Happy Valentine's Day all... Please humor me for a few minutes while I presume you want to know what's going through my brain today. Primarily, please humor my alter-ego (relationship therapist un-Dr. Tisdale) as she takes a few moments to address civilization... While she has studied human relationships on the basis of communication and connecting and honesty and trust and respect - she does NOT hold any sort of psychology degree, does NOT profess to be a "guru" of any sorts - she mostly just enjoys learning about others and what makes them tick. All the while she has made some decisions about how shes wishes to live her life and wants to share those with others.
Understandbly so, on Valentine's Day most everyone feels a large amount of pressure to buy the right present, say the right thing, be the author of profoundly delicate language ... etc. Take it from someone who has been working at relationships for at least 31 years now (as long as I've been alive I've been trying to get along w/ those around me)... while it does take some work - most people make it more difficult than it has to be!
While some may try their darndest to avoid any sort of Valentine's/Hallmark made-up "holiday"... the fact of the matter is, we love the people around us and we want them to know so. So, in keeping with the fun and light-hearted childhood tradition... whether we're "coupled" on this day or not... remember to tell those around you that you love them!
Dr. Tisdale's unsolicited advice (and since it's unsolicited it's FREE!)
To the Guys - even if your significant other tells you not to buy any sort of present - do it anyway! It's the guy who goes the extra mile (and who does it with sincere motives) that we want to have around all the time! Unless your significant other already has an intravenous line dripping chocolate into the veins - flowers really TRULY are the all-purpose gift! (The myth that flowers should only be given as apologies was started by a guy who didn't want to go the extra mile! However, I am feeling the need to point out one last thing - please do not - under ANY circumstance - EVER buy a bouquet of just carnations unless you've been told you that is the flower of choice! Believe me... not many girls would tell you this... but, ICK!!!)
To the Gals - DO NOT be ashamed or afraid or guilty (or whatever it might be) to actually provide some ideas on what you would like for Valentine's Day, anniversary, birthday, etc. While we have this dream that our significant other will know exactly what we want - and that they will have planned ahead and purchased it 3 months prior to the event instead of waiting until the last minute - that only happens in Hollywood. Set realistic expectations for your signifcant other - do not set them up for failure. When they ask for help on what to buy - give it whole-heartedly! They will appreciate it ... you will appreciate it! It's a win-win situation! Yes - it really is that easy!
Guys - if you take anything away from this email - take this: Do not only give on birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day - it's the gift for no reason that is why we love you so much!
Gals - if you take anything away from this email - take this: You can most help your significant other by being honest about your thoughts and feelings and expectations - they cannot read your mind - so use your words!
Most importantly - we should not hesitate to show others that we love them every day of the year! Don't wait around for Valentine's Day to make a special gift, stop off the side of the road for flowers, send cards to those you are thinking of... what does it take but a few moments to show others that their life and influence is precious to you! You never know what could be happening in that person's life - your action of reaching out to them even briefly might just make their entire day!
un-Dr. Lori Tisdale