by Daniel D. Maurer
I think Google's autofill option in the search engine is incredibly informative. Sometimes, it's downright entertaining.
Just look what comes up when you type (correction . . . when I type) "Valentine's Day" into the search bar (Google's algorithm results I guess are particular to each person — try it!):
You have to wonder about the demographics typing in "is important" versus "is not important." I'm thinking more guys fall into the "not important" category.
Here's another one:
Which leads me to believe that people are conflicted about this silly holiday . . .
Oops. I gave myself away. Sorry hun!
I mean, why should there be only one day when your loved one is special? Shouldn't that be every day?!
I know my wife would respond yes to the question above. I also know that she likes it when I make the effort to make a difference on a special day.
Because the things we say and do matter.
And I want her to know that she matters to me.
Unlike some of us out there, I happen to believe that no one person has a soul mate. Science would seem to affirm this fact. Sociologists affirm that it's actually detrimental to a relationship to believe that "soul mates" exist!
Human beings, as animals, have several mating strategies. And guess what, monogamy (one partner) and polyamory (multiple partners) have continued to survive thrive alongside each other within the scope of relationships.
Why stay with one person then?
Here are my reasons:
This person—my wife Carol—has stayed with me through hell.
When I was active in my addiction and before I had changed, members at her Alanon group told her:
"This is his third treatment."
"He's not getting better."
Others said these things (I don't blame any of them, by the way):
"He's never going to change—you're only making it worse for yourself and your family."
"Time to say goodbye."
Of course, there were others who simply listened to her:
"I just love him. I hang on to hope."
Love is like that. It's irrational. It doesn't take the facts under consideration. Change doesn't come easily. For some, it never comes.
For me, it did. And it does for millions of others living in long-term recovery from addiction.
But you don't have to obsess about just the topic of recovery. Love, for any of us, requires that we change. We have to adapt and change. For some, the change never comes. And "true love" (whatever that is) is never found.
For Valentine's Day today—and really for every day—I will remind myself of that fact that relationships take work, that a "soul mate" exists only in our ability to give to another, and that love is real . . . a real, ongoing, story of transformation.
And sometimes, that change or transformation is exactly what we need.
About the Author
Daniel D. Maurer is the husband of Carol Maurer and the father of two boys. They all live in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the world's coolest city for writers. Daniel writes in his spare time, and for work, and for fun, and to grow. His hope is that his ramblings about transformation and change resonate with you.