All In Favor Of Dumping Valentine's Day
So everywhere I turn I see hearts, chocolates and dinner specials to celebrate….you might be surprised to know that both Doug and I aren’t real crazy about Valentine’s Day… and I am guessing we aren’t the only ones.
We actually had our first date on February 11 and Doug immediately told me that he would not be getting me anything for Valentines the following week. However, without skipping a beat, he proceeded to tell me that I would feel loved every day of the year… and that sure sounded good to me!
I haven’t always disliked Valentine’s Day.
Before my accident, getting married was a huge priority of mine. I honestly envisioned myself being married at 18 and having 5 children by the time I was 25! However, after my accident, I went through a very bad breakup which made me bitter towards love. I got asked out on a regular basis, but usually turned it down or did not let it go too much further than the first date.
I even hated romantic movies … I had what I called a “Cheesy meter,” and if at any point the male actor in the movie did something sweet or beautiful for the woman actor, I would yell out “Cheesy! No man in real life does that!” At this point, most of my friends would be crying and adoring these male actors and saying “I want a man like that!” I would then proceed to explain that this is a movie, with paid actors, not real life.
I watched all of my friends get married, and honestly I was never jealous or wishing that was me… UNTIL, I turned 30. When I celebrated my 30th birthday, I felt that I had missed out on some really great
opportunities…all those years prior; and now I feared that I had waited too long and that I was now going to be single for the rest of my life. So like every rational person would have done, I totally panicked and became completely consumed with getting married and finding the right person! It’s comical now, but at the time it was very difficult for me. It seemed as if everywhere I turned were married couples, people kissing and holding hands, and people sharing their love stories! I couldn’t get away from it!
It took about a year before I snapped out of my panic … and started to realize that being single was not the worst thing. My friends and family would tell me that I was too picky and that what I wanted in a man did not exist (if you have read my book, it is why my sister called me the gingerbread man). I truly thought that I was worthy of love regardless of being in a wheelchair, and someday that man would enter my life. On the days that I doubted my own beliefs and convictions, which were many, I struggled with my value and what I could actually bring to a relationship. It was kind of like a yo-yo mentality, but I knew deep down that someday I would get married. I just never imagined that he would be so wonderful.
I actually decided that I was over the fact of wanting to get married and that is why I waited 12 days to respond to Doug’s message on Christian mingle. I was determined to be happy right where I was at. It’s really crazy, because I almost missed him.
If you’re single and desperate to get married, slow down, take a breath. I totally understand the pressure and the want of finding love and acceptance in life, but please DON’T SETTLE! I almost did that and I thank God every day that I did not give into a relationship that was less than God’s best. The relationship I was in before I met Doug was full of anger, childish games, and walking on eggshells. I watched my self-esteem spiral downward and my value of myself deteriorate. Over the years, I have seen some of my friends who were in a hurry to get married go through very difficult times and even divorce… To have the fairytale wedding day is not worth it if it causes years of misery. I believe it is better to be alone than to be with someone who makes life difficult.
Choose to be happy right where you’re at, be thankful for all that you do have, and promise yourself that you are worthy to be loved and therefore will wait until you meet the person who will do so. Doug will be the first to tell you that my insecurities rose up early in our relationship. I was afraid to love, afraid to open up and afraid to be taken advantage of. However, he continued to chisel away the rock that had formed around my heart and I soon realized that loving him was worth the risk. Shortly after we began dating and I was seeing how sweet he was, I began asking him if I could “pinch” him because I wanted to make sure that he was real. I have now stopped that or his arms would be completely bruised! He has proven himself over and over to me of his love and devotion – and am thankful knowing he is the real deal :-)
I actually call him my “Ephesians 3:20 Man” because God gave me a man “that was more than I could ask, dream or think of.” Of course he is human and has faults like everyone else, but no man has ever treated me so beautifully and so well. He loves me just as I am, with my silly quirks and mannerisms and even my wheelchair. He has even shown me what a man can act like and how special someone can treat their partner, which has even warmed me up to watching a love story and even find myself shedding a tear now and then.