Since February is such a short month, Valentine’s Day always feels like the last winter event before spring comes to save the day. And boy is it a mixed bag for many, especially the clientele I primarily serve. For my big feelers and highly sensitive folks that I’ll refer to as Deeply Feeling People (DFPs) moving forward, this day can be extremely triggering and/or anxiety provoking, whether you are in a relationship, situationship, or single. Hallmark and pop culture have filled our minds with heavy scripting around this day and relationships in general. I definitely grew up thinking this day was supposed to be about roses, chocolates, fancy candlelit dinners, and sensual romance. Even in childhood there was unintended competition about who had the most ornate valentine’s mailbox for school, who gave out the best candies with their valentine’s, and whether or not you got an extra heart on your note from your crush or best friend. Society places so much pressure and extra layers of expectation on an aspect of life that is already so complicated and emotional: love.
One of the hardest things about being a DFP is how all-consuming emotions can be. That makes relationships for these types of people extra challenging and sometimes downright scary. While anyone can get swept up in the intoxication of a new crush, fling, or love, DFPs tend to spend a little more time in that phase and perhaps invest a little more mental space than those who do not feel as deeply. The promise of a new romantic prospect can be intensely exciting. Deep feelers often struggle with things like self-esteem, confidence, and other identity and mental health issues that make intimacy irresistible and terrifying all at the same time.
Nobody likes being rejected, or even worse after a relationship has taken root, feeling abandoned. These are primal and universal human fears. For those who experience their feelings on maximum volume, break ups, rejection, heartache, unrequited affection, and abandonment are devastating. Most people will concede that your first heartbreak is the worst and can remember how excruciating and shocking it was. DFPs often continue to struggle with heartache even after gaining life experience and perspective because the emotion is just so heavy. Relationships themselves can also be challenging as many find partners who cannot understand the depth of their emotional experiences and provide enough support and compassion. On the other end of the relationship spectrum, DFPs who are single but long to be in a relationship often feel their loneliness to a painful degree.
Why is it that people feel this deeply when it seems to be so challenging? The answer to this question differs from person to person, but is typically rooted in pain related to love. For some people it is a result of not getting enough love in the way they needed it during childhood; while for others it can be due to emotional pain caused by loved ones. The human need for love and acceptance is so great, that when it’s intertwined with pain or missing some pieces, it often significantly alters the emotional experience of a person in a lasting way. Valentine’s Day can therefore be a painful reminder of whatever heaviness is packed into the complicated topic of love for DFPs; or it can be an exciting day where they get to showcase their big love for their partners and other important people. If this post resonated with you in anyway, know that whatever emotions come up are completely valid. If this didn’t necessarily resonate with you but made you think of someone you know, hopefully you now have a little more insight into what they might be going through. Remember either way, big feelings can be challenging when they hurt, but are also a beautiful blessing during the good times.
Happy Valentine’s Day!