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Enjoy Valentine’s Day—Avoid the Blues

© Fred R Lybrand, Author of Glaen


Jeremy visited a florist’s shop which showed a large sign that read, “Say It With Flowers.”  “Wrap up one rose, please,” Jeremy demanded of the florist’s assistant.  “Only one?” she enquired frowning.  “Ah yes just the one,” Jeremy replied.  “I’m a man of very few words.”

Market researchers deduced from their survey that eight million Americans send Valentine’s Day gifts to themselves.


Valentine’s Day is a day of amazing impact.  Almost everyone who plays up the day experiences the “Blues,” you know, feeling sad about a loss or failure.  Blues music grew up as a way to cope with the plight of such feelings and literally tries helping the Blues listener to “feel good about feeling bad.”  Unfortunately, nothing takes the Valentine’s Blues away except time and the hope that next year will be better.

So, what are the Valentine’s Blues and how can we avoid them?  The Valentine’s Blues come because of disappointment in one of two ways.

The first kind of blues comes when you don’t have a Valentine on Valentine’s Day.  It starts in early February, building up to the “big day”—hitting rock bottom on February 14.

No matter how you pitch it, it makes you feel left out and unloved on some level if everyone else is getting flowers, going out for the evening, or being treated special.  It stinks to feel left out.  No wonder eight million Americans send themselves a Valentine’s Day gift.  However, it doesn’t seem so bad on February 15th once the stores move on to Easter decorations.

The second kind of blues comes to those who celebrated Valentine’s in a big way, only to start clutching the disappointment the very next day (and the days to come) because it’s back to life as usual.  When it comes to love and romance, “usual” is not what we want.

The blues can be worse for the second group because they’re long-term.  We’ve all experienced it in some way or another: the excitement of Valentine’s Day, the romance, and the presents, similar to Christmas, but all about romantic love.

We humans like to feel special, and on that special day there is nothing more exciting than the build-up to the event—one incredible evening, just you and that one person.  The two of you in love and enraptured with all that special day could offer.

Fast forward to the next day or two.  How do you feel?  The next day you are smiling for a moment at the memory of a day when his/her attention was only on you.  But now, back to work, and a lurking feeling of sadness is peering over the fence at you.  Will it be a whole year before you have another night like that?

You try to be logical and sober-minded, telling yourself that it was a good memory to bask in, and yet you know deep down something is amiss.  Something is wrong.  Finally, you scream inside (and try quickly to forget it), “Why can’t we be in love all year-long?”

The Cure for the Valentine’s Blues

The blues you experience are invented, because the Day itself was invented.  It’s marketing, that’s all.  Yet, with Valentine’s Day there is something more—it is a day built on romance.  Oddly enough, romance often works counter to true love.

Consider what romance is in reality.  My friend Robert Fritz observed that, “Romance is the suspension of the norm.”  Think about it this way: romance is where we clean up (don’t smell like ourselves), dress up (don’t look like ourselves), and go somewhere special (and don’t act like ourselves)!  None of this is bad as long as you realize it is not real, that it is just a game.  Okay, it’s a fun game, but it is still just a game.  True love happens in the “norm.”  It happens in the real world of your daily experiences.

In reality, I don’t believe there is much “real” about romance as it is commonly pitched.  In truth, it damages both our dating relationships and our marriages to make romance itself the goal.  The romantic standards can get so high that we can’t appreciate the real things right in front of us.  Romance can be an equal opportunity destroyer—harmful for both men and women.

I’ve known men whose romantic standards were so high they would never go out on dates, or they wouldn’t ask the woman out again.  I’ve also known women who live for the fairy tale wedding, but in time divorce to seek out the wedding-fantasy all over again.

The cure for the Valentine’s Blues is to simply recognize that it is a made up day.  If you don’t have a special someone in your life on one particular day, why should it feel different than the day after?  If you want to play the romance game, then play it, but remember it really is just a game.  Pretending the Day itself proves or influences the love in your life, however, will really suck you into despair most of the time.

If you have a special someone, it is far better to find the love in every day.  The day-to-day normal world is with you all the time in terms of work and laundry and colds and tragedies and funny moments.  This is where true love grows and binds and matures.  If you seek love in the suspension-of-normal world of romance, then you can only experience the diminishing return of, “But what have you done for me lately?”  Each experience must top the last one when you fall into a quest to escape from life.  True love is not an escape; it is nourishment to see us through the mundane parts that make up our daily lives.

