THE MANY SHADES OF LOVE
Is it me, or do we always notice Valentine’s Day more when we’re single? Before I met my husband, I was always painfully aware of Feb. 14 looming on the calendar. But now that I’m married with three kids, I can’t remember the last time I went out for the holiday. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Maybe it’s time for a broader, more inclusive way to celebrate love. Valentine’s Day is framed around romance. The hearts, the flowers, the restaurant reservations — so many of these trappings scream, “This day is for couples!” But should it be? Couples already have moments like anniversaries, when they can honor their relationship on their own terms. Why alienate those who are single or separated? Why constrain Valentine’s Day to a single definition of love? At the risk of competing with every poet in the English language, I will say love is prismatic. There are so many varied and brilliant hues making up this single word. Just as we might say, “I love my partner,” we also love our family and friends — our loved ones. Chocolate, cards, and going out to dinner don’t have to be just for our amor. Valentine’s Day should be a time to celebrate all the bonds that make our lives vibrant. This is not to say romance should take a back seat. Some may find this ironic, given my legal focus, but I am a romantic at heart. While the end of a relationship may leave people feeling bitter in the moment, I’ve seen the human capacity to find love again. The resilience it takes to restart that journey is a wonderful, inspiring credit to the women I’ve known in my life.
concrete advice on what time is the right time. As a rule of thumb, taking a year for yourself after a breakup or divorce is a good idea, but so much of that depends on you and your needs. There’s a difficult tightrope walk between jumping into something new too quickly and cutting yourself off entirely, and the holiday can make you feel pushed in one direction or the other. If you’re unsure whether you’re ready for a valentine, why not take the day to care for yourself ? A shade of love we often neglect is self-care. As I’ve said in the past, women tend to put themselves last. This is something I’ve seen in the women who raised me and those I represent. Whether through societal pressures, mimicking the women who came before us, or simply self- imposed sacrifice, it’s all too easy to neglect our own needs in favor of others. I’m certainly guilty of this too, but I’m trying to get better. I’ll often buy myself roses just so I can look at them on my desk. So don’t be afraid to be your own valentine this year, whether you’re single or not. Get yourself a massage, find a vase for your favorite flowers, go to that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, plan a day out with your friends, or just catch up on that show you’ve been meaning to watch. It sounds simple, but this kind of self-love can prove difficult. Remember that giving yourself room for happiness is important, valid, and healthy.
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For those considering dating again, no academic degree or legal experience would allow me to give
“VALENTINE’S DAY SHOULD BE A TIME TO CELEBRATE ALL THE BONDS THAT MAKE OUR LIVES VIBRANT.”
Here’s to all the ways we can love others and ourselves, FloridaWomensLawGroup.com -Heather Qu ick
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