We Still Get to Love

By Jamie TworkowskiFebruary 14, 2019

My biggest dream is love. i struggle with depression. The loss of love is the hardest thing i’ve experienced. Breakups have injured me for months at a time. i’ve been single since a Valentine’s Day break-up three years ago.

For all of the reasons above and like so many people, this holiday has been a difficult one for me. It seems to do more harm than good. It seems to apply unnecessary pressure and it seems to remind me of what’s missing. It reminds me what i’ve had and what i’ve lost. It reminds me what i wish was different in my life.

But something has shifted lately. It’s not that i’m suddenly enjoying Valentine’s Day. Instead, it’s simply been a shift to not noticing. i haven’t been thinking about not having love because i’ve been busy loving people. My life feels full and so i’m not focused on what’s missing. Purpose is a really good distraction.

Perhaps the biggest lie that comes with Valentine’s Day is the idea that if you don’t have romantic love in your life, you don’t have love in your life. It used to make me feel like an athlete on the sidelines, aching to take the field but feeling like i wasn’t allowed. The truth is that we still get to love. We still get to use our hearts. i get to love my parents and my sisters and my nephews and my friends. i get to be loved by them as well.

Lately, i’ve been focused on one friend who is going through a hard time. She is navigating the darkness of depression and it’s been this way for weeks. She wonders if things will ever change, if life will ever get easier, if joy will ever come back.

Every day i am in touch with her, reminding her what’s true, reminding her what i see in her and saying things can change. i’m doing my best to help her make a plan, to get back into counseling and to find a community as well. This morning she texted me, “Thank you. I’m so grateful. I feel supported even in this darkness.”

i’ve been so focused on loving my friend that it hasn’t crossed my mind to feel sad about being single or to buy the lie that i don’t get to love people. i told my friend that for me, loving her is all the purpose i need. And it’s not for any strategy or job description. It’s simply what we’re made to do. We’re made to be in relationships. We’re made to love and be loved. We’re made to point to hope when others can’t quite see it. We’re made to see people who feel invisible. We’re made to know people who feel unknown.

If your heart is broken, if today finds you facing grief, we want to pause and say we’re sorry. We’re sorry for the pain you feel. We’re sorry for what’s broken and what’s missing. On this day so known for love, please know that you deserve love. You deserve comfort and solace and support. You deserve time and space to heal. You deserve connection, for healing rarely happens in isolation. You deserve whatever help you need, for as long as it takes.

If you’re in a romantic relationship, oh my goodness that’s amazing. Soak it up and celebrate. You beat the odds. You found a miracle. Enjoy it truly, please.

If you’re single, here’s an invitation:

You are invited to love. This world absolutely needs your love. Your family does. Your friends do. The person who takes your order at the coffee shop, the stranger on the street this afternoon or a year from now, they will need your love.

Your laugh. Your smile. Your voice. Your heart. It’s all so powerful. It’s water to a thirsty world and a coat for someone cold.  

There’s something way more interesting than a pink holiday built around one aspect of life: it’s you. It’s your love, not as an idea and not on some imaginary waiting list. It’s your love at work in the life of another person. And remember: Love is still the most powerful force on the planet.


We also want to invite you to join us tonight (2/14) for our 12th Annual “Valentine’s Day Doesn’t Have to Suck” Twitter chat! Starting at 8 PM EST, Jamie and the TWLOHA team will be answering your questions! Be part of the conversation by following @TWLOHA on Twitter and using #TWLOHAVDay.

A portion of the chat will be broadcast LIVE on Facebook and Twitch at 8:30 PM EST!

Leave a Reply

Comments (15)

  1. Said Hamdan

    You my friend, show more love in this passage than many people show in a lifetime. And trust me… you are loved by so many including myself and Christina. Peace

    Reply  |  
  2. Dayna

    Beautiful as always. <3

    Reply  |  
  3. Paige

    This is the most difficult thing for me today. Not even because of the stigmatism of “love” found in a relationship. Just the idea of love in general. From a past that was so rocky and several times getting love taken away forcefully.. I’ve done my best to numb myself to the idea of it. It’s just become so much harder these last few weeks. I just wish I could feel *something*.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA


      We are so sorry that you are struggling. We understand that love can be both wonderful and also difficult to feel and welcome into our lives. We hope you know that your feelings are valid and that you can take your time with welcoming and accepting love. Our entire team is here rooting for you.

      Please email us at [email protected] so we can learn more about your story and offer you some encouragement.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  4. Lyndzie

    My family calls me an abomination to God, my society, and their family. This has been the second year now since I’ve come out to my family. They still won’t speak to me. At Christmas it was getting harder to see hope and be happy. Knowing that they don’t want anything to deal with me breaks my heart. Waking up and tip toeing around my house so that I don’t get called a faggot and that i’m going to hell, well it scares me. I know that your organization is for people that go through things that hurt them or others and can be very dangerous. I thank you because you’ve helped me through some tough times. Through my self-injuring which turned into bulimia. You’ve showed me there are better ways and I can be helped and be better. You’ve showed me so many times that there is love and I am worthy of it. I thank all the people of this organization because you have all saved my soul, my heart, and my life. You all have given me love when my family won’t.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA


      We are incredibly sorry that you are being met with unwarranted hate from those you care about. You are not an abomination in any way. Your love is valid and should be celebrated and respected. Please know that our entire team is inspired by your openness and courage to continue. Thank you for your kind words, but we are here because of you!

      You can always reach out to us at [email protected] if you are in need of support, encouragement or resources. You are not alone. You are loved.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  5. Donna Hebert-Pfeiffer

    I love TWOLA and all that it stands for! Thank you to the TWOLA team for dedicating your life to this amazing cause.

    Reply  |  
  6. Janelle

    Wow so beautifully said. I wish I knew you in person so you could see the smile this brought to my face. The Lord is using you in a mighty way to encourage others and to call us back to our greatests gifts of loving God and loving others. With heart felt gratitude.

    Reply  |  
  7. Felicity

    I love this post.

    Reply  |  
  8. Illuna

    Reading this I couldn’t help but burst into tears. Such a beautiful story, just what I needed to read. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. This really helps reinforce something I had known just had trouble trying to appreciate.. Because depression makes everything blurry. People are awesome. You are awesome. Keep being that inspiration because it does more than save a life. It helps us reach find a better way to live. Thank you again..

    Reply  |  
  9. Aunt Lorraine


    Reply  |  
  10. Janet Lynn Rubbo

    #jamietworkowski thanks for such a warm and loving article!!! As the son goes, “What The World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love”. Yes, we are ALL capable of giving that no matter what our our troubles are. #TWLOHA

    Reply  |  
  11. Shaun Redfern

    This is Amazing ! Jaime, you are a master articulater and I really appreciate, the fire you burn in giving people hope, help amd healing. God Bless
    – Shaun

    Reply  |  
  12. emily mcghee

    thank you jamie. v-day is always hard for me. i feel like it’s a slap in the face. i’ve been single for many years now and as i get older i wonder if it’s ever gonna happen. but i do have lots of loves in my life too that i am grateful for, just not that romantic type. that one is difficult for me to grasp.
    i’ve just been introduced to you by my mother. she sent me “if you feel too much” and i’m loving it. just had to google you and see more. twloha seems very much needed. heart camp sounds wonderful. i would love it to come so southern california.
    anyways, thank you for what you do and who you are. thank you for being born.

    Reply  |  
  13. Maddy

    I suffer from depression too. It’s not easy always being single. I wish I could share my life with someone who understands and accepts me for who I am.

    Reply  |  
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