Pause for a moment and notice that a love relationship is about building a life together.  Tell the truth, both the good and bad, and work through it together.  If you want to play the game, then dress up and go out!  Pretend you are rich, or just met, or just got back from being a contestant on Survivor.  It doesn’t much matter because you are playing a game that you take for what it is; it’s merely Valentine’s Day.  A day brought to you by the card and candy industry…with some hope that you will find a special moment, made better by a special purchase!  Make it great, but make it important!  You’ll thank me in the morning.

-FRL

Free Audio on Love & Relationships: www.glaen.com

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Author Fred Lybrand takes an in-depth look into relationships and dating, plus offers a little common sense for the real day-to-day world, in his book, Glaen. Lybrand wants others to know the freedom that can be found in relating to others truthfully and without pretense. In his presentation of thought-provoking ideas, Lybrand first uncovers the lies of a secular world-view and then counters those lies with the truth of God’s design for the marriage relationship.

The life-changing principles found in Glaen are the gems Lybrand wants readers to take and experience in their own lives and relationships. The book serves as a great teaching tool for parents to use with their children as well as for church leaders guiding couples who are seeking a more satisfying marriage relationship. The Glaen Small Groups Study Guide is now available as a free download at www.glaen.com.

For review copy and interview information, contact:

Audra Jennings

Senior Media Specialist

The B&B Media Group

1-800-927-0517 Ext. 104 –  ajennings(at)tbbmedia.com

Visit us on the web at www.tbbmedia.com or our blog at www.tbbmedia.blogspot.com

We are also on Facebook and Twitter (audrajennings and TBBMediaGroup)!

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Fax: 903-872-0518

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Many of you know my book Glaen: A Novel Message on Romance, Love, and Relating came out this year.  As a special promotion, the EBOOK is available for FREE until January 9, 2011.  This special promotion gets you in line for the free Small Group Study that accompanies the book.  Of course, the hope is to get the ‘buzz’ to pick up even more for the book…and to get small groups using the material.  Glaen is a novel that takes on a Christian re-thinking of dating, courting, relating, and marriage…in the format of a novel.

Here is a note I received this week:

Hi, Mr. Lybrand!I actually finished Glaen the first day I started it! I believe I finished it in about 2 hours or so. I took notes, re-read it again a day or so later, and will re-read it yet again soon. I loved it.I loved the method for finding deep truths, even if they aren’t that incredibly hard to think of or understand. I gave a mini teaching of it/ discussion with my girls (youth group girls that I’m partly in charge of mentoring and leading) at 3:00am on New Year’s morning. (We were having a sleepover.)The next day when we were having lunch at Culver’s, I noticed that some of the girls at a table near me were having an argument on a tough subject that was bringing frustration and not really cutting to some of the core of the issue. I put to use many of the truths from your book, and the argument was resolved. Mostly what was needed were “just definitions” and a bit of love. I had been learning just before reading this book that I needed to know the exact truth opposite of the lies. Knowing the lies themselves isn’t good enough. This was a huge help! When I thought about it, it was as if I had known these truths in part, but since I couldn’t define them for myself, I couldn’t particularly focus on living them out better, or pray for help on living it.

I have seriously seen a change in myself since reading this book, and I can’t wait to see the change in others. I am so excited about learning more and more truths, now and all throughout the rest of my life!

Thank you!

Blessings,

~ Rachel E. Payauys

Honestly, there are just a few days left…so please go to the site www.glaen.com and sign up.

Also, feel free to pass this along.

God bless,

Fred Lybrand

www.glaen.com

P.S.  Most of all…I’d like your feedback after you’ve read it!

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Cedric Miller of Living Word Christian Fellowship laid down the law in an effort to help marriages thrive.

Here’s the USA Today article link: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/11/pastor-worried-about-infidelity-tells-church-leaders-to-quit-facebook-or-resign/1

When I first saw this I thought, “Jeepers creepers.  What will we ban next?”

