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5 Ways to Survive Love Season

February 5, 2014

February 15th can be a really tough day. No, you aren’t reading that wrong. It’s the day after Valentine’s Day.

As long as it’s February 14th there’s still hope for someone to bring you a flower… give you a chocolate something… sing you a song… write you a poem… say, “you complete me”… you get the picture.

But then the clock strikes midnight and disappointment takes you by the hand and wants to chat for a while. Today’s unmet expectations become tomorrow’s frustrations.

5 Ways to Survive Love Season

So, February 15th rolls around and suddenly the full impact of whatever was lacking on February 14th hits full force.

For my single friends it can feel like “Single Awareness Day.”

For my married friends it can feel like “the gaps in my marriage were so highlighted by yesterday’s lack.”

But I’m challenged to check my heart on this. I mean really check my heart. Here are five ways I’m challenging myself to not just survive but really thrive this love season:

1. What am I doing that’s feeding my expectations?

Maybe right now isn’t the best time to read a Nicholas Sparks book or watch movies with lines in them like, “You had me at hello” and “You complete me.”

2. What am I doing that comforts me in the moment but makes me feel awful just hours later?

Hint… put down the ice cream and don’t mix up the cookie dough. Just because the cookies aren’t baked doesn’t mean the calories don’t exist. This is just a totally hypothetical situation, of course.

3. Who can I bless this Valentine’s Day?

Instead of waiting to be loved, I should make the decision to give love. I have so many friends who need to know someone is thinking about them right now. And there are wonderful ministry opportunities to reach our hands out to those in need.

There is so much joy to be had when we seek to invest loving acts in others’ lives.

4. What can I go ahead and put on my schedule that will make me look forward to this season of love?

Instead of waiting to be asked, I can get proactive. If I have something to look forward to on my schedule, it gives my heart such a boost.

And it keeps me from that cookie dough!

5. Am I believing the “if only” lie?

If only I had a boyfriend. If only I had a husband. If only I had a more romantic husband.

“If only” can do quite a number on our hearts. Refuse to paint these pictures of Egypt.

Egypt – huh? Let me explain.

I got this thought from reading the Old Testament story about what happened to the Israelites when they were freed from captivity in Egypt. At first they were happy. And then when life got hard en route to the Promised Land, they started believing the “if only” lie… if only they’d never left Egypt they’d have pots of meat to eat.

But in Egypt they were mistreated slaves!

It’s so easy for us to paint the picture that our lives would be better “if only.” I’m determined to replace my “If only I had… I could” scripts with “Because I am… I can.”

Because I am loved by God, I can boss lies around.

Because I am loved by God, I can be so thankful for the people I do have in my life.

Because I am loved by God, I can choose to make this love season wonderful.

I pray these questions and simple ideas help. We’re all in this together sweet friends.

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32 Comments
  1. Anna

    Thanks for the great reminder. I’ve been guilty of this a few times myself! Have you heard the song “Painting Pictures of Eygpyt” by Sara Groves. I’ve always thought of it in relation to cross-cultural living/moving, but now I can see another aspect of it.

    Reply
    • Nico Smith

      I absolutely ♥ my wonderful husband, Ron Smith. God has given me the very best man n the entire universe. Whenever we can, he likes to surprise me by doing little things to ma…ke me happy. My birthday’s coming up on March 2 *turning 30), and I’m absolutely certain he’s already up to doing something for me. Unfortunately, I’ve got no idea what he’s going to do, as he’s not willing to share with me what he’s thinking. Nevertheless, I think he’s trying to out-do surprising me from how I surprised him for his birthday last year, Christmas last year and the year before, even on his birthday two years ago. He’s very sneaky, I think. “February 15th can be a really tough day. No, you aren’t reading that wrong. It’s the day after Valentine’s Day.

      As long as it’s February 14th there’s still hope for someone to bring you a flower… give you a chocolate something… sing you a …song… write you a poem… say, “you complete me”… you get the picture.

