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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.


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



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.

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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


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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