V-Day TED Detox

Happy Tuesday! Well, it’s not just any Tuesday. Today we celebrate the two-day anniversary of Valentine’s Day 2016. Maybe you spent Sunday with a significant other, or paid homage to Galentine’s Day, or none of the above. But, a couple things are certain: The roses are looking a lil’ peaky, our faces are now a bit bloated from all that candy, and the chocolate’s now 60% off (Seize. This. Moment.). So, now what?
Detoxing from that V-Day high has a certain kind of ache. Why? My working theory is somewhere along the lines of “marketing” and … “marketing”. I don’t know how it used to be, but in today's society, Valentine’s Day is a bonafide Macy’s Day event. Since starting college, I’ve felt increasingly targeted to make nonessential purchases, from clothing to waxy chocolate to singing ‘grams. Central to all this seems to be the commercial pitch that you need a “Valentine”.
Read: A person you’ll share a physical or emotional bond with on an arbitrary winter day. 
Full disclosure, I’ve totally found myself caught up in this and it makes me wonder: Have you ever felt personally devalued for not having a Valentine? Even if the excuse was because you were like eleven years old? Or like you were busy with friends and pursuing things you love? That’s the product of marketing. We have this fear of feeling inferior, pushing us to find a Valentine’s Day date. 
So you have your romantic evening, you weren’t alone this year, you can tell your mom, blah-blah-blah… What happens when that Valentine transforms back into a person? As a die-hard promoter of TED Talks, I’ve put together a couple videos to watch as you nurse that sugar bloat with a green-tea cleanse.
First — 
Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships by Joanne Davila at TEDxSBU
I think Joanne’s video is especially pertinent to V-Day because it addresses the forming of healthy vs. unhealthy relationships and the basics of being a good partner. “We may know what a healthy relationship looks like, but most people have no idea how to get one and no one teaches us how to do so. And this is a problem.” Joanne is most interested in how we can better relate to one another, and how important it is to use these skills from the beginning: “No amount of pre-marital counseling can make up for a bad partner choice.” She breaks the concept of Romantic Competency down into three characteristics: Insight, mutuality, and emotional regulation. 
Defining and exemplifying each, she concludes, “We need to help people genuinely know what they want and need in a relationship. We need to help […] create the things that lead to healthy relationships. Like intimacy, security, respect, good communication and a sense of being valued. Wouldn’t all of our relationships benefit from this? I think they would.” Thanks, Joanne, for your reminder that being romantically happy involves more than just having a person. What would happen if billboards started advertising that?
Who’s on second?
Is it Lust or is it Love? by Terri Orbuch from TEDxOaklandUniversity
In the transition from December “love” holidays and February “love” holidays, the distinction between love and lust seems to be blurred if not altogether abolished. Just think about Victoria’s Secret, or Gossip Girl, or Star Trek, where love and lust are represented interchangeably. Here, Terri breaks down how to confidently distinguish between the two. For me, this video seems especially relevant when our society’s been in such a rush to “have someone”, yet we are encouraged minimally to question why you’re with that person sitting across from you. Perhaps the video might hit home even more if it were titled “Is it Lust, is it Love or is it Societal Expectation?”. 
“Only 4% of women would call themselves beautiful.” This is problematic. It’s even more problematic if this type of statistic has ceased to shock us. “Young girls are more afraid of getting fat than they are of getting cancer, nuclear war, or losing both their parents.” - Gala Darling at TEDxCMU 
I think that these last two videos are most crucial, because how on Earth are you supposed to have a healthy relationship with a totally different person if you can’t first establish one with yourself? First, we have:
Reclaiming My Body and Finding True Love by Carre Otis at TEDxFiDiWomen
“Love for me is not something that was modeled in my childhood… I was not specifically told that loving myself was more important than loving someone else… Kids are not taught about self-love.” Carre (pronounced Carrie) takes us on her journey of dropping out of school, beginning to model, and surviving a year of repeated rape, up to creating this painful yet direct and accessible discussion of self-value. 
And last but definitely not least: 
The Art of Being Yourself by Caroline McHugh from TEDxMiltonKeynesWomen
I won’t summarize this one. Just sit, back, relax, and enjoy Caroline’s accent as a charming bonus. :-)