Approximate reading time: 3 minutes
It’s February, which means everyone is talking about love, including me! For some, Valentine’s Day can feel like a looming weight around their necks: either because of the hyped-up romantic illusions created by the media, what you feel to be unrealistic expectations from your significant others, or the judgement you feel due to your single status at this time of year.
How can you lighten the weight and get to a place where you can enjoy the ultimate purpose of Valentine’s Day (i.e. to express love) without all the pressure? By indulging in one or more of the following three types of love this Valentine’s Day:
Arguably, this this is the most important of the three, which is why it’s in the number 1 place. J As mentioned above, the strong presence of media around the topic of loving others this month can be overwhelming and make you forget that you are part of the equation, too! It’s time to add you back in.
Whether you are in a partnership or single, ask yourself this question:
What can I do for myself, buy for myself, or tell myself this Valentine’s Day that will make me feel loved and cherished?
To give you some ideas, this is my plan:
- Spending an hour reading.
- Gifting myself a bouquet of roses and delicious vegan mint chocolate.
- Remembering to check in and create positive self-talk throughout the day.
Yours could include the above and/or some of these ideas:
- A massage.
- Two hours child-free.
- A walk in your favourite park or public garden.
- A champagne dinner.
- A river cruise.
- Your favourite treat.
- A bubble bath with a new Mills and Boon novel (or one of mine! J)
- Booking in for a course you’ve always wanted to do.
What else could you add to the list? The point is to pick something that makes YOU feel special, loved, and cherished.
This is the Greek word for “divine love”, which is a fancy way of saying “unconditional love”. It can be a challenging concept for some people because it entails loving people exactly the way they are.
Let me be clear up some common misconceptions before we go deeper into the meaning of that. Loving unconditionally does NOT include any of the following:
- Being “fake happy” to suit others.
- Pretending to forgive someone when you don’t.
- Feeling like you SHOULD forgive someone.
- Excusing behaviour that impacts you negatively.
- Making excuses for the negative behaviour of others.
- Remaining in unhealthy and/or toxic situations.
- Lowering healthy boundaries because it is “better” for others if you do.
- Putting others’ needs ahead of your own (always put yourself first. ALWAYS).
Of course, all of the above also apply to you. You cannot expect others to treat you with respect and support if you don’t offer the same. Nor can you love others unconditionally if you don’t offer yourself the same kindness.
So what does agape actually entail? Take a deep breath, because as I said, it’s a challenging concept even with the above items removed. Agape means you “keep on loving someone anyway”. Yes, despite the failings, imperfections, and betrayals, you love them anyway. I speak from experience when I say a feeling of loving connection to others can remain regardless of their actions. Comment below if you would like me to discuss this in more detail in another blog post. For now, understanding this type of love exists is enough.
3. The “Language of Love” (Nope, still not what you think!)
Valentine’s Day can lead to fights between lovers when unexpressed needs or expectations are not met. The best way to avoid this is by doing something revolutionary: communicating!
Ask the special person in your life this question:
What do you need to feel loved and cherished by me?
If you or those closest to you have no idea how to answer this question, you could start with the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman (you can take the free quiz here https://www.5lovelanguages.com/). Although I feel there are more than five ways to “speak love”, it is a good starting point to understanding how you and others feel and express love. It could be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift AND stop a fight before it starts.
Do you have any other helpful tips, insights, or experiences that relate to these three types of love? Share them below.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Yours in love, dreams, and writing,
A.K. Leigh xxoo
About A.K. Leigh
A.K. Leigh is an international-selling romance author, identical triplet, writing instructor, incurable romantic, love guru, self-love advocate, amateur mystic, mother, sometimes blogger and vlogger, and trauma survivor.