It is that time of year again. The day when you let the people in your life know how much they mean to you. That your life is richer for having them in it. Valentine's Day! The week when more roses are sold than any other time of the year. Which is terribly sad in my opinion. I LOVE flowers and have them displayed in the middle of my granite countertop weekly. There was a time when I refreshed that bouquet almost weekly myself. My husband is an extravagant spender and loves to shower me with gifts but when it came to flowers, it was a no go. On occasion, he would perk up my vase with something new, but, for the most part, he felt it was a waste of money. No more is that the case. What he came to discover, which is what every man discovers (at least the one's paying attention), is if it makes your wife/girlfriend/lover happy, then it’s worth it. I think my husband's motto for most of our relationship has been "happy wife, happy life." I concur! Who gives a crap if the flowers die, they make me happy. Practicality is often the enemy of romance.
When it comes to love and relationships it's never black and white. It takes work and I mean daily work. I think we all fall in a lull, but I'm amazed at how often people are so willing to let someone go without a fight. If there was a reason you picked that person in the first place, there's probably a reason to fight to keep them. Fifty years ago, people married for life. These days it seems that we are always on the hunt for something better. I've been married for over 18 years and most people that know me and my spouse know that we are practically tethered at the hip. I helped him through a tough surgical residency and then helped him become the highest producing urologist in the nation (no joke!). As much as we love our children, they are with a sitter no less than one night every weekend and often both Friday and Saturday night. I know most of you are shuddering over that, but let me tell you something, I have a best friend who's significant enough to date. We work at our relationship every single day. Our children know what a loving relationship looks like. We hope they never settle for less than they deserve. Our children have great lives, I assure you, they love not having us hover over them every weekend.
People always ask us about our relationship a lot. The how, what, when and why of what we have that works and works so well. We always give them the same answer...FRIENDSHIP. Nothing more and nothing less. Love will very rarely get you there. Shall I repeat that? Love will never see you through. Why? Because we expect too much from the one's, we love. We covet them and expect the same. Don't get me wrong, love is important. It makes you believe that someone has a genuine interest in your life, emotional and physical well-being and wants to see you thrive with their partnership. But love is also daunting. Lovers are constantly walking the tightrope of our feelings. We become oversensitive, overemotional and in the end just plain overbearing. Expectations are high. One false move and people are running for the door. The reason friendship is always the answer to longevity in a relationship, is in the word itself. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association.Think of how the truly good friends in our lives mean so much to us. We thrive with their support, enjoy spending time with them because we know their expectations are manageable. They listen and even if they judge us, we know to take it as constructive criticism, not a jab to bring us down. You will forgive a friend for hurting your feelings a hell of a lot quicker than you will you spouse or lover. All this said, you must have a friend in your lover, and a lover in your friend, if you want to make it the finish line in a loving relationship. The true value of your heart is when you can give it freely without expecting anything in return.
Men and woman are not all created equally. Choose wisely!
P.S. On the flip side of this, if you picked badly, don't be afraid to walk away. Life is too short to let someone suck the life from you. We all know someone who is stuck in a crap situation where they're clinging tightly to the idea that their situation is going to change. I assure you it won't change. And, if you were honest with yourself you'd probably recognize that the person who's dragging your heart through the mud was probably crap when you met them. You just overlooked it because of lust, infatuation or a really nice resume!
Love is fleeting, but friendship is forever! Give everything and leave nothing on the table this Valentine's Day! Life is short. Live fully!
Have a wonderful day!