Over 20 years ago I received a Valentine. I’ve been lucky enough to receive many since then but this particular Valentine was more by way of an apology.
I remember few details about it other than it was red, covered in soppy bunny pictures and bore the slogan “Love is nicer the second time around”.
It wasn’t really a romantic gesture, I was with my then boyfriend as he chose it. It was to mark the fact that we had got back together after a previous acrimonious split.
It was one of the worst relationships you could imagine, everything about it was wrong. He was my first love, 7 years older, we were completely wrong for each other. I was attracted by his worldly manner, he perhaps by my innocence.
It was the classic “can’t live with them, can’t live without them scenario”.
I was desperate for a Father figure and more in love with the idea of being in love than with him.
We managed to struggle through another year more or less but that year was marked by his infidelity and my flirting outside the relationship. We clearly wanted different things. We definitely wanted each other to be different.
He was the archetypal extrovert party lover and I was the classic introvert. It was doomed to failure without our interference.
Fortunately for my younger, infatuated self his application to live in a different country was approved thus ending our time together.
For about a year I was heartbroken and then tremendously relieved.
Fast forward 20 years on, my husband and I are in our 17th year of marriage. We are happy and blessed with children. We genuinely enjoy being together. It is a healthy relationship.
We don’t celebrate Valentines day on the 14th Feb because that is the same day as our son’s birthday. He was due on the 9th but he’s always been laid back. Instead we might remember to go on a coffee date later on in the month.
We very rarely do the hearts and flowers thing although we have the romanticism of a shared birthday!
So in conclusion, love has been nicer the second time around …. Just with a completely different man!