It’s Valentine’s Day! The day specifically designated for love.
Store shelves are full of, maybe nearly empty now, flowers, chocolates, cards, jewelry, you name it. And people, mostly men, are running out to get gifts for their significant others and hopefully, their mothers and daughters too. I usually get small gifts for my son. Some people think the holiday is too commercialized and unnecessary. Some people think it’s sweet and the actions on this day are true indicators of love.
But there are lots of people, like me, who are pretty indifferent.
Regardless of our opinions about the holiday. There are a few facts.
- The are lots of people, like me, who are single this (and many) Valentine’s Day.
- There are also lots of women in relationships expecting or at least hoping for a ring today. And even some men anxious to put a ring on it when maybe she’s not ready.
As a single woman, I would like to make a suggestion. As someone who got engaged on Valentine’s Day and is no longer married (which means he isn’t either), I’d like to offer the same suggestion.
Don’t Rush The Ring.
I had been a single mother for eleven years and had had only a few relationships that didn’t last. I wanted to love and be loved, and I wanted a father figure for my son. Then I met, him. He pursued me for a few months then I decided I would give him a chance. I gave him my heart. After less than a year of knowing him, he presented me with a ring and asked me to be his wife.
I loved him, but I KNEW I wasn’t ready to marry him. I was still enjoying dating him and getting to know him, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and say no. And I felt like he was the man I would marry one day so I said yes and insisted that we have a long engagement.
Engaged is completely different from dating when you aren’t ready. That ring changed everything. No matter how much I wanted to keep “dating”, we were doing more towards planning the wedding. No matter how much I tried to plan for the marriage, it just didn’t happen. When I was unsure about whether or not to go through with the wedding, I thought about all the people who I would have to tell that the engagement was off. Then we started spending money on the wedding and the money we’d lose on deposits became a factor. A deciding factor even.
So after a year and a half of being engaged, we got married with the hope that things would get better.
When we should have been dating for that year and a half to see if we really should even be getting married. A year and a lot of heartache, weight loss, sleepless nights (and more drama I won’t mention) later. I was out of the house and another year (and more heartache, weight loss, sleepless nights, and more drama) later it was over. But not the consequences. Many of those still exist nearly ten years later.
Now that’s my situation, and yours may be similar or completely different.
So maybe you’re single and feel you’re ready to be married. Or maybe you’re in a relationship, and feel you’re ready for the ring. Or ready to give a ring. Only you know your situation, but marriage is a serious commitment that is much bigger than a holiday or a ring.
A ring is just a symbol of what can be a very beautiful union when it’s done right.
But when it’s done wrong or done in a rush or under pressure, it can be a very ugly and painful situation with long-lasting consequences.
Before you offer someone a ring or accept one, take time, as much as you need, to get to know them and feel confident that you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Not just flaunt a pretty ring or brag that you put a ring on the hand of a pretty girl. And before you even do that, make sure you know yourself and truly love yourself. Then you’ll know that a ring or even a relationship does not define you, and you’ll only accept one that enhances you.
Need help or ideas? I’d love to be your life coach!
I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges. provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.
Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker? I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.