Could We Just Skip Valentine’s Day?



Valentine’s Day memories go way back for most of us.



Does anyone remember those packages of flimsy cardboard Valentines that we bought at Walgreens, making sure we had enough for everybody in our classroom? It was such fun cutting with our blunt end scissors, making those heart-shaped pockets that would hold all the “love” and glitter from the Valentines that the other kids would surely give us.  

Did you ever come to school before the BIG DAY and peek into your pocket to see how many were in there? 


This day, touted as the “Day of Love”, is loaded for most of us, both men and women. It is an “either/or” kind of holiday, one of anticipating and waiting to see IF and How Much you’re loved. When we’re not in a relationship, Hallmark tells us that we’re NOT loved…at least this year.


No matter how many ways my brain tells me that this is all a manufactured holiday and that real love is not buried in chocolate or expensive dinners, my heart still aches every single year I find myself “alone” on Valentine’s Day. It’s in my bones, this message about February 14 and I’m angry about that.


What do I recommend to all my readers as a way of coping with this holiday? Find a good friend who loves you even without your make-up, with dirty hair and in your ratty pajamas. If you are a man, celebrate not having to figure women out on this holiday! But, make a plan! Avoid restaurants at all costs and if you enjoy wine, buy yourself a nice bottle and enjoy every drop. No conversation is off-limits, but be sure they contain words of love, acceptance and joy for all the love that IS in your life EVERY YEAR.


Don’t fight the feelings around this holiday. Give advertising and marketing its due for being the King of Brainwashing. And remember, soon it will be over for another 365 days! The holiday, not love!

Alone this year? Leave your message in the Comments Section to share with others what you plan to do for Valentine’s Day!


Do you want to do everything you can so that next year, you’ll have a special someone to share not only Valentine’s Day together, but the fun and exciting next chapter of your amazing life?

I can help you begin today if you’ll call me for a Complimentary Strategy Session at 510-817-4242!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big RED Chair

Do You Think People Can Really Change?


I get this question all the time. Or, people just flat out say, “People don’t change.”  Shaking my sweet little head, I always smile at them and say, “You know…I think everyone can change.” I really do believe this but real change only happens when there’s action toward making that behavior, attitude, pattern become something different and more desirable. And that desire absolutely and positively must be owned by the person who wants to change.


The 12-Steps of AA and other recovery programs have had a long history and commitment to this belief and Reinhold Niebuhr in his “Serenity Prayer” says it about as well as anyone I know…


“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.”

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t say this prayer and when I have trouble falling asleep at night, my crazy monkey mind determined to solve everything on the planet, it carries me away into peace and surrender.


Now, after years and years of working on my own crazies, I’m beyond aware that I can’t change anyone nor is it my business to even think I can. Years of trying to change the men I have loved left me feeling depressed, helpless, mad as hell at them, and putting bandages on my forehead after beating it relentlessly against a wall. Did they change? Nope. Was I crazy all the time? Yep. Did it cost me? While I waited for them to change, I couldn’t really live my own precious life.


Early this morning, still dark and rainy, I had myself plugged into Pandora to lull myself into believing I enjoy getting up at 4:30 am. Word-worshiper that I am, it’s impossible for me to ignore a lyric and I laughed out loud when  I heard, “If I held my breath, you’d be the death of me.” Laughed, then felt kinda sad. The part of me that is hopeful and trusting and believes in the resilience of everybody and that we all can change is something I love in myself. And yet, the sting of disappointment and sadness was fresh for me when recently I had to accept that someone I cared about very much was no longer a part of my life because he was who he was and I needed someone different in an area that was a non-negotiable for me. In the past I would have asked him, cajoled and found us both a therapist, set up the appointment and done all the talking. Yes, he would have gone with me, but would it have been because he wanted to change? Never worked in the past and those teachers taught me well. The lyric was the truth and I was not ready to die!


So, don’t abandon your optimist, but my friends, if after you give it a chance and you aren’t finding happiness, and that issue is a non-negotiable for your own integrity and happiness, you have two options.

  1.  To know that what you see is what you have and be willing and able to live with that, him or her.
  2. To decide that you need to move on in order to stay alive or at the very least, be happy living the life you want and need to find happiness.
  3. There is no third option…sorry!
People CAN change, but only if THEY want to. It’s nobody else’s business!

Ready to find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life? Tired of watching sunsets alone or waiting for someone to change? 

Call me at 510-817-4242 for a Complimentary Session. Perhaps I can help you Find Love in 90 Days!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair






The Need to be Right…What’ll That Get Ya?



And sometimes, paraphrased…”You can either be right or have a loving relationship.” The two are mutually exclusive and this is why…


In order to make a relationship work, at some point you must choose to become a couple instead of two individuals living side by side. This is not to say that each person needs to sacrifice their individuality, but when there are differences of opinion, points of view or recalling the “facts” in a disagreement, the decision to put the relationship first must be made. 


The need to be right comes from many sources. We live in a highly competitive world where boys and men are taught that they must always win or be deemed “weak” by their peers and society as a whole. Families are often competitive and some children learn to vie for parental attention by being the best. When they are not successful many children become adults who feel abandoned and invisible and their sense of self suffers.


One way some people learn to overcompensate for low self-esteem is by putting others down so that they feel “better than” and by maintaining they are “right”it implies the other person must be “wrong”. Controlling others or having to win every time always results in  disaster.


Relationships thrive when a couple comes together to work through disagreements. When one person chooses the relationship over the need to be right, the other person actually feels honored and more loved.


Prove this to yourself. The next time you are beginning to argue with your partner and you notice you want to be “right”, stop yourself right in the middle of the argument or better yet, at the beginning when you feel things begin to  escalate. Remind yourself how much more important your partner is than being right. Something magic happens when you can rise above your ego’s need to be in control, and make room for the peace that letting go of being right can bring. 


If you find yourself unable to do this, it may be time to seek  help from a relationship professional. This can be a complex issue that requires more than your willingness in order to change this pattern. You CAN find and keep love in your life  by taking the first step. Ask for help. That truly is the RIGHT thing to do.

Please Re-post This on Your Social Media Sites. We ALL Need a Reminder!

It takes two to tango and to resolve conflicts. If you are looking for someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life, you’ll want to include in your “non-negotiables” the willingness and ability to solve conflicts. Need some help developing that list so that you know exactly what he/she “looks” like?  

Call me for a Complimentary Session and let’s get you on the road to love.


Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair

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