News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 9, 2014

Elation to stress: Feelings toward Valentine’s Day run the gamut

TERRE HAUTE — Friday — Valentine’s Day — is a day of love.

While many people feel excited about the holiday, many others experience emotions not necessarily as positive as love.

Mandi Warpenburg, case manager at Terre Haute Regional Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit, talked to the Tribune-Star about emotions people feel during Valentine’s Day.

“There are people that truly enjoy it,” she said. It’s an opportunity for them “to further express that they care about the person that they’re with.”

But it is also a holiday that comes with a lot of pressure for many people whether they are single or have been married for 50 years.

Some experience the pressure of finding just the right gift, the right reservation and trying to “make sure the day is perfect,” Warpenburg said.

The issue of money, in particular, causes a lot of anxiety with some couples, she added.

But anxiety is also felt by others who are either single, divorced or widowed, as Valentine’s Day “kind of gets shoved down their throat,” Warpenburg said.

Warpenburg, who is finishing up her master’s degree in mental health counseling, also observed that the worry of being alone sometimes “breeds … poor decision making.”

“I think people [may] settle for a relationship just to have the companionship,” whether it’s the right person for them or not, she said.

So she reminds everyone of the importance of loving oneself.

“You have to be able to love yourself before you can let other people love you,” the Terre Haute resident said.

And being single is OK.

“The people you choose to be in relationships with, those people do not make or break your self-worth,” she said. “Really valuing yourself … is critical.”

And whether it is love for a spouse, children, parents, friends or oneself, this love should be expressed every day.

“You should continually show them that you appreciate them, love them, value them at a daily basis,” Warpenburg said, “in some form or fashion.”

She suggested leaving notes, sending text messages or making their lunch.

And speaking about her personal life, “I don’t need one day to kind of throw all my love in a basket,” she said, pointing out that many think Valentine’s Day has become “a very commercial holiday.”

But recently, Warpenburg said, Valentine’s Day is not just for adults anymore. It’s about kids and family.

One Terre Haute woman said she is not buying gifts for Valentine’s Day this year.

“I feel like … it’s something you should celebrate all the time,” Micahlyn Allen said.

Instead, she has chosen to give her parents the gift of spending time with them at home and “see the celebration of their love.”

“I’m gonna crash that party this year,” Allen said.

She’s looking forward to a mother-daughter tradition of making homemade pizzas and Rice Krispies Treats, heart-shaped, of course. Dad, she said, “does the eating part.”

“My parents have been married for 30 years … [and] have set such a great example for me,” Allen said.

“In this crazy world, people can still make relationships last like that. It’s encouraging.”

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or

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