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I’m guessing with the day’s ticking down to February 14th, the male of the species may be starting to get quite twitchy – Valentine’s is so fraught with emotion, assumption & expectation….& frankly cost.

So I’d like to suggest an alternative, with Valentine’s Day itself offering us a signpost for our future interactions.  It could be so much more than signalling  our feelings opposite a relationship with our “significant others” on just one day. & so much more than just being “romantic” on 14th February. It’s an opportunity to take a moment to assess what we would wish for the future, for ourselves,  for our significant relationships & for everyday.

Mary Kate with one of her significant marriages

I am a great admirer of the poet David Whyte whose recent book “The Three Marriages” explores and challenges on the standard assumptions and definition of marriage and what happens when we fall in love. David Whyte is passionate, deep, with some uncomfortable messages which he also acknowledges for himself.

I’ve been lucky enough to see him speak on a couple of occasions. It’s life affirming & humbling that his self awareness allows him to take great dollops of his own medicine. If you read nothing but the introduction to the book, then it would give enough stimulus for at least a modicum of growth – I laughed and empathised at getting himself  into a pressurised situation & fretted for him.  Do go for reading the whole book for his views on three marriages – that which we conventionally think of with a significant other, the second being that with work, where he has some fascinating alternative thinking on “work life balance”, and his “third” marriage, that of the relationship we have with ourselves.

So, how about a major reframe of Valentine’s day, where you no longer fret if you receive any mysterious cards or roses – have a Valentine’s for you – you’re the person that you’ll have the longest relationship with. Have a Valentines with your significant other if you have one – & I’d advocate in a humbling, authentic way – I’m wondering why folks would cram themselves into a restaurant on one particular night when the service is always at a stretch. The most precious times I’ve experienced have been simple acts of love – a cup of tea in bed when I was far from expecting it – precious, precious moments to treasure always.

Have a Valentine’s week – a whole week where you take care of your interactions with those who matter to you & who you consider important to you.

And do you know, how about have a Valentine’s life, with devoting time to having a greater awareness of all three marriages, to take care of relationships in the moment.

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