February is here, and romance is in full swing. The flowers, chocolates, and giant teddy bears do have a way of making your heart flutter, but for this Valentine’s Day, we at Lemi want to highlight all kinds of love that we as people give and receive every single day. Romance shouldn’t be the only form of love being celebrated, so we took the time to express love in all shapes and forms with some of our partners. Learn what love means to them, their advice for the forlorn, and what they’ve got planned for the day of love.
A Mature Love with Kristen and Robert
It was love at first sight when Kristen first met Robert, the now-married couple that runs Pretty Thai. That first moment of falling in love is an amazing feeling, but it takes more than that to withstand what life throws at them.
Even when they were still in a budding romance, they’d already been pushing their relationship to the test by starting a business. After almost 10 years together, through all the hardships they’ve been through including losing a son, they always fall back on the foundation they made a decade ago:
Love is about trust, comfortability, and honesty. Love is deeper than just a feeling. Love also comprises what you’ve built together as a couple, as a unit.
Kristen’s favorite memories of Valentine’s have always been the ones where they make homemade meals for each other. This year, they’ll be having homemade pasta, a dish they don’t get to enjoy often enough, but with their daughter Alivia joining them on the day of love.
Love for Friends with Isaac and Roman
The love between friends isn’t expressed enough especially between two guys, but best friends Isaac and Roman of Que Rico aren’t afraid to show how much they love each other. Their kind of love for each other is unconditional and builds trust, honesty, and support. They may not say it out loud every day, but they show each other their love in their special handshakes, hugs, or sometimes with a cheeky European side kiss.
Showing affection toward your friends doesn’t make you less of a man, in fact, we think it’s very important to show your friends how much you love them because that means you appreciate them and value their friendship.
To the duo, the friends we make are a chosen family that we mature and turn into adults with. Growing up, they were led to believe a guy showing emotion or affection made them weak or to “man up” instead of sharing how they felt, but they have plenty of hope for the next generation as this mindset is slowly but surely fading away. As the two grew older and worked on Que Rico together, they find themselves implementing the Latin influences they grew up within West Texas. From the jokes they made in their childhood to the customs they did together in each others’ homes, they honor the moments where they got to show their love, respect, admiration, and humor with friends and family.
When they were younger, Roman and Isaac would always get special Valentine’s pink and red pan dulce from their local panaderia. To this day, they carry that tradition along with a new one where they wear matching red or pink t-shirts from Que Rico to celebrate Hearts Day.
Familial Love with Kelly
According to Kelly from Edgewater Candles, love is that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you think about a person or animal you care about, and just being around them is enough to make you feel safe. That’s the feeling she gets and has always gotten whenever she’s with her mom, Vicki.
For most people, the love of a parent is the first love they’ve ever experienced, and can’t bear to think of living without it. Sadly, this was almost the case for Kelly when her mom got in a horrible car accident in 2015. Luckily she survived but now suffers from a traumatic brain injury.
It’s never easy when it’s up to the daughter to start taking care of her parents, but Kelly didn’t hesitate to leave her career and ensure the business she was building up could start supporting both of them sooner than planned. She also took therapy to learn how to deal with someone with a traumatic brain injury which she wishes she could’ve done sooner, so she could better care for her mom and not wait until she’d almost ruined their relationship. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her mom and had this to say about the sacrifices she made:
My mom was, and still is, one of the most selfless, generous people I have ever met, and I knew that she wouldn’t give up on me if I were the one in the accident.
Now a mom herself, Kelly continues her tradition of hiding a gift for her daughter somewhere around the house with little clues for her to find. The love a mom has for her daughter continues through generations.
Self Love with Dana
Love isn’t so simple to Dana of Love Succs Succulents. To her, love is constantly evolving and the ability to feel, receive, and express love changes and grows as she grows, but then what has remained the same throughout her life, is that you can only experience true and complete love when you have learned to love yourself.
Dana struggled with alcoholism, but in 2019 she took a look at herself and the life she’d been living and decided to turn things around. There was a moment of clarity to get sober, and getting clean has since become the best thing she’s ever experienced.
A lot of people still struggle with loving themselves, and it’s definitely more of a marathon than a sprint. Dana dropped this nugget of wisdom for anyone in the self-loathing boat:
“When you’re talking to yourself, whether it’s out loud or in your head, what kinds of things are you telling yourself? Would you say those things to other people? Be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Take care of yourself, physically, mentally, and spiritually. “
For February 14 this year, Dana’s thinking of taking things easy with a spa day, a pint of ice cream, and a small gift for herself. That sounds like the start of a new and beautiful Valentine’s tradition.
Love changes depending on who you ask, but we can all agree we need it in our lives. As our partners shared their traditions for the month of love, start your own tradition to give love, receive love, and express love. Whether it be your friends, your family, your significant other, or yourself, love more.