Happy (?) Valentines Day

Valentines Day conjures up many mixed feelings in folks who are single.  For some, it reminds of a past love.  For others, a sense of longing or loneliness can come into play…but for those with a glass-half-full mentality these feelings can give way to anticipation of potential future love.  One of the great things about being single, after all, is that at any moment every day the possibility exists that love may be just around the corner.
Take it from the author of this post, who at age 53, is getting married for the first time. After decades of searching and “playing the field” love grabbed me and held tight.  It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t expected…and it was almost lost due to a bit of carelessness. But once I realized that an open heart and and open mind can open up new possibilities, well, I became the luckiest man on the face of the earth.  It  made me realize that the old adage “it could happen to you” is a promising, if not, realistic venture for anyone willing to actually let it Happen. To. You.
But  I digress.  If you’re attached, the pressure to express your love on this day tends to undermine what you should be doing every today, not just because of a retail holiday. Love is not a holiday; rather it is something to enjoy every day.  Sure, it is work, commitment, respect and patience but just like cooking a meal, if done right, its delicious.
Cooking a meal?  Yes – think about it.  You can buy a frozen Hot Pocket, heat it up and eat it.  Delicious but barely appreciated or remembered once its ingested. Quick fix of your hunger, no care in the preparation and thoughtless eating.  Now, prepare an elaborate meal by reading a recipe and cutting up ingredients and basting or marinating then carefully watching over the meal while it bakes perfectly…and then present it at a nice table with good wine and you know what you have?  Love!  You have created something with meaning – something to be appreciated. Something to be proud of and something that will be remembered.
But what if you’re not attached on Valentines Day?  Feelings of loneliness can be painfully manifested with all of the “in your face” love that’s portrayed on television.   Damn this holiday.  Why does it make everyone think so much about something that so many people don’t have?  There are two very good reasons not to let Valentines Day get you down if you’re not in love. The first reason is Hallmark.  And florists and diamond stores, and all the chocolatiers who have something to sell.  In 2014 alone over $100 million was spent on jewelry and flowers during Valentines Day…and over $1 billion on candy alone. Valentines Day is nothing more than the retail side of Christmas gift-giving with hearts.
The second reason not to let Valentines Day get you down is because you are reading it all wrong.  You ARE in love!  You may not have a spouse or a boy/girlfriend but you have friends and parents and siblings and co-workers to whom your every day existence gives you purpose.  You have the ability to change the world for a sick child or an elderly citizen who needs a visit…or a dog who needs adopted.
In other words, don’t despair over not having love because you have love, you give love and you are loved.  Don’t ever forget that.
Because you are a patron of Dinner for 8 (or a reader of this blog which means you are interested in Dinner for 8 – and should thus join!), we have chosen this time of year to offer up a little holiday cheer along with great opportunities to start meeting some new people.  Within the next week or so members can rest-assure that we are working diligently to create more groups and meaningful experiences.
Additionally, keep an eye out for a Special Event that will be open to all, to be announced before spring!
Remember that Dinner for 8 is all about a small group  experience; it’s what makes it unique, special and atypical from other singles experiences
Soon, you will taste the benefits of a small group experience!

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