Valentine’s Day is considered a day for love. But there’s no law that love has to be the romantic kind. Giving flowers and gifts was a tradition created by companies that sell the products you buy. It puts pressure on people to provide the right kind of romantic gifts and gestures. I’ve heard many people lamenting as the day approaches, feeling bad if they don’t have a special romantic partner. Yet we all have access to love if we let go of expectations.

Whether you have someone for romance or not on Valentine’s Day, start now to recognize and appreciate all the love in your life. Love comes in many forms.  We get it from family, friends, even pets, yet on this one day none of that seems important. And lets not forget the greatest love of all—the love you give to yourself. Even if you have someone special, you still owe it to yourself to honor ALL the love in your life. Taking it for granted is a waste!

Romance can come and go. Friends and family and YOU stick with you. And the love of a pet can be the most unconditional of all.

Yet we buy into the hype of this one day. When I was a DoorMat, I felt devastated without someone to bring me flowers on Valentine’s Day. I got cards and gifts from my parents and my best friend but they meant nothing to me. I’d do anything to have a guy on that day. So often I settled for someone who wasn’t good for me and who didn’t love me. It’s ironic what we’ll do to have romance on this day that’s supposed to be for love yet we often ignore the people who love us most in favor of someone who can be romantic for a moment.

So who loves you every day? Those are the ones you can count on for love on Valentine’s Day too.

I used to delude myself when I got flowers or chocolate that I was having a special love day. But I finally realized that I was making the romance more important than the guy I got it from. As long as I had the trappings I believed I needed, I felt soothed for a little while. But the next day I often knew, even if I didn’t admit it, that I really didn’t feel loved at all by the guy I’d wanted all that Valentine’s romance from. It almost felt like when that big day ended, he didn’t matter much to me.

I’m grateful that I finally realized what was really important—real love, not the frills of romance.

And I had real love. There was never a day that passed that I didn’t feel unconditional love from my parents and other members of my family. I had loving friends. Yet I’d give any guy I was dating much more importance, just because the media said we need romance on Valentine’s Day. I woke up! I had lots of love in my life and could give it to myself too! From then on, I stopped giving this day real importance. If I’m seeing someone I like, I enjoy our time together. But, I don’t get upset if I don’t have someone.

Whether I’m with a man or not, I still celebrate me on February 14th. I buy myself flowers and treat myself with love. This year I’ll be solo in terms of romance and I’m looking forward to it. No longer am I dependent on a man to make me feel special on that or any other day. I do that for myself now. This year I’m doing an event in NYC called Be Your Own Valentine. My friend Betsy Karp and I will do a presentation on falling in love with yourself and end with a champagne toast and gifts—to celebrate self-love on Valentine’s Day. I’m excited to share this gift with others on this special day for love!

So, who’s giving you love on Valentine’s Day? Do you appreciate it? Pay attention to those in your life who care about you that you may take fro granted. Falling in love with you may not be romantic but it is very satisfying, often more so than romance you get on one day only. Self-love lasts. Romance may not. So this year, love yourself and appreciate friends and family who love you, even if you have a romantic partner! And if you’re in the NYC area, join me for Be Your Own Valentine.

Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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