Perhaps your love life hasn't exactly worked out the way you’d planned. Maybe you came through a rough marriage, you've had a number of challenging relationships with precisely the wrong partners, or situations in your love life have you thinking like there isn't a match for you. With Valentine's Day coming up, it can make things feel even worse. Not only do you have your own feelings to contend with, but then you peruse Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and all you see are endless photos and posts of "He got me roses!! I love you, Baby!" or "She got tickets!!! Yes!!!" All this does is cause you to reflect on a simple fact: You're not in a relationship right now, and love sucks.
I understand. Really; I get it. But please consider this:
A relationship does not define you. It can complementyou... but it doesn't define you.
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Maybe today it feels like all relationships are crap. I hear you. Being around others who are in the midst of enjoying someone else can conjure that. So, if you feel that way — do it. Feel the anger and bitterness that stems from a past relationship gone wrong. But while you're doing it, please recognize a couple of things:
Valentine's Day is just a day on the calendar. While it's rooted in a combination of history and legend, it's still just a day.
Give yourself a time limit for your feelings. It's okay to be pissed off... but don't harbor those feelings for long periods of time. A closed heart not only breeds anger and resentment, it can never receive love.
Recognize that not all relationships are the same.Although it might feel like all men/women are all the same, they aren't. There are great men and women out there. Just because you don't have a date today doesn't mean that you will be loveless. Try to keep things in perspective.
Above all, please know this: Broken hearts heal. But they don't heal through anger — they heal through recognition. They don't heal through regret — they heal through reflection. They don't heal through feelings of failure — they heal through acceptance. And moving on is not about blame — it's about surrender.
Don't spend your time regretting your past relationships—even if they were bad or challenging. Everything you have experienced has been prologue to this moment, and here you are... still standing. Every situation in our lives makes us bitter or better... and you can choose which at any time. Whatever has happened, you can't change it, you can't undo it, and you can't forget it. Instead, embrace it and move on. Bottom line: You win some... you learn some.
Great love is out there, but it might not appear until you let go of your past. Anything else is allowing your past to control you... and there is no use in looking back unless you plan on going that way.
Valentine's Day or not, it can be a beautiful day if you choose it to be.
Charles J. Orlandois relationship expert and author of the bestselling book series “The Problem with Women… is Men®.” Find out more about Charles on hiswebsite, or visit him onFacebookfor real-world love advice.