It’s Hallmark time again, I mean Valentine’s Day. What does this celebrated day mean to you? Your options:

1. “It means nothing to me. I’m not in a relationship. I’m very single. Therefore, no obligation or opportunity. Deep down I do wish I had someone to love, someone who loved me.

I’ll cover up my loneliness by getting engrossed in “American Idol” (she). I’ll hit the sports bar and watch anything that’s on (he).”

2. “Another disappointment. My husband is clueless and not romantic at all. He doesn’t understand that his thoughtfulness on this day makes me feel closer to him. And who knows what might follow from that!”

3. “This is another female holiday where I’m supposed to send flowers, take her out for dinner, etc… What’s in it for me? Get laid? May be worth it. Haven’t had sex is four months.”

4. Yah, it is a business promotion holiday — but so what, I love her and I’ll show it this day — and other times.

5. Other response? Fill in the blank. If Valentine’s Day does nothing else — and this is significant — it calls attention to the presence, absence, and/or the quality of one’s love life. Do you have a partner? Is it a good relationship? What is missing? Anything? A lot? Do you express how you feel. Does s/he hear it? What is the response?

One thing I have learned over the years in my practice is that it is the goal/job/privilege of each partner to love the other the way s/he needs/wants to be loved — to the extent possible. Nobody does it perfectly, but maximal effort is called for. When each person tries, movement forward results.

There are a number of people who will not finish this article. They don’t want to deal with this. They keep their disappointments, dashed hopes, to themselves (except maybe to a close friend (she) or a buddy over too many beers (he). Trust, it can be better.

May Valentine’s Day serve as a gut check, perhaps wake up call to address your love life and add a bit more pizzazz to it!!

Dr. Stathas is a counseling psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, in the Lake Oconee area. He is the founder of the Life Development Center. He can be reached at 706-473-1780. Web site:

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