Valentine’s Day started off as the day of secret love: expose your love to the person you have feelings for, without telling who you are. In the 90’s the US changed this concept to a more commercial one. Halfway through the 90’s this concept spilled over to the Netherlands and now all shops are on board. Flowers, postcards, lingerie and teddy bears. All heart shaped red and cute.

One day in the year
Although love should not be celebrated on one specific day, a lot of people secretly like it. Couples surprise each other, go out for dinner together and are extra sweet to their loved ones. Red roses are everywhere and the restaurants are all booked. I also like it! Every year I send postcards to my grandfather. Years ago he sent me a postcard saying: ‘from your secret admirer.’ I was thinking about it for days. Later my mom told me it was my grandfather, and so the tradition started.

But I also show my love to my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. My jeans is covered in glue, because of the postcard I just made for him, red hearts included. Unfortunately I will not see him today, but I tried my best to surprise him.

But why just one day?
Do I feel bad for not seeing him today? Yes, of course. For the first time I spend so much effort on Valentine’s Day, including a postcard and sweet words. But like I said: it should not be celebrated on just one specific day, but year round! Why are we not doing this more often? And with ‘this’ I do not mean the presents. But I mean love! A handwritten letter, a cup of coffee in bed or a snack from the supermarket. This way you can show your partner you love him or her.

Saying ‘I love you’ everyday becomes a habit soon. I feel like everytime I say it, it loses value. That is not OK! That is why we do not say it very often. But when I got the flu last week and I silently got out of bed not to wake up my partner, I heard him say: ‘pssst, I love you!’, and I felt butterflies. I am such a disaster when I am sick, but he knows when I can use a boost.

Role models of love
I have a couple of beautiful examples in my life! The parents of my mother are married for 59 years now. They fight, but you can definitely see they still love each other. My mother and her boyfriend barely fight. Of course they have disagreements, but no fights. And my father and his girlfriend support each other in everything. When my dad got sick, she was always there for him! Now I see what real love is. Not only in my own relationship, but also in my friends. It is so important to have loving friends around you.

Self love
Before you love someone, you should love yourself first. I never understood why, but now I do. Now I am happy with myself, I can give so much more! Are you alone on Valentine’s Day? Celebrate! Buy chocolates for yourself, make your favorite dinner and get some wine. Wear your favorite clothes, invite some friends or spend some time alone on the couch. Enjoy!

Today’s song goes back to the first movie me and my boyfriend watched together. ‘Shall we dance’ was on TV that night and also our first kiss happened during this movie. I choose for ‘Sway’ from The Pussycat Dolls. Cheesy, but it is about the thought behind it. A song that it also close to me because of its lyrics: ‘Love me like you do’ from Ellie Goulding.

Have a nice Valentine’s Day and see you next week!

Love, Renée

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Expert in PTSD, burnout, personality disorders and eating disorder. Even if I only help one person by sharing my story, I am happy!

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