sentimentality. Around Christmas, adverts stating: “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” keep appearing, for obvious reasons. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were adverts and billboards that said: “Love is for the long haul, not just for Valentine’s Day.”

Valentine’s Day is often – but not always – the refuge of the sloppy, careless lover.

That’s not what you want in your life.

If you’re not caught up in the madness of Valentine’s Day, rejoice. While almost everybody else is getting all fluffy and fuzzy, use that time.

Feeling sorry for yourself, and regretting “what might have been” (had you ever been able to buy the right brain-washing kit for your abusive partner) is not helpful.

Feeling inferior, or inadequate, is just plain WRONG.

This is your opportunity to say “No” to the brainwashing about who you should be, and how you should be. You probably still want to be loves. Why wouldn ‘t you? You certainly deserve to be loved W-E-L-L – as opposed to being used and undervalued by some self-absorbed jerk.

You deserve to have a blissfully happy relationship with yourself, first and foremost – after all, that’s the most enduring relationship you’ll hjave in your whole life. When you have that blissfully happy relationship with yourself, you’ll become a magnet to the right kind of man (to the right kind of people, actually) rather than the jerks, bullies, abusers, infantile, and inadequates (to name but a few categories).

Valentine’s Day sucks. Being loved and loving does not.

This Valentine’s Day change your habit: give yourself the gift of love.

PS  If ‘Love is NOT in the air for you, this Valentine’s Day’, you’re still in time to join me on a morale-boosting webinar on February 13th at 5 pm New York time.  Either follow this link, or copy and paste it into your browser:


You’ll be in good company:-)


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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