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It’s Valentine’s Day, so we have to celebrate love. Not just any love. Let’s give a special tip of the hat to profound, enduring romantic love.

The February series, The Relaxed Heart, is looking at how we can keep an open heart in the middle of a tense world. Few people try to close down. It’s just that…who’s got the time?

This is what happened for some friends of mine. Let me tell you about Courtney and Rico.

Courtney thought everything had fallen into place. Great job, great guy and blue skies ahead. However, her life crashed into a million pieces when her fiancée changed his mind just days before their wedding.

Courtney didn’t hesitate when she got an offer in the next state. When she wasn’t pouring energy into her job, she was getting her apartment together. Hooking up wasn’t at the bottom of the list; it didn’t even make the cut.

Rico wasn’t on the hunt, either. He was just being a good sport when Frank asked for help with the after-school program at the YMCA.

Frank was laughing, but he wasn’t taking no for an answer. “C’mon, are you going to make me beg? The kids love the new daily activities schedule. We’re scrambling trying to manage all the sign-ups. I know your work day as a commodities broker ends early. Look, I’ll make you a deal – just try it for a month. By the way, have you met Courtney?”

you-kissed-my-soul

A year later, Rico came to lunch when Courtney’s parents were in town. As they walked out to the parking lot, Courtney’s Dad took her by the arm. In a serious tone he whispered, “That one’s a keeper.”

Courtney laughed. “Dad! You don’t get it. We’re not dating – Rico just helps out at the Y. He won’t even be around – he’s relocating to Chicago.”

“I stick by what I said,” he grumbled, pulling the door closed.

Courtney walked back to her car, shaking her head. But his words haunted her. She started to panic.

What if he was right?

When her exit came up on the freeway, she kept driving. All the way to the airport. She saw Rico waiting in the security line. She started with, “You’ll never guess what my Dad said to me…”

Rico was quiet. Finally, he said, “Long distance can be hard, but I’m willing to fly in. Will you set aside one weekend a month?”

They’ve been married almost 25 years.

Valentine’s Day can be filled with a lot of pressure. The chase to find or be The One. The strain to have the most romantic date in the world. Yet all that stress just leads to a lot of anxiety. And anxiety isn’t sexy!

This week, take the pressure off – the Universe may have a surprise in store for you. Rico and Courtney discovered that Good happens to good people all the time. You don’t have to be the wealthiest, most exciting guy in the world to find a great partner. And you don’t need a sexy Instagram account to be the perfect woman. You just need a relaxed heart.