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All I wanted was for Drew Campbell to send me a Valentine. I was thirteen and obsessed. Oh but truly. I would ask him to dance at the school dances. I would call him up after school. I would walk by his house on occasion. This was long before I knew what love addiction was. 

But within a few years I had discovered alcohol, which gave me the courage to finally tell this boy that I loved him. I was so embarrassed the following Monday at school that I pretended I couldn’t remember it. I never did get a Valentine from Drew Campbell. 

A year later there was a new boy. This one liked me back. And I lost my virginity on Valentine’s Day. This boy was everything to me. I would go across the street to the fitness center where he worked after school and wait for him to get off work so that we could ride home together. There was a library where I sometimes occupied myself. In it, I found a book called “Women Who Love Too Much.” I knew I was one of them, but I didn’t know what to do about it. 

Cut to college. Same story, different boy. It didn’t help that my college boyfriend’s mother had died on Valentine’s Day. Understandable that he didn’t want to celebrate the day. And a perfect excuse for me to feel sorry for myself and head to the bar. 

But the truth was that all I wanted was more. No matter what I got from him or anyone else. It was the same way I felt about alcohol and drugs. When I finally got sober it was only because I chased a boy into the rooms of recovery. Of course I began to learn about codependency and attachment wounding and how you could use a person just like a drug. Little by little I began to heal. Nonetheless, I was single for the next 12 years. And this is where Galentine’s Day comes in. 

I worked at an all-female business in Sherman Oaks. 13 Actresses. All single except the boss. I was probably the most desperate to find a mate. But I wasn’t the only one who occasionally wondered what on earth she was doing wrong and where on earth her Romeo might be. There were plenty of lunch breaks spent flipping through Tinder and trading horror stories. I tried buying myself flowers on Valentine’s Day but I just felt pathetic. 

Then one year, one of the girls brought us all roses and called us her “Galentines.” I was so inspired. She was right! Instead of bemoaning my singledom I was going to shower everyone else with love. I brought candy to the office for the girls– even something for the boss. I took my girlfriends out to dinner. I sent fancy cards to my sisters. I wrote long emails to my friends telling them how much I appreciated them. I sent gifts to my parents. 

And a funny thing happened. The love I had been searching for all my life was finally mine. I didn’t need to chase a boy. I didn’t need a drink or drug. I needed love. And I had it! I gave my heart to the people who actually had been showing up for me for years. To the people whose actions had shown me clearly how