With another Valentines Day approaching, there will be inevitable dynamics impacting many of us.  I’ve personally experienced most of these and would offer some nuggets of hope and encouragement for this annual day of love…

Single? — While the media will assure you you’re the only one without a true love, and while you watch certain friends receive flowers at the office or enjoy a romantic dinner for two, many people, actually about 100 million in the U.S. alone, will not be celebrating in a significant way.  Truthfully, you are not alone on February 14 or the day after.

Married? — Marrying my husband at the ripe old age of 42 was a gift worth the thousands of tears cried until he came.  He is thoughtful, generous, and typically remembers flowers with a love-written card on Valentines Day. I’m blessed beyond measure AND never take it for granted.

Still, there are many married people who will feel the pangs of heartache and disappointment on Valentines Day.  Their marriage may be suffering or their spouse isn’t quite as thoughtful as the next guy.  Expectations  not met, many will cry themselves to sleep, disappointed that everything fell short once again.

Single, Happily Married, Not-So-Happily Married? — Whatever “love state” you find yourself in, keep in mind it’s only one day.  Millions don’t live up to the romantic experiences we assume so many are enjoying, and regardless, you can be satisfied with these few simple truths in mind:

Truth #1 — Love that lasts, true love, sacrificial healthy love, is a rare treasure, one that takes work to prepare for and to keep.  If you desire such a love, keep your hope alive (hope is a choice not a feeling) and prepare yourself to be ready for this type of love.  You can tone your “love muscle” before you flex it by working on yourself, then refusing to settle until all you’ve hoped for happens.

Truth #2 — The human heart can be filled to capacity even without romantic love.  I know this from personal experience and highly recommend such fullness (it’s great for yourself AND is a magnet for the person you want to love.)  Wonderful, generous girlfriends are a must-have for every woman.  Outlets for serving the less fortunate bring lasting satisfaction.  Cultivating a growing walk with God is a supernatural way to feel “full” amidst the “not-yets” and disappointments.  Living your dreams on all cylinders is a proven means for enjoying every day with increasing fulfillment.

A friend of mine told me she plans to invite several girlfriends out for a fun Valentines dinner.  Why should they be stuck home feeling left out when their city has so much to offer in food and entertainment?  My Mom taught me that even when your husband isn’t the card-giving expressive type, focus on what he does have and treat yourself to whatever else you need.

Valentines Day and true love are wonderful, worth waiting for, but not the end-all, be-all, as the world would have us believe.  Life is vast, varied, and beautiful.  So are you.

So……Happy “Live-Your-Dreams-Day,” with or without flowers and candy.

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