Valentines and Failure, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Only one man has ever brought me candy and flowers on Valentines Day.  That relationship ended up being a massive mistake.  All of that attention brought me nothing my heart needed.

The first valentine my husband of many years gave to me was made of duct tape and heart-felt smiles.  He delivered it to me with a secret smile and glimmer in his eye that I still see after twenty years together.  That’s what I call love.

Often I hear that Valentine’s Day brings pressure and a sense of failure.

The singles report that they are getting something wrong because they are spending the day alone or only with friends.  “I must not be loveable enough”, they report.  Others urgently seek a temporary love to spend the day with so they have a love interest to talk about the week after.

The men I talk with struggle to get it right and often resort to time-tested rituals hoping to “make her/him happy”.  I’ll hear many tales next week of disappointments and tears after “not enough” happened.  Our heads making up stories about how much he doesn’t care.

Failure and expectation seem to have often been a result of a specified day of LOVE.  A commercial event designed to make us all feel anxiety.

I like Halloween and Thanksgiving better.  These seem to be days of fun and "let’s just be together" and dress up or eat!  Not so many expectations of what I am suppose to be or what I have to get from others to prove my worth and lovability.

Instead of being a day of "DO something for me", maybe Valentines can become a day of "Notice I am something to you".  Enjoy Valentines Day this year and shine love on as many people, places, animals, and your own hearts as possible.  Be "something to someone" and receive all day long that you are "something to someone".

Now that’s Valentines and success!


Susan Austin-Crumpton
Founder & Executive Director, The Estuary