      But then the clock strikes midnight and disappointment takes you by the hand and wants to chat for a while. Today’s unmet expectations become tomorrow’s frustrations…”Lysa TerKeurst Valentine’s Daycan be a bit on the frustrating side for me. Lately, my mom, Cynthia Echols, hasn’t sent me any little gifts in the mail to let me now just how much she’s thinking of me. Sometime ago, she’d send me little gifts- a card, a stuffed animal, even candy- just to let me know how much she cares about me. Ultimately, she now sends little notes by http://www.123greetings.com if she remembers to send something right on that day. Unfortunately, feeding my expectations of my mom sending my Valentine’s Day mail is often met by calling her to wish her a Happy Valentine’s Day. I know she gets really busy with work and stuff at home, so I’m not really too surprised thta she may end up forgetting about me and Ron when it comes to various special holidays a year.Moments when I’m feeling down, I spend with my incredible husband, who I know isn’t ever going to forget about me.Ultimately, I know my husband’ll be blessed this Balentine’s Day; however, I have someone else in mind to bless when the time is right to actually pull this surprise completely off. Nonetheless, I wish I could do something extraordinary to show my hubby just how much I totally do care about him. Unconditionally is how I’m loved by God, and I’m not believing the “if only” lie because I know just how difficult it is for my hubby and I to do what we’d like on the amount of money we make a month, as we have to spend money on our leopard gecko, too. God can help us get through our sadness of not having a good holiday if we only just take time to go to Him in prayer.See More

      Reply
  2. Stephanie

    Thank you for sharing this! I have been single almost 6 years (after a 25 year marriage). This kind of day is REALLY hard for me. I do have a gentleman in my life who is a boy-friend…not a boyfriend 🙂 So that makes it even harder. I want so much more for my life and I dwell on that TOO much. Thank you for bring me back to reality, to focus on others and not myself. Sometimes we need someone around to help ground us. Thank you for your ministry and may God truly bless you in it!!

    Reply
  3. dee

    funny how married people tell single people that God is there husband Isn’t god the husband of married folks too
    they why do some people get both
    I don’t fell loved by god at all

    Reply
    • Judy

      Dee,
      YOU ARE VERY LOVED BY GOD!!!
      Being single, even knowing that God loves you, can still be difficult. We all feel a need to have someone that can hold us. I have been divorced for 9 years. Valentine’s Day is one of those difficult days – as it just accentuates that this is a ‘couples world’.
      This year, rather than staying at home, I organized a dinner for all my single female friends (see my post below.) I think I am looking forward to this Valentines Day more than any when I was part of a ‘couple’.
      I pray that you feel God’s love.

      Reply
  4. elizabeth

    I was married on feb 14 1996 but divorced in jan of 2005 so it is a tough time for me but god always makes me forget about that day with someone to help or spend time with he is wonderful in so many ways im blessed ty for this

    Reply
  5. Cathy

    Years ago we decided to make a HUGE deal of Valentine’s Day as a family. We rotate in our family, and two people are in charge of the “surprise meal”. We hang sheets and curtains up to block off the kitchen. Noises are heard from the hidden room, lots of laughter ensues from the other side, tantalizing fragrances tempt those that are relegated to the living room, fancy clothes are drug out and donned, and when the fancy decor, fabulous meal, and special memory is shared by everyone, I don’t think any of the singles in our house dwell on what they don’t have. Instead, we are all reminded of the wonderful gift of love that GOD already gave us in our family. And yes, we do have older children….23, 21, 18, & 13. These can be challenging times when you know their hearts are aching for gift of marriage, but as parents, we can definitely step in and help them to focus their hearts in the right direction – loving and gratefully enjoying what GOD has already blessed them with. Thanks for the 5 points in this post. They have already been talked about today!

    Reply
  6. Judy

    Valentines Day is actually more difficult than the day after. Rather than sitting at home feeling sorry for myself on Valentines Day, I reserved a hibachi table at our local Japanese restaurant (you know…the kind you all sit around and watch them cook and entertain you) and invited all of my single female friends. I hunted up a bunch of bud vases and am going to bless them all with a flower. I didn’t have as good a response as I was hoping, but I’m really looking forward to spending time with the women that will be there.

    Reply
  7. Janelle

    TY for this reminder to think of others and what I can do !!

    Ps. your like button for fb gave me an error message.

    Reply
  8. Tami

    God bless you for blessing and encouraging others. We believers need people like you to lift us up and keep our eyes on Jesus as our source of love! I needed this reminder and focus shift today. It is so easy to let the culture’s message of “it’s all about me” seep into our minds and hearts and believe that “Egypt” lie which leads to bitterness and discontent. We so easily forget that the abundant life Jesus promises comes from gratitude. Gratitude for our savior and all his blessings. I pray we would focus on those and let our gratitude overflow to all we are blessed to encounter this season.

    Ms. Dee, Know you are covered in prayer today.

    Reply
  9. Anita B.

