Questions for Valentine’s Day and after

Published 6:01 am Saturday, February 16, 2019

Most of those who read my column work: Paid employment, volunteer work, tasks around the house and yardwork, if left undone, would create serious problems. Some of us juggle all three types of work.

Commercial television is teasing the viewing audience with shows such as “Sister Wives,” “Seeking Sister Wife,” “Married in 90 Days” and “Married at First Sight.” If you watch any of these productions, you could well be wondering about your current relationship with your partner.

Let’s say that you’re dating, you’re engaged or you’re married.

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Why did your partner select you to be a part of his/her life? Or if you are in the driver’s seat, why did you select him or her? Has either of you posed that question to the other?

Do you fear the answer?

Would you prefer to ignore the question or just guess with no reveal?

Are you wearing the mask, posing so as to be what you think your partner wants? How’s that working for you?

As Valentine’s Day is here, would you say that you love or are in love or hope to love? Maybe you’re in like.

Should you stay in a relationship because: 1. you’re too old to find another partner; 2. finances are difficult; 3. the children might be harmed; 4. everyone makes mistakes with things such as gambling, drugs, alcohol, womanizing, mental/physical abuse; or 4. _____________? (you fill in the blank.)

Is it possible to stay in a less-than-satisfying relationship and begin to work on yourself to develop the person you want to be? Do you have a weight issue? Have you strayed from your religious roots? Have you closed yourself off socially from family and friends? Have you become housebound? Do you work, come home promptly and spend the evening watching television reruns?

On the other hand, have you read the newspaper to identify where volunteers are needed? Did you have a special interest at one time such as tutoring children, volunteering at a small area museum, giving direction to patients at a help desk at a hospital, being a computer trouble shooter at a local school? All volunteers go through a training period, and you would, too. No need to say, “But I’m not qualified.”

College is always an option and those 60 and over are often offered tuition-free programs in state colleges and universities. There is no end to courses in the IT field, machinery, drawing, literature, history, writing. Check online about the school, and the courses with descriptions are at your fingertips. Or you could earn a certificate and have a new employment opportunity as at the same time, you have a reason to get up, get dressed, prepare for class and meet interesting people.

Finally, I’m just asking, are you willing to take the steps to further define yourself and strategize for the ways in which you will navigate the emotional, relationship and financial hurdles that are a part of change?

Just asking. Only you have the answers around this Valentine’s Day 2019.

Dr. Vivian Blevins is a Harlan County native. She has taught undergraduate and graduate students as well as prison inmates, and now teaches communication and American literature classes at Edison State Community College in Ohio. Reach her at