It's that time of year again!
Valentine’s Day is often dreaded in the singles community. I would dare say it is more dreaded than Christmas or any other holiday. I have heard it labeled “Single Awareness Day”. My birthday is roughly 2 weeks before Valentine’s Day and I would often get so sad for those 2 weeks.
I felt so alone. More than feeling unloved, I felt unnoticed.
I am a HUGE birthday person. I make a big deal out of them and want everyone to feel celebrated on their one day of the year. I love to make people feel special. I am the girl who makes sure everyone at work has a card, cake, and a gift on their birthday. I hate for anyone to not feel special.
As you can imagine, my birthday falling when it does, with V-Day shortly thereafter set me up for failure time and time again. I’m not one to broadcast my birthday and a few times it would pass with little acknowledgement from others. My mother would always call, cook me a meal, and get me a card. But, no one at work remembered. I even dated a guy that basically dismissed it, in my mind. To me, that was the worst disappointment ever.
I was crushed that my then boyfriend did not make me feel special on my birthday. I am not one who wants grand displays, but I do love a card with a nice note. I came home from a long day of working both jobs and my boyfriend at the time, saw me for a few minutes, threw a card in my direction that wasn’t signed or anything and walked off. I went in my house, sat on my couch, and cried and cried. I was crushed that a man I dated for 2 years didn’t even care to sign the card. All I could focus on was how much that hurt my heart. I just knew he was going to make it up on V-Day. I expected him to double the attention on me.
What I didn’t acknowledge was that he was hurting deeply about something personal in his own life. He was weighed down with a very heavy burden. I didn’t acknowledge the fact that he took the time to pick out a sweet card and meet me after a very long day. I was just so hurt that he didn’t sign the card and write a note in it. I didn’t acknowledge that he had randomly sent me flowers at work one day when we walked by a flower store and thought of me. I didn’t acknowledge that he would run by my job and bring me a Diet Dr. Pepper at least twice a week.
I was again so very hurt when V-Day rolled around without a big display of his affection for me. I thought I deserved a really long note, after being so let down on my birthday. I made sure he knew I was VERY disappointed in the flower he brought me. I wanted words, words, words. I wanted to hear what I longed so desperately to hear from a man.
That man had every right to set me straight and walk away. Instead, he just withdrew more. I let him walk through a very tough time in his life alone, because he didn’t sign a card! I wanted him to acknowledge my hurt, but I refused to acknowledge his life-changing burden. I acted like a spoiled brat.
So, my dislike of V-Day has more to do with me than other couples in love. I actually don’t mind seeing folks in love; in fact, it makes me happy. I don’t like that I became a needy, selfish jerk over a day. (well, 2 actually)
I am so embarrassed to admit that I was once that girl. But, I am also proud that God gets full glory. If He can take an ungrateful girl like me and radically change me, He can change anyone.
It does not bother me now if I date someone who doesn’t acknowledge V-Day. I am also so genuinely grateful for any acknowledgement of my birthday, even if it is just a text message. Sending cards and notes is kind of my thing, but it truly does not bother me one single bit if my friends, family, date are not cards people.
I look for ways that people show me love and affection now.
- Sometimes it is pouring out their heart in a card.
- Sometimes it is showing up to the hospital when a loved one is ill.
- Sometimes it is jumping out at the gas station on a cold night, so you don’t have to get cold pumping your gas.
- Sometimes it is a hug after a really long day.
- Sometimes it is making you laugh until you cry when your emotions are taking over.
- Sometimes is praying fiercely on your behalf.
- Sometimes it is refusing to give in to your selfish desires.
Look for how others are showing you love. Look for ways to show others love, in a way they receive love.
I cared more about a day than a man I was supposed to love. I cared more about what he didn’t do, than what he did do. I cared more about myself than him. We are no longer dating, but it took me a while to see that I had a huge part of why we broke up. For so long, it was only him that was the problem, in my mind. When I think back to how I treated him and acted, I get very sad. That is now how God intended for me to act. If I ever get another chance at dating, my sincerest prayer is that I am the exact opposite of that girl.
Have you ever acted a certain way over a holiday that you wish you could redo?