    Lysa — Thank you so much for sharing this! February can be a tough month for me if I let it as my birthday falls the day before Valentine’s Day. If I let Satan cheat me into believing the “if only” lie, those three days (not to mention the entire month) can be downright diffucult. This year, I’m focusing on the acts of kindness I’ve gotten into the habit of doing on my birthday and will be extending them into Valentine’s Day and that weekend as well as living happily, whether I get an “ever after” on this earth or not. I’m choosing today to embrace the truth that Jesus is my ultimate “Ever After.” He will never leave me, nor will He forsake me. Blessings!

    Reply
  10. V. Kay Cantrill

    Valentines Day hasn’t been easy for me in the last 15 years yet I don’t consider it to be hard. It is the anniversary of my husband’s death. I don’t focus on the “if only”. It was God’s will and only He sees the big picture. Valentine’s Day will never have the same meaning as before. God loved me enough to prepare me to be independent in order to take care of me. God loved me enough to give me the strength to face each and everyday. I am thankful God loved me enough for me to be who I am.

    Reply
  11. Michele Roach

    Thank you, Lysa. This is just what I needed to keep me from hating Valentine’s Day… – about time I didn’t make it all about me:)

    Reply
  12. Liane Bastion

    Thank you for this! I think it’s important to remember that it’s not just us singles, but married people and people in relationships who also have a hard time around this time of year. I have already been trying to focus on the positive, like I get to celebrate a special kiddo’s birthday on Feb. 14 and will be with good friends too.

    Reply
  13. Teresa

    Thanks Lysa for that. Sometimes it feels like the married people are trying to shame and harass the single or divorced folks on Valentine’s Day. But as a divorcee, I know even when I was married sometimes I felt lonely and unloved. I’m reading a great book by Joyce Meyer, “God Is Not Mad At You.” Joyce says that God chooses to love us, not because we deserve it (Eph 1:5). That has been something I’m holding onto during this season of love. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Caroline

    Thank you for sharing!! You always encourage me and remind me of the important things. I love the one you wrote on give your men a break – we put too much on them with high expectations. I so want my husband to just want to do something romantic, but if I take a close look he does – might not be flowers like I think I want but how he cleans my lunch box out while we are chatting and how he hugs me extra hard – oh so many little things I would of missed if I had my heart saying he can love me only one way! He loves me his way and I’m so thankful to God for giving me a such a wonderful gift. Thank you Lysa for opening my eyes about me – with the help of your books and your blog. You have helped me truly appreciate what I have in front of me. You are a blessing from God for us women!!!

    Reply
  15. Marsha

    I can be a sap around Valentines Day because I want my hubby to be romantic and surprise me that day. I decided to stop expecting him to do anything, that way I won’t feel disappointed. Its tough for married ppl so I can’t imagine what single people go through.

    Reply
  16. Linda

    I was so touched by Mrs. Patmore’s gesture of friendship toward Daisy and Daisy’s response on Valentine’s Day at Downton Abbey. It reminded me to be considerate and aware of others. Thanks for your ways to survive and love on others those couple of tough days.

    Reply
  17. Esther

    Thank you for this post. As a divorced,single mum Valentines Day has the potential to hit hard and below the belt. I can say that I decided last year to give small stuffed felt hearts to some of the mums at my sons school (married and single) to show them (and convince myself) that this love day can also be a day to show the love for those in our life. This year I’m thinking of heart shaped biscuits in pretty packaging.
    Your comments about the Egypt parallel are spot on. So many times I have wandered down that path of ‘if only…I could”. Thank you for the ‘because I am…I can’. I’m going to print it out and hang it in my home. To give myself a check when the ‘if on lays’ start rolling in. Thank you xoxo.

    Reply
  18. Donna J

    A precious post. Valentines used to be so difficult without boyfriend or husband. It was my toughest holiday. I like the ideas of planning an activity and giving to someone else. There’s a couple in my life that have shown us Singles love all year who deserve a Thank You.

    Reply
  19. Kathy

    Lysa, Thank you for this. I appreciate your ministry a great deal.

    While this doesn’t relate to this post, I’m currently doing the Made to Crave online Bible study. Found this while I was trying to hear the song “Fat Bottomed Girls Make the World Go Round” as I didn’t know the song, and thought you’d get a laugh:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/nick-robinsons-fat-bottomed-girls-ringtone-interrupts-banking-debate-9063295.html

    Reply
  20. Janine

    As a single person, I thank you for this. Great advice. It is very helpful. Blessings to you.

    Reply
  21. Sheila

    This was a great read! I believe I will make it my mission to do something for someone I know. Someone I see from a distance, a person at work, the single mom at church. Thank you for inspiration, I need something so I’m not depressed in my own loneliness.

