I understand right now you are far from “happy”, you are lonely, imagining him off with his new love, giving her everything you wanted and more and you are sitting home broken and miserable.
Be honest with me now, did the narcissist EVER do anything nice on Valentine’s Day? Your birthday? Christmas? OK, aside from the very first one you had with him, but I mean over the course of the whole relationship, was there ever a special holiday you weren’t disappointed somehow?
If you did get gifts or attention paid to you it was because it made the narcissist look good to do it because they never do anything unless there is something in it for them.
I always went overboard on holidays, even when I was a single mom I cut out dozens of paper red hearts and hung them from the ceiling on red ribbons. I didn’t expect men to go to the extent I did to celebrate, I just liked any reason to decorate the house and cook a nice meal. So when JC and my first Valentines came along I went all out. We had been dating for about 3 months and had gotten into a comfortable, give and take, mutual appreciation type relationship. He had tearfully told me he was falling in love with me after about a month, we spoke every day and I had never been treated so well, I wanted to show my appreciation (not be like all the previous women in his life who took him for granted). I had a key to his place, Valentine’s was on a Saturday and he worked part time on Saturday so I had his place to myself all day. He was used to me being there when he got home from work on Saturday and I hadn’t come Friday night and was looking forward to seeing him with nervous anticipation. I really did love him and just seeing him gave me butterflies.
I brought the ingredients for a gourmet finger food type dinner, red balloons, a loving card, made a decadent dessert, bought a couple of bottles of nice wine and his favorite booze, Rye so I could have his drink ready when he got home. I laid chocolate hearts on the floor leading from the door to the bathroom, in the bathroom I had a hot bubblebath, his drink waiting, and a card telling him to get in the tub I would be right there. I was in a sexy little number, red lace I had bought just for this occasion. I planned on giving him a nice bath, washing his back etc and then leading him into the bedroom for more “pampering”.
But I waited and waited, he was never late but he was that day, then his phone rang. He had forgotten his cell phone, I didn’t answer, I never answered his phone, I had been raised you never look in someone’s wallet and you never answer their phone. I poured myself a glass of wine, checked my look in the mirror, lit some candles, and then heard something hit the window, and again, I went to look outside and heard my name being called, down below was JC throwing rocks at the window trying to get my attention, he had forgotten his key and phone and didn’t know how he was going to get in.
He told me to run downstairs and let him in. So much for my surprise, oh well, I threw some jeans on and ran down to open the main door. He was saying how he was about to climb up the balconies to get in and he had been throwing rocks for quite a while. He didn’t have any flowers in his hands and when we got to the apartment I let him open the door. At first he didn’t see the chocolates and even when he did, it didn’t register at first and then when he got to the bathroom and saw the card and bath the light went on. “Is it Valentine’s Day? oh shit! Babyyyy…… I forgot! I am so sorry.” I laughed, he looked so sorry. “That’s ok, you do nice stuff for me all the time.” He said he would go out and buy me some flowers and I told him not to be silly. he didn’t want a bath and took me into the bedroom right away and we made love. He wasn’t very hungry so my meal sat getting cold. He didn’t say much about the trouble I had gone to but I told myself he was embarrassed about not getting me anything.
The next morning we went to the local aquarium store to buy fish, (our favorite thing to do on Sundays) The staff at the store knew us well from our Sunday visits and knew we were new lovers. The owner’s wife asked if we had a good Valentine’s day and JC started to expound on all the work I did, putting the chocolates out and all and how he had forgotten. The woman gave him shit and I stood up for him, she said,”Well, its never too late, and i bet he never forgets again.”
Little did any of us know he would never remember, in 10 years, worse than not remembering, he simply didn’t acknowledge special occasions because he knew I wanted him to. Oh wait, I am lying, the last year; when his son lived with us, he brought me a 1/2 eaten box of marked down chocolates that he tossed at me as he walked in the door. I made a big deal about thanking him for them, after all he said I never appreciated anything he did for me and I only ever looked for things to bitch about.
He managed to destroy every special event so I found it better to not make a big deal about it. Like he used to say, “People without expectations are never disappointed.” But they are, they end up living a life of disappointment. Never anything to look forward to, never able to do something special for someone, and every day is just another day.
But Valentine’s Day has historically been a disappointment for me, I have always felt it was one of the most commercialized, put unnecessary pressure on relationships and set people up for disappointment. I remember the years when I was younger and worked in the bank or an office and the flowers would start coming through the door and it was more about who got the most bouquets or the biggest bouquet and less about the guy or how much the woman cared about the guy. If you were single you felt left out and if you were in a relationship it was a competition to see who got the most bouquets or the biggest most expensive gifts. Women in relationships expected rings, couples who just started dating didn’t know what to do, ignore the day, get her something and then she thinks you care more than you do? if you are seeing more than one girl do you buy them all something? It is the one holiday I really feel sorry for the guys, they are almost set up to fail and guys struggle with gift buying at the best of times.
Valentine’s Day really means nothing to me any more. It is a commercialized occasion designed to make you spend money. I suppose I would be happy to get flowers on Valentines, or any day of the year but not if the guy treated me like shit the rest of the year. After 9 years with JC I had grown to dread him doing anything romantic because if he did, it was always followed by something equally cruel to counteract it. Just in case I foolishly thought he loved me.
I don’t mean to minimize that some of you are hurting today but in the big picture, how important IS Valentine’s Day?
Personally, even if I was with a man I couldn’t care less about getting a gift on this day. I would be a lot more concerned with how he treats me all year and knowing that he was going to be around the next time I have a bad cold and he will bring me cough medicine, or he’ll be there with a paint brush the next time I want the living room painted, or he’ll surprise me with candles and cook me dinner just because he loves me and appreciates me. A guy that will massage my feet while we watch TV, or hold me when I cry over a sad movie, or who lets me adopt that sad little puppy. Someone who asks how my day was and actually listens and tells me he is proud of me. A man who thinks I am still sexy at 50 or 60 and tells me often. Someone who says he loves me everyday,even when I say it first because I need to hear it.
I bought my neighbor a Valentine’s card and gave her and her daughter a little gift to open this morning.
For those of you obsessing about how alone you are today I challenge you to really think about why it is so important to you and if it is worth ruining your whole day or week over. In the big picture, really, is this the worst thing that has happened to you, does it have any affect on the future? does it define who you are? your value? It had better not.
Don’t let yourself put too much importance on a simple commercialized holiday that has absolutely nothing to do with love. So many times we get ourselves worked up over something long before it happens. “I am going to be so lonely on Valentine’s Day, I am going to be so sad and miss my ex.” That self defeating inner talk that is guaranteed to make you miserable. Why do you do that to yourself? It is a day, one day and it has 24 hours just like every other day of the year and it will pass like every other day of the year.