Mastering Your Feelings and Emotions in Time for Valentine’s Day

Christyl Rivers, Phd.
5 min readFeb 6, 2020

You can better manage love by understanding emotions and feelings

Look beyond cookie cutter expectations, Christyl Rivers

Passion is an emotion, but love is a feeling

With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s time to purge yourself of sentimental feelings.

What? I thought Valentine’s Day was the one day of the year we celebrate our sentimental feelings! We collect hearts and flowers. We reach out, with cultural approval, to tell people how we value them. We have a specific day of the year to honor our feelings of having a crush. We can feed our obsessions with overpriced chocolate and cuddly teddy bears and other plush toys. We can finally put on that sexy lingerie. We can dance as if no one is looking.

We can let down our hair.

Sorry, but buying into all that sentimental freedom is going to injure some ardor and break some hearts. It all has to do with the difference between emotions and feelings. Our feelings are tied to our expectations like a heart charm chain on a teddy bear.

If you already know your emotions and feelings well, you have less susceptibility to the more dangerous Cupid’s darts. But if you are still learning, (like most of us) read on.

It is precisely this dichotomy that makes Valentine’s Day hazardous for the human heart. Be prepared for a St. Valentine’s Day massacre of your sweet illusion if you don’t read your emotions and feelings correctly.

Emotions and Feelings are not the same

Feelings are basically concepts that you form about self and others by looking — not always deeply enough — at your emotions. Emotions are not thoughts. They are physical expressions within your body.

Emotions are physical, and quite worth learning to read. You may have a tight chest. You may have a nervous stomach. You may find yourself sighing. You may stumble on words. Your limbic system is telling your brain that something is up. More often than not, we ignore these physical manifestations and tap into our pre-formed feelings.

Feelings are long term. Feelings are constructed, after all, by a largely unconscious motive that drives our inner narrative. Think of when…

Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.