    Reply
  22. Lee

    Lysa, thanks for sharing. Also, great comments everyone. I do agree that the best way to reduce the pain of another lonely Valentine’s Day is to reach out to others, to bless others. And I plan to do just that thing. Also, I am grateful to the Lord for his care and blessings. However, in case anyone thinks so, for me (perhaps, for many of us) it still does not take away the pain and loneliness and desire to have a soul mate to share life with.

    Reply
  23. Becky Thomas

    When I was single and desperately wanting to be in a relationship I kept reading all of these things about “celebrating the season you are in.” I didn’t. When I was finally in a relationship I found myself asking my significant other: “What do you miss about being single?” To my dismay, I found that there WERE things that I missed about being single! I simply couldn’t believe it! All that time wishing desperately for a relationship and not realizing that there was JOY right where I was!! I pray ernestly that each and every one of you CELEBRATE the season you are in. If you’re single find JOY in being single! This world wants us to think that we HAVE to have someone, but all we need is Him! Celebrate your season, whatever season that happens to be right now!

    Reply
    • Jojo

      Thanks Becky, I found your words to be very encouraging!

      Reply
  24. Suzanne

    Thank you for this post. I really needed to read it. I broke up with my fiance a week ago. I have been heart broke this week, but hopeful because I know God has a plan. This season is a very stressful time for me, because I am a florist. Making all those beautiful flowers for people brings me joy, and I am so thankful for the ability to do what I love and share it with others. It really does make it easier when you are single during the “love” season. I am going to continue to rely on God next week and I know that something good will come from all I am going through. I am going to be proactive. We have several women in our area that have lost their husbands in the last few years. I think this would be a great time to send them a little something letting them know they are not alone. THANK YOU for being obedient to God and allowing him to use you to speak to the hearts of people with such great encouragement! I pray that you will be blessed this “love season”!

    Reply
  25. Jojo

    I absolutely loathe Valentine’s Day. I am 40 years old and still waiting for the man God has chosen for me. Never been fortunate enough to ever have had a boyfriend to celebrate this day with either. It’s hard because of what society has made this day into. It’s hard not to notice that one is alone in a world so “couple-oriented”, particularly on a day that celebrates coupledom.

    I dream of getting flowers from a man someday, of being told that I’m loved, holding hands and sharing kisses. I know that God cares about all of these little things. They are important to me and therefore important to Him. I have asked God to hold all of these special moments in His hands until the time is right. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes we create our own disappointments by holding on to unrealistic/unmet expectations.

    I know how Dee feels, I have felt that pain as well, at times. But I know that is a lie of the enemy used to isolate me from God. God is pure love. Dee-you are loved! Praying for you!

    Reply
  26. Karen

    My husband passed away 2 months ago. It will be my first without him in 30 years. I can honestly say I am dreading this day. So, for those of you who do have a husband who is maybe not as romantic as you would like, I say to you, embrace him, no matter whether he gets you anything or not. Just embrace him. Know that the fact that you are together is enough and flowers and candy are not needed. For if your husband was like mine, he showed me everyday that I was loved and cherished so it was not need on that one particular day. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day all. And just remember you never know when it might be your last to share, so treat every day as if it were Valentine’s Day.

    Reply
  27. Carrie

    Loving your honesty!! Yes, we all have that chatter in our heads….I would so love to read your book. I try and help my dad…he has lots of past voices in his head. I told him dad, if I wronged you…how many times would I have to ask for your forgiveness…and he said once. I said, right…and God is our heavenly father…he has already forgiven you. I have been watching your Crave videos and will continue to watch and share what all GOD has shared with you….You are doing an amazing job, chick!!!

    Reply
  28. Jessica Walter

    I just wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation to prophet salifu for bringing my husband back to me,I was married to my husband for 4 years and all of a sudden he started seeing another lady (his mistress).he started hailing at me and he was abusive.. and he hated me , but I still loved him with all my heart . the situation made me unsettle and not to focus at work .so a friend told me about trying (prophet salifu )spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to him ? i did not listen to her and hoped that my husband will come back home . after 9 month of seperation and depression , it got out of hand and my husband came back home to break the news to me that he want a divorce that he is getting married to his mistress .Hmmm it was so shocking to me ,i felt sad and more depressed ,so i contacted my friend again and decieded to try to use spiritual means reluctantly..although I didn’t believe in all those things? I never thought in a million years that i will get my husband back to me a again. but I was proved wrong.after 24 hours, my husband came back and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it that we are back together. I am deeply satisfied and thankful with prophet salifu work .if you also want to fix you marriage or relationship email him at or , his work is for a better life .

    Reply
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