However, as I pondered a little more I began to appreciate exactly where Pastor Cedric Miller was coming from…and I don’t blame him at all.  As a pastor myself for 24 years (I retired from my Northeast Bible Church, Garden Ridge, TX, in January to speak and write more), I know what he is talking about.  I, too, have counseled with folks who have reconnected with old flames through Facebook.  It makes sense that if they didn’t reconnect there wouldn’t be a problem.  Unfortunately, faithfulness in marriage involves a little more than being careful to not make a place for temptation.

The monastic life is the extreme…steal yourself away from the world and being righteous will be easier.  Even as I type these words the news of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria getting a divorce is all about the web (apparently Tony cheated…I guess: http://www.hollyscoop.com/eva-longoria/source-tony-parker-begging-eva-for-forgiveness_25783.aspx).  I live in San Antonio, so it’s a local heartbreak too!

So, what’s the answer?  Commitment for sure.  Building a solid relationship, definitely.  Staying away from temptation, of course.

Yet, there is a bigger word we need: FREEDOM

This is the heartbeat of what the book Glaen: A Novel Message on Love, Romance, and Relating is all about.  Freedom means that we learn to honor one another and completely get off the doomed path of trying to control everyone around us, especially the person we love in a couples-kind-of-love.  When we start putting controls on the relationship (any relationship), we are simply engaging in MANIPULATION.  All manipulation does is cover up true love.

While the goal is understandable, making it a law is not.  ASKING his leaders to volunteer abandoning Facebook is quite different from demanding it.  We will never RULE sin out of people, nor will we create enough rules to force someone to love us and be faithful.  It’s this crazy GOLDEN RULE (rule = principle here) that will make the difference.  Be faithful and grow love because that’s what you’d want!  Does that guarantee success?  No, nothing guarantees success.  But, don’t you want someone to be faithful to you because he WANTS TO?  If everyone HAS TO behave, then it isn’t real or authentic.

I know this is an incomplete answer, but we live in an incomplete world (the next one will be perfect!).

If you’d like to hear a free audio message of these wild ideas about true love and authentic relating, then please click here to get it:

http://bit.ly/a1DBm5

Having someone love you because she wants to is awesome.  Loving someone because you want to is awesomeX2.  Trying to make yourself or the other person ‘behave right’ doesn’t cultivate this kind of love…only FREEDOM does!

God bless,

Fred Lybrand

http://www.glaen.com

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Why you don’t have more friends, romance, and popularity (and what to do about it) …free audio

I learned more about relating to people in the few pages of Glaen than in all the other dating/relationship books I have ever read combined. This is a must read for all who seek to build successful relationships both now and in the future.” -Bryan Sims, Texas A&M (Senior)

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Glaen Small Group Study Guide

It started back when I began to try to make sense of marriage and relationships as a newly married man myself. You see, I came out of what they call a ‘dysfunctional family’. Now, my family was great and loving…until alcohol, divorce, and old-fashioned bitterness just drove us all to separate cities more than a day’s drive apart.

It has been a slow and steady process, but as a husband for 28 years, a pastor and counselor for 24 years, and a dad for 23 years…it feels like I’ve piled up 75 years of experience!

Like almost everyone I read all the books and tried my best to follow all the advice; but, what I began to discover is that I wasn’t being true to myself. You can only fake it so long.

One day a dear friend helped me discover the most important thing we can learn about relating; at its heart, it isn’t really about the other person.

Most of what we do in all of our relationships is to try to manipulate the ‘other’ person into being who THEY SHOULD be—instead of who God made them to be. In the place of figuring out how to find the kind of person who will celebrate your design, you might have wondered into a person who sees you as a ‘fix me upper’! All is not lost…through a fun trip from confusion to frustration to discovery—Glaen opens your eyes to a world of understanding and wisdom. The real truth about relating…and…reclaiming what has been lost, is just around the corner. Married, not married, just getting started…everyone has a way to relate to Annie as she learns from her WEIRD professor.

Glaen is a very unusual look at love and dating and marriage. It seems to be striking a nerve all across America and in all age groups. Parents especially are giving it to grateful children…who would have thought a piece of fiction could start conversations that were long overdue, and change lives that have been praying for an answer?

