Ahhh February, the month of love. Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us, like it or not. For some of us, it’s a month that shines a spotlight on the things we think are lacking in our lives, like the romantic love we crave. No, I’m not talking about being single. I’m talking about being lonely and frankly, one can be quite lonely even while being married or in a long term relationship. This post is for the lonely hearted and this topic is one that I have much personal experience.

I’m embarrassed to say that the first time I saw this famous painting of “The Kiss” it was at my new husband’s then apartment. To be honest, I walked by it frequently not paying much attention or even noticing what it depicted. Flash forward to today where it hangs prominently on our master bedroom wall. I remember the day that I first truly “saw it” and the beauty that it portrays.

People know that I was married before, 25 1/2 years married to my high school sweetheart. Even though we are divorced now and both remarried, there is still a lot of love and loyalty there. We are family after all and nothing changes that. But truth be told, I spent the entire duration of our marriage lonely and always fully aware that something big was missing. Reciprocal romantic love.

If I’d seen this painting during my first marriage…it would have made me profoundly sad. When I was 19 it would have. When I was 30 it would have. When I was 40 it would have…made me sad. I would have looked at the face of this woman and not fully understood what she was feeling in that moment because I had never experienced it before; however, I knew enough to know that I longed for whatever it was that she was feeling. When I hung it in its current resting place, I still hadn’t seen it. It just matched the decor and I knew he loved it, so I hung it. The next morning is when I knew what it depicted and my eyes welled up with tears.

My new husband was sleeping and the morning sunlight was reflecting off of the beautiful metallic colors…I found myself lost in it. Lost in her beautiful face that looked content and at peace, lost in the way the man was holding her. Knowing exactly what she was feeling because for the first time in my life, I knew…truly knew what it felt like to experience reciprocal romantic love and to be cherished.

Sister. If you have that in your life, I’m so very happy for you. If you don’t and want it…you deserve to be cherished too, Valentine’s Day and always.

xo ~ Nancy

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