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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can really put a microscope on your relationship status. Whether you’re being asked about it your dating life, or dating someone, or in a committed relationship the day can seemingly scrutinize your “love life”. That closer look at where things stand may be sparked by external things but the scrutinizing occurs internally. The holiday can cause us to put a level of expectation upon ourselves.

If we’re not dating someone we might experience inner dialogue along the lines of,

  • Why haven’t I found anyone yet?
  • What’s wrong with me?
  • I’m so unattractive.
  • I have so much wrong with me, of course I’m not dateable.
  • I don’t care.
  • I love being single.
  • No one is good enough for me!
  • If we are dating someone. We might feel the anticipation of how to engage in the holiday with our partner. Thoughts might include,
  • Where should we go?
  • What should we do?
  • Do they even want to celebrate it?
  • I can’t afford anything that would impress them.
  • Gift giving stresses me out, I know I’ll disappoint them.
  • And if you are in a committed relationship. You may wonder,
  • Will they remember?
  • If they don’t remember- do they still care about me?
  • What’s the point?

In other words, it can be a day of celebration of your relationship. It can also bring up self-doubt, loneliness, and sadness. A day that highlights intimate relationships can also punctuate grief and loss for those who have lost their partner or spouse. This holiday can also be a marker for what is working or not working in our relationships or attempts at them. It can remind us of what we have or don’t have.

What if there was a person to hold space and talk to about all of this? An unbiased person who doesn’t know you, but is open to learning about you and your goals. A person who is rooting for you to get to where you want to be. A person who will help you gradually look at the most painful areas that you’re avoiding but know need the most work. Building a relationship with a therapist can be insightful into relationship patterns and behaviors. Avoidance, dismissal, rejection, comfort, trust, communication, safety and more are all integral parts of understanding how you receive and understand relationship dynamics. Therapy can be a safe space to explore and interrupt communication patterns. In therapy, this is done with compassion and understanding that these patterns developed overtime and were shaped by your experiences. Therapy can meet you where you are and support you in reaching your goals.

Written by:

Lauren Pena MFT, ATR, LMFT # 130687

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