Just wanted to let you know I finished Glaen today. Great information in there–where was this book 25 years ago? Loved the novel-ish approach!Jim Thatcher , Texas (a dad)

The most fun thing for me as a writer is to find out people are reading it…in fact they often read it twice: once for the story and again for the principles.

Dr. Lybrand,
I loved the book Glaen. Though I have already read the book over a year ago reading it today reminded me of so many things. Many of these lessons I had forgotten and it was great to be reminded of them. Thank you so much for the book.-Myranda Bradley, Texas State (Freshman)

What will Glaen do for you when you read it?

  • You’ll know what to talk about on a date (p. 128-129)
  • You’ll discover why focusing on romance can actually damage true love (pp. 104, 152-157)
  • You’ll know how love works / and doesn’t work
  • You’ll learn how to tell if you are getting serious with the wrong person (pp. 99-106)
  • You’ll learn the shortcomings of courting and serial dating (p. 20+)
  • You’ll know why some people push the ones they want away (pp. 25-36)
  • You’ll know the 5 Lies that destroy relationships—and the 5 Truths that help you win (pp. 66-97)
  • Parents with dating-age children will finally have a way to have meaningful conversations about relationships
  • Children finally have a book they will happily discuss with their parents
  • You’ll know why and how being yourself will make you even more attractive
  • You’ll know the one thing that makes or breaks every relationship (pp. 10-11, 65)
  • You’ll know the two things that you must have—before you fall in love—to create a long-term relationships (pp. 98-99, 104)
  • You can finally tell others that you finished a whole book…it’s that hard to put down!
Just started and finished GLAEN today and got a review up. I wish I would have had this when I was a teen. I’m looking toward courting for my children, hoping I can get my husband to read this one day. Lots of highlighting in my copy.
– Sarah Bailey  (http://bit.ly/b5I8TY )
Glaen was an interesting read. There are definitely some principles within that I need to apply in my own relationships. This modest book, which is under 200 pages, would be perfect for a senior high youth group to study, or even a small group of engaged couples. Many excerpts are worth underlining, highlighting, and reading again. In fact, I wish this fable/instructional text had been available 20 years ago for my generation. Lybrand is to be commended for his discernment and for the creative manner in which he presents these important principles. Glaen will be an answer to prayer and a gift from above for many.-The Calico Critic (http://bit.ly/bNEgNL)

Annie is a college grad-student who is stumped about love. Her mom and dad are in the throes of a divorce, her teenage sister is obsessed with how her boyfriend makes her look, and her closest friend Jennah is on a continual ride of running off every guy she dates. Friendships, dating, romance, and marriage – it’s all confusing to Annie until the day a white-haired stranger appears in her life.

Glaen is an unusual professor with an unusual name. Her white-haired unconventional mentor guides Annie on a path of discovery that unlocks the secrets of real relationships in a world gone phony. By abandoning herself to learn, Annie discovers the mystifying effect of how learning to tell the truth changes everything in friendship, family, and love.


What a fun book. Not only is it entertaining and a great read, but it is educational and insightful as well. It really helped me to take a better look at romance and dating. Glaen is has been a great tool to start discussions with my teenage daughters and help them to understand romance and dating in a healthier way. Thanks for getting it out there, it’s a fresh approach to an age old discussion… -Christy Quiros

The solutions Dr. Lybrand offers in this book will astound and free you to quit doing the very things that take away your ability to find the love and friendship you want. More importantly, you’ll discover a fresh path to the possibility of greater connections with those you care most about. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book…twice!

I purchased two copies of GLAEN this morning and am sending one with my mother. I am really enjoying the novel, taking notes on the general relational principles I’m gleaning, and certainly wish I’d been handed a copy of GLAEN during my first year or two of college. Thank you for putting this information out there, for sharing these true principles with your audience. I wish everyone seeking a relationship — no matter what type of relationship — could implement these principles therein.-Kristin McGuinness

ROMANCE vs. TRUE LOVE

Glaen will help you explore the fact that romance is based on the unusual and exciting, while real relationships often involve periods of mundane and difficult things in life.  Honestly, don’t you want someone who will be there when the times are challenging?  Don’t you want someone cheering for you in the day-to-day, rather than constantly asking “What have you done for me lately?”  Romance is great for an evening, but Glaen tells you the secrets of what will last a lifetime.


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