How Roses Can Teach You What You Need to Know About Love…Getting and Keeping It

roses and a book



I’ve been told this post was the most important one I’ve ever written…it certainly was a critical life lesson for me.  I’m reposting it for you this Valentine’s Day…


FTD must have been the original St. Valentine, or the Saint was a hell of an entrepreneur.


Roses are synonymous with The Big Red Heart day. Thanks to the media, not a man alive escapes the message that your sweetheart will give you ANYTHING if you remember the roses. And, according to Valentine’s Day rules, the ones in buckets at the local grocery store don’t count.

Well, I certainly believed that my husband knew that, but in case he didn’t, as we strolled by the downtown florist I “oooed” and “ahhhed” over those “roses in the window”. Now, I was SURE he got the message!

Enter V Day in rural Maine. The year, 1983. It was the same year we had purchased our first desktop computer and Dell became a household word. I was like a kid playing in the mud about that computer. A burgeoning writer, the idea of never again using carbon paper and easy editing was almost orgasmic.

I woke up to the second day of a Nor’easter. The lake in front of our house was frozen solid, the roads plowed during the night were now piling up with snow once again. My first thought was that those florist delivery trucks would make it no matter what. So, the titillating wait began.

My husband dressed and shoveled his way to the car heading for the hospital where he worked. I guessed he was preoccupied with weather when he didn’t mention Valentine’s Day, so I let it go. The roses would mend everything.

Not only were there no florist delivery vans on the road that day, but it was hard for a snow plow to stay upright. As darkness came and it was time for my husband’s return from work, I put on a little black dress, opened a bottle of wine and put the kids to bed. On the counter was a lovely crystal vase just waiting for those roses.

The door opened and brushing off the snow, he said, “What’s for dinner?” What???  OK, he was going to surprise me. The roses were in the car and I began to worry that they would freeze, but poured us both a glass of wine. Since he hadn’t said those magic words, “Happy Valentine’s Day, darling.” I took the initiative (It was the era of feminism after all).

He then pulled a brown paper bag out of his briefcase and handed it to me with a smile and a toast. I couldn’t believe what I pulled out of that bag…a book! Are you kidding me, I thought. A book! It was an early version of Computers for Dummies.  That is second only to a blender for your anniversary. I was surprised, disappointed and really pissed and it all came rolling out of my mouth. “You got me a BOOK for Valentine’s Day?” I said. And then I saw his face lose all signs of life and joy. As he walked away, I felt so ashamed and yet, I was still filled with disappointment and confusion.  How could he not know I wanted roses for Valentine’s Day? Remember the walk by the florist window?  Any man with a brain should know his sweetheart wants roses.After what seemed like hours, he reappeared and we sat down to a cold dinner, half a candle and a Golden Retriever who had retreated under the table. “Donna, do you know what I went through to get you that book? I wanted you to enjoy the computer because I know how important writing is to you, so I drove in a blizzard all the way to Boston (almost 200 miles) to get this book for you. I thought you would appreciate it, but I can see you don’t.”

My heart sank. I knew that all the apologies in the world could not make up for the words I could never take back.

That day my life changed in ways that were profound and permanent. For the first time I knew that men want to make us happy. That they have their own ways of showing love. That they cannot read our minds. That our expectations of them are based not on their world, but on our preconceived notions of what love looks like.

That Valentine’s Day love came from Barnes and Noble, not from TeleFlora. It came with such beautiful  intention and thought. All I had to do was be open to what HE called love. It changed me forever and though I am still waiting for those roses, I know that one day a new love will bring them my way.

Please post this on your social media sites if you think it will bring a better Valentine’s Day to those you know and love! Thank you.


Happy Valentine’s Day

If you are tired of spending Valentine’s Day alone and ready to find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life, let’s talk about how to get yon there!

Call 510-817-4242 or email me at and I’ll send you my Love Readiness Quiz!

Donna Bailey, M.S

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair 

Never Take Love for Granted


One thing getting older brings besides more Irish freckles and knees that closely resemble pachyderms is a keen awareness of how precious life has become. It shouldn’t take 60 years to realize it, but nature gives us a big bag of denial dust that is finite and it would seem that around 55, the bag gets pretty light.


It’s so easy to think that tomorrow will look like today, that the person we love will always be there laying beside us. It’s been said that death is the greatest gift life offers us because it gives us a canvas on which to paint our lives. That may be so, but we don’t have to wait until we see that bony finger telling us it’s our time before we wake up to realize that life and love are precious.


Is there someone in your life that needs to hear, perhaps again, that they mean the world to you? A precious person whose life on this earth makes yours better in sometimes obvious ways, and often ways you may not realize until they aren’t there? Get real, take the plunge of vulnerability and tell them this very day how much you care.

Would you like to share your life once again with another? Is it time to stop thinking about love, wishing you had someone with whom to share this next chapter of your amazing life? Are you ready?

I’m happy to offer you a Complimentary Strategy Session on 90 Days to Love

Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me at

Donna Bailey, MS

Coaching, Speaking, Writing and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair










My Biggest Fear About Being in a Relationship




Yes, I am a hopeful and hopeless romantic and I can’t recall a day when I wasn’t in love with love. I rather like that about myself, but sometimes it can create self-doubt where self-doubt doesn’t belong. You see, I believe that if you are fortunate enough to meet someone you love, truly love…those feelings of cherishing and tending to each other, hallmarks of the pink cloud days…don’t have to disappear when “reality” sets in.


Nature gave us an overdose of fabulous natural drugs to bring us together and for awhile we have an endless Rx. Then, it’s up to us to decide if we want a refill. If you loved it then, why not do what it takes to keep those lovin’ feelings alive? Because most of us take life for granted, and in doing so, take each other for granted as well. It’s truly sad to me that most everyone, but me seems to think it is unrealistic to think that we can hold on to those early and precious feelings we have toward one another.


It doesn’t take getting older to realize that life is precious. When we are young parents and look down into the tiny newborn faces of our children, we truly know that preciousness. Attending the funeral of someone we are sad to have lost reminds us of how irreplaceable they are and that our lives will never be the same again. And yet, we lay next to the person we love or jump out of bed, turn on our computers forgetting to even say “Good Morning” to them, and forget that life hasn’t promised us more than a minute at a time with our sweet love.


Start believing it. Believe it even before something forces you. Before she walks out the door from neglect or he announces he’s been with someone else and is ever so sorry. If you need to pull out those old photos to look in the eyes of a younger man or woman…the one you fell in love with awhile ago, do that. Take a moment in the morning to look at him sleeping, drool and all and remember just how precious this person truly is. Start today.


Help keep love alive by posting this on your social media site, emailing it to friends and taking the time to talk to your partner. Life is short, so help others remember that.

Also, if you have ideas you’d like to share about how you keep love alive, please post your comments below!

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