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It’s Valentine’s time!  I am definitely feeling the love in my life and I hope many of you readers are as well. It’s that time of the year when people remember someone special or hope to make a special connection. If you are without a valentine, don’t worry. You just haven’t met that someone who is good enough for you!

Really though, love is a tricky thing. In our world of so many options and unrealistic expectations of what love looks like, thanks to TV and media, no wonder there are so many lonely hearts out there. I ask my friends and patients what the dating scene is like out there. Sounds rough…and hard to navigate. I guess the days of meeting through a mutual friend or family member are over. EHarmony and Match.com like sites are popular with every age group. I find it amazing that people pick who they want to date based on a single photo or profile.  Most of us only want to be seen in the best way, so of course people embellish who they are to be a better date choice. That just leads to disappointment when people are not honest from the beginning.

I often ask my older patients who have been married for a long time, what is the secret to a happy long lasting marriage. The answer I often hear goes something like this: “Always be respectful of each other. There will be times when you do not get along or you grow in your different ways, but if you treat each other with as much love and caring and respect that you had from day one, you will always be able to make it through.”  The other advice I often hear is: “Let your partner and yourself develop your own interests. When you know one another for so long, it is nice to have a life and other people to share your interests with so that you have something to talk about when you are together.”

When I was a kid I had a book called So Many Kinds of Love by Dean Wally. It was a cute little kid book that accounted for the many ways people love. At age 35, I see this book very differently than when I was a little girl. Life’s lessons show that the book’s message is true. We love our pets or animals with a sense of caring and responsibility. We love our significant other by having intimacy and caring and nurturing of a special connection. Some show their love with food. Some have a hard time expressing their emotions with words, so they say it with flowers or gifts or special treats. It is easy to love someone else.

The book did highlight that you also have to love yourself. This is not always an easy task, as many of us are very critical of ourselves or past experiences cloud or shape how we perceive ourselves. Positive self-talk is critical to personal happiness. When was the last time you did something for you? What have you done to show YOU that YOU are loved? The gym, a massage, a teeth cleaning or whitening? What about flossing? All those little things make people feel happy or good in their body.

People are out there looking for love and sometimes are neglecting themselves. I have met beautiful men and women who look amazing, have great personalities and will be dressed to the nines, but have terrible breath or rampant tooth decay.  Gum disease and tooth decay have a certain smell…it is strong and permeating and is not covered up for long by breath mints or gum. Oracare mouthwash is great for knocking out bad breath. The special activated compounds in the rinse kill VSC’s (Volatile Sulfur Compounds) that cause bad breath. You can feel it working and you can see the difference when people are using it twice a day to reduce plaque buildup.

I think people in general have a tendency to focus on what is not right or what they are not looking for. Before I met my husband, someone told me I should make a list of all the things I want in a partner and read it every day. I did it reluctantly, thinking, “This is stupid and will never work.”  Three months later I met my husband to be.  Thankfully he was persistent and steady in showing me he cared for me.  Otherwise I would have kicked him to the curb. Turns out he was everything I was looking for in personality, just not as tall, dark and handsome as I was expecting.  All I am saying is to give people a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised!

We have extra Socola Chocolates in the office all month. We want to make sure all of our patients have a sweet treat to remember us by. If you don’t have an appointment, you can still stop by to pick up a box of truffles any time in February…and if you ask, you might get a hug or a kiss too! I know it is strange to get chocolates from your dentist, but just remember to brush afterwards!

Con Amore!

Share with us how someone has made you feel loved in honor of Valentines Day.