For ages, Valentine has been the day when people wait for their loved ones to celebrate love with them through kind words and gifting. This has been so personalized that being ignored is not taken kindly. But the truth is that some people never receive anything on the Valentine’s Day.

The reason for this could be conflicting expectations: two people all waiting to receive from each other in vain; or one person, not knowing they ought to have gifted the other. And even when gifts are given, some do not approve of such gifts because of the differences in expectations. Perhaps one expected something more expensive, more personalized, more symbolic – the list is endless.

Instead of spurring and celebrating what exists, Valentine has been the day when many people officially start their journey of depression, self-pity, and desperation. Does it have to be this? Can’t things change? What is the way forward?

Well, love begins with the lover. Unless one has love in and for themselves, they have nothing to express. In all they do, they merely propagate emptiness. And emptiness kills love.

Perhaps, the right way to begin is by looking at oneself as the object of love, worthy of pampering, gifting, and kind words. This means changing the direction of love from expecting it from people, to expecting it from one’s self. This means doing to yourself what you expect from others – taking yourself out for lunch or dinner, spoiling and repeatedly reminding that forgetful person in us: I love you.

In doing this, what is there to lose? People know themselves so well that they can never miss what they really want. It also means that there is no room for disappointment. This shift of focus can be the ideal solution that will ultimately bring back lost joy.