Yesterday was February 14, Valentine’s Day, a day for romance, love, snuggles…a day for couples. And for most of the day, at work, flowers were being delivered, for other women, of which I had to deliver them since they were delivered at the front desk. I remember the first time my ex had flowers delivered at my place of work. It was 3 years before I filed for divorce. Before that he bought the same bouquet of ‘spring’ like flowers every Valentines. Not that I didn’t appreciate them, at least I was getting something. And since I am allergic to chocolate, the real stuff not the white ‘fake’ stuff, I knew he would not buy candy. When my oldest was small, my ex did surprise me with a locket on a necklace. However, he got pissed off when my oldest told me about it before I received the gift. I never received jewelry again. However, I always received a mushy, lovey dovey card purchased from Hallmark.
This year is the first Valentine’s Day I have been single. I admit, as each beautiful bountiful bouquet of dozen roses came by my desk, I was jealous. Especially when I delivered them and the ladies hemmed and hawed about how they told their husbands not to buy them anything. I felt like saying, I’ll take your flowers. One person even complained because she not only received flowers but another gift by FEDEX. I just walked away.
Here is some advice, for those of you in a relationship. Granted this is coming from a single divorced lady whose only relationship right now is with her two cats, so you can take my advice or leave it, it’s totally up to you.
1.) If your significant other sends you flowers, don’t be embarrassed, don’t make excuses and don’t ‘wish’ your partner had not sent them. Immediately get on the phone and tell your partner how much you LOVE the flowers and them. To a single person, flowers mean more than flowers. They mean someone else thought of you, took the time to order a massive bouquet of beauty, and probably thought how awesome it would be to surprise the heck out of you. And if you are the partner, don’t just send flowers on Valentines, send them on June 14 or September 14 or some other day when your honey will least expect them. Believe me, it is so awesome to receive an unexpected gift. And they don’t have to be extravagant or expensive, just a simple bouquet of daisies or tulips, especially during this winter season would be great!
2.) Lovey dovey cards from Hallmark are great. But how about once in awhile, hand writing a letter to your partner and putting it in their briefcase, purse, or mailing it to their work-just make sure it is G or PG rated-LOL!, or even cuddling up with them then giving them the letter you wrote.
3.) No matter how often your honey claims or states they don’t want fancy flowers, beautiful ‘real’ jewelry, books, gifts, etc. Buy it anyway!!! I used to say I didn’t want those things either because I didn’t want to sound greedy or selfish. However, my ex took my comments to heart, only ‘surprising’ me on Valentines or when I was seriously sick. He also shared the ‘amount’ he spent so I know most of the time the gifts were very inexpensive which led me to believe he had not put much thought into purchasing them.
4.) On Valentines, anniversaries, just because…make your partner dress up to the nines, clean out your car or rent one, make reservations at a fancy restaurant, go dancing and stay up all night so you can end the ‘date’ eating breakfast at an all night diner in your fancy clothes. What fun!!! Then when you get home, you can snuggle down and spend the day napping till whenever. Unless you have kids, then send them to grandma’s or a friend’s house. Every couple needs time alone, not only to recharge themselves but also their relationship. I would recommend date night at least once a month. And if you have to ‘pencil’ it in on the calendar, do so but use a Sharpie marker so both of you can see it and won’t ‘forget’ about it.
5.) Love your partner for who they are, not for what you wish or want them to be. They will NEVER change because of your desires. Only you can change your attitude towards them.
6.) Be honest, even if it hurts. In my marriage, too many times, we pussy footed around each other, which caused more conflict, less trust and hurtful feelings. Telling the truth, no matter how brutal or insensitive it may seem at the time, is a good thing, especially if you want to keep the lines of communication from ever clogging up. Believe me, once those lines get obstructed, no amount of Drano will be able to clear them up.
7.) Say ‘I love you’ often to your partner. Showing it is okay, but verbalizing it out loud has a more lasting effect.
8.) Have fights. Go to bed mad. Sleep in separate rooms. Get in the car and leave for an hour or two. Just remember, to be the first to say ‘I am sorry.’ And then don’t ever bring up the stuff you were fighting about in the future. Grudges kill love, affection fertilizes love, causing it to grow.
9.) Make your partner the most important person in your life. That means do things for them without expecting reciprocation or bargaining-‘If I do this for you, then you have to do this for me.’ Make your partner your #1 priority, not your job, not your career, not your friends. Do activities your partner wants to do even if that means you have no interest. Instead of putting them down all the time, tell them the stuff you absolutely adore about them. Encourage them with positive comments. Be there for them. Listen to them. Accept and love them just as they are.
10.) Remember, no relationship, unless it is a fairy tale or movie, is perfect. All relationships, the longer lasting they go, need work, of both people. The Beatles once said, ‘All you need is love.’ I agree. With love, anything is possible.
Obviously, I did not follow my advice. I often wonder, being the person I am now, if I would have tried harder to make my marriage work. Probably not, as I know the times I did try, I didn’t feel as if I made a difference in my ex’s life or his heart. Also, after my weight loss, I felt a drastic change within myself of which I could not nor did I want to control nor hold back. On the other hand, I felt as if my ex stayed locked in one spot, having no desire to share in my newfound sense of life.
Divorce is a hardship, no two ways around it. However, since I have become a single lady, I realize, through continuous soul-searching, how I want to be treated and how to treat a man, if one should happen to enter my life. And if I ever get into another relationship, I will follow my own advice with a willing spirit, an open mind and an open heart.
Blessings and a Belated Valentine’s Day…
Hope you were surrounded by lots and lots of love,