What’s your Relationship Status this Valentine’s Day?
It has nothing to do with how you’re feeling, happy, content, excited, ecstatic, depressed, etc. It has to do with your relationship status with another person. Are you married, separated, divorced, engaged, single, “It’s Complicated”, “In an open relationship”, etc.?
Recently at lunch with lifelong friends, all mothers to daughters, we began to talk about our high school experiences and how they differed from our daughters’ experiences. We asked around the table if we knew anyone who “hated” us? None of us could think of fellow classmates although we did move on to who we didn’t like. But we circled back to “hated”. It seems so harsh. We all figured there must have been people who didn’t like us too but they weren’t compelled to share it with us or the rest of the school. We were so glad that we didn’t know if we were invited to the party with all of the cool kids. And we didn’t know to care if 1,000 of our friends, closest friends, didn’t take the time to “Like” the picture we took of ourselves at the local fast food restaurant.
Then we got on to relationships. Why did a 24-year-old, successful, talented, brilliant young woman feel “less than” because she didn’t have a boyfriend? Why did a 26-year-old with talent, personality, success, resiliency, beauty, feel frustrated because she wasn’t one of the many girls to flash her brand new, sparkling engagement ring on Instagram during the holiday season? These two girls have the world at their fingertips and so much going on in their lives. I would have been envious of their choices had I been a friend of theirs back in the 80s. Yet, they feel they are missing something because they are SINGLE.
We tell our daughters stories of women who got married at 35, 45 and even 75, all for the first time. We share stories of their great careers and wonderful travel memories and the amazing people they met along the journey of their lives. But we can’t convince them they are PERFECT just the way they are – with or without a significant other. Being in a relationship doesn’t make you successful or smart or beautiful or funny or lovable. We live in a couple’s society and it’s tough to be single. And there are times in the year when it’s harder.
Valentine’s Day is one of those times. You look around and feel like everyone has someone special. The entire city is full of couples. Perception is everything. This year, for Valentine’s Day, reach out to your favorite SINGLE friend and tell her how great she is and how you’re so glad you have her in your life. She will be so happy you did and then she’ll remember that she’s gorgeous, uber smart, successful, adventurous, complex and just PERFECT the way she is, SINGLE.