Be your own valentine: Question your relationship

By By Nicholas Pappas

By Nicholas Pappas

Valentine’s Day means something different for everyone. For those in loving relationships, it’s a day to wake up with the person next to you and wonder how you got so lucky. For the single, it’s a day to wake up alone and wonder why you’re so unlucky.

I’m not a history major. In fact, everything I know about history I learned from The Da Vinci Code. I learned the red-haired person next to Jesus is Mary Magdalene and Catholics created holidays to disrupt pagan festivals. Feb. 14 was “Lupercalia,” a festival of fertility and the coming of spring. Like most pagan festivals, it centered on fornication and playful whippings. Catholics ruined the fun by inventing the story of a saint named Valentine who performed secret marriages. Today, we celebrate the 14th with dead flowers, heart-shaped balloons and the hope of fornication and playful whippings.

Still, what Valentine’s Day was about from the beginning was change. It was about looking at the way things were and making them the way you want them to be. It’s a day to look at your relationship and decide if the person you’re with is worth a fancy dinner, a card with a teddy bear or nothing at all. If it’s the latter, expect a love affair to begin with the living room sofa. And if you find yourself happier hugging a cushion, get out while you can.

We all know the stat: Roughly 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. It doesn’t stop there. Sixty-five percent of all those who remarry get divorced again. One thing Americans aren’t good at is learning their lesson. We’re starting our seven-year itch with a man who abuses us, makes messes wherever he goes and says stupid things when company is around. We had the chance to break up after four years, but decided to keep him around to feel “comfortable.”

Please. Never feel comfortable. Feeling comfortable is lukewarm. Comfort is sitting on a couch watching “Grey’s Anatomy” and eating rocky road ice cream. I bet a lot of you think that sounds nice. Keep doing it until you have a heart attack.

Stop living your life vicariously and start living your life. If you want Dr. McDreamy, go find him. Don’t believe you can turn a frog into a prince. If you’re with a guy whose greatest accomplishment is reaching level 20 at Halo 2 online, leave him. He will always be a frog. If you’re with a woman who treats you like a pet because Dr. Laura told her to, hop away. She will always want a prince.

I think there should be more divorces. I think we could all do better than feel comfortable. Divorces aren’t ruining the country. Settling for less is ruining the country. It’s time we all had the courage to believe we deserve more and do what it takes to get it.

We can start by making sure we don’t fall into a pattern of bad relationships. Have some self-respect. When the time comes, Americans should turn down the same old loser wearing a different face.