I wasn't going to write about love for Valentines but it seems I can't help myself. In my marriage we were very big on all the sentiment around holidays, birthdays and especially Valentines Day, our first date. I got flowers and cards all year round and I thought I was the luckiest woman alive. Of course I reciprocated with my own cards balloons and notes in the lunch box how romantic.
When the relationship went south and another woman entered the picture he continued the practice of sending me flowers and even gifts. I would occasionally come out to my car and find a note asking me to meet him for drinks. This caused me great distress at the time because I confused the sentiment with love. The big splash for the real thing. This continued up until the their wedding.
What I realized is that these acts didn't mean anything except some sort of restitution for being a schmuck at the time. Really just to make himself feel better I guess. I am not saying they were not done with sincerity because in the moment, they were done, I am sure he was very sincere. Flowers can cover a multitude of sins but not the fact you are about to marry someone else.
In my last relationship I didn't want any of that no big declarations of love or any sentiment at all and that's what I got. I was happy not to have grand gestures of love I wanted quiet behind the scenes commitment and follow through. Security that all those grand gestures never gave me. Living with the effects of alcoholism required grand gestures to cover up the real crap that was going on.
Ironically when the last relationship ended it ended without a bang. Just as it began we never really had an anniversary or celebrated much of anything. Never really any emotional ups and downs. There was another woman but that really wasn't the reason. It was because I picked someone so opposite of what I had known with my husband without really thinking it through. It was love for sure but without the emotions it ultimately fizzled out.
Extremes that is where I always go with just about anything. All or nothing and it is hard for me to admit that even now. I do come back to the middle eventually because it is there I find peace. Even if it took a decade to realize maybe I didn't need to go to that extreme. I can accept that this was my own doing and the relationship was part of my own learning process and I did learn a lot about what doesn't work for me.
So I am back to the middle now and looking for someone that will celebrate Valentines with me but won't send me flowers while there seeing someone else. I don't need the emotional excitement of the active alcoholics life anymore or someone who can't express emotions at all.
I do believe you attract your emotional equal and that is also hard to admit. I was shutdown emotionally after my marriage ended and was happy to be with someone equally shutdown. But over time I changed and really did want more. I needed to get out but I am loyal to the death. God did for me what I couldn't do for myself as usual.
Loving oneself can be truly the greatest love of all. Happy Valentines Day.