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Hands holding paper heart; how to find love

When Cupid Can’t Be Found, Here’s How to Find Love on Valentine’s Day

not feeling the mushy, gushy love yet?

Valentine’s Day is just days away, are you feeling romantic yet? If not, check out our mommy blogger Stephanie Hanrahan’s suggestions on how to find love this year.

Pretty soon, social media will be overflowing with hearts, flowers and all sorts of mushy feelings. (Bless us—we love a commercialized holiday.)

But my heart is with the ones that are single—the ones who are searching and unsettled.

My loyalty lies with the wife who sent her spouse to work today without a kiss, because there’s so much distance between them right now it’s insufferable.

I stand with the ones who know “soul mates” and “best friends” are fluffy and fun, but the sexiest thing alive is someone who rolls up their sleeves and commits to the hard work of marriage—paying the mortgage, picking the kids up from school, getting up at midnight to fix a beeping fire alarm.

Love is not always bright, shiny and full of clichés, but we seek it out anyway because even though it’s potentially painful, it’s equally powerful. Love can change us. Especially if we are generous enough to give it to ourselves.

And ten years ago, that’s what I did. I left a toxic relationship, loaded up whatever I could fit in my two-door coupe, and moved to a state where I knew no one.

A lot would happen once I hit Texas—one of which was meeting and marrying my husband—but that’s not the real love story here.

The true fairytale is that I found myself—through a lot of ways (some happy hours and a lot of therapy). I did the work on loving myself so that eventually when Prince Charming did roll around, he could love me too.

Love is messy and hard and beautifully rewarding.

So on Cupid’s day, take some time for your significant other and for yourself too. Kiss your kids, call a friend, eat the chocolate. But don’t compare. Don’t let someone else’s highlight reel or beautiful bouquet fool you into believing their love doesn’t require sacrifice too.

Long after my move and my marriage, my greatest gift of love came in a way I never expected, but always needed—the imperfectly perfect package of my two children with autism. Turns out, no candlelit dinner or heart-shaped chocolate in the world could compare to that sacrificial love.

True love looks different for everyone, but the best part? There’s an abundance of it. You can find it everywhere—even in divorces and diagnoses, heartbreaks and hardships.

Love can be found, even after this glittery day is long gone.

Stephanie Hanrahan was just your seemingly average housewife until she grew tired of pretending and took an axe to her white picket fence (also known as making her private journal public). Learn how she traded her pretending for a panty liner on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog Tinkles Her Pants, where she chronicles her journey as wife to a husband with chronic illness, mother to special needs kiddos, and a woman who often unravels then finds her footing again.

Image courtesy of iStock.