The Sweetheart Relationship: Valentines Day, 2023

Happy Valentine’s Day… here is some insight and several tips for a great Valentine’s Day Today…

A relationship saturated with love, affection, intimacy, respect, and honor. The Sweetheart Relationship is a relationship by choice, not by luck or chemistry. It is a relationship that is malleable, or one that is fluid, where it grows, bends, and flows, one that acknowledges and understands its ever-growing, and ever-changing hosts, and one that glows and shines because it must, to give light during the darkest times, to give illumination during the hardest times, and to give warmth during the coldest days, ignited only by one’s deepest wants and desires, flaming hard into our souls, seeping us with hot love, holding hard those closest to us, to never let go . . . no matter how hard, how difficult, or how chaotic . . . to never let go . . . no matter how unfair, how sad, or how lonely . . . to never let go . . . no matter how far, how distant, or how afar.

Falling in love is the easy part. Falling in love is rooted deep in instinct; a subconscious action we all make while being alive. We choose not to fall in love, but choose to succumb to love. There’s a difference. To choose to fall in love, one must logically prepare for it, to practice it daily, and to acknowledge its challenges and difficulty. Not a human alive does this, and if one does, I’d question its origin. But rather than choosing to fall in love, we choose to succumb to it. We choose to submit ourselves to its raw and frightening power. That is perfectly normal. We choose to buckle up for its powerful ride, full of twists and turns, aching for its pleasures and reeling from its whiplashes. This is a journey we must all take. Sooner or later we must all ride this Journey of chaotic beauty.

Yet, it is during this ride that most of us get thrashed out, smashing into the dark walls of resentment, depression, anger, and loneliness, only to pick ourselves up with tears in our eyes surveying The Journey, wondering how the connected smiles and hearts ride this thing, and not only ride it exceptionally, but ride it until the it stops when they’re ready to depart this land forever. We look up at them riding high in the clouds, arms extended into the air, full of smiles and warm joy, wondering why. Perhaps they have “good chemistry” as the relationship counselors preach, or perhaps they just have “that connection” as the friends preach, maybe they “are soulmates” as the books preach, or maybe they just have that “one thing” like Curly in City Slickers preaches. Often, we bury our heads in our hands, tears flowing between our fingers, sick and tired, exhausted and depleted, saying that it’s my fault that I can’t ride The Journey. What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with us? All the fights, all the yelling and shouting, and all the arguments come boiling back, which bring us to the question: how can I enjoy love like them?

First you must stand up and walk away from the dark wall. Close your eyes, choose to grab your sweetheart’s hand, and take a deep breath. The wall is behind you. There is no going back. You are in this together. Never leave a sweetheart behind. It’s time to ride The Journey again, but this time, you will be holding your sweetheart’s hand. Because you chose to. Not because you succumbed to choose, but rather because you chose with a decision. Enjoy its warm embrace, its comfort, because that connected hand, well, it’s the only thing that matters. Squeeze it tight and never let go, because holding that hand creates the Sweetheart Relationship, always there for you when the twists and turns tumble, always there when the times turn dark, and always there when the ticks of time crumble from underneath your feet, revealing futures filled with chaotic beauty. But you are ready to tackle that chaotic beauty, knowing that that’s just how it is: a life filled with change. You’re ready to change with it. Because we all change. Even love. You grip your sweetheart’s hand tighter, knowing that both of your hands will swing high into the happy and fun air, and crash down into the low and tearful below, but you’re ready for that journey, whatever may happen could happen, and as you climb back onto The Journey, you smile, knowing you will finally make it to the end, where all rides stop, and all rides begin.

The choice must always come first. Relationships in the Sweetheart Relationship never “just happen.” You, me, everybody, we must all make the choices that do three things: give back to ourselves, give to our sweethearts, and give to the world. What is missing in your life that you want? What is missing in theirs? What are your talents, gifts, and passions that the world needs?

Here are some tips for a special and great Valentine’s Day…

Hershey Kisses:
I care deeply about my partner, so I will leave Hershey kisses on her pillow before she goes to bed while I’m working late on Valentine’s day or vice versa for him.

Sticky Notes:
I want to let her know that she is the only one that matters so I will leave sticky notes on her bathroom mirror saying “I love you” while she gets ready for the morning or vice versa for him.

Bible Verses:
Read Bible verses together aloud before bed.

For example:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” ~ Ephesians 4:29

Verbal Affirmations:
Say the words out loud to your partner that matter the most.

For example:
I know I have not been the best sweetheart to you. I will do everything in my power to help you feel loved, secure, and taken care of. Your happiness in return, will help me feel loved, since it’s the smiles and laughs that make me happy in life.

Ian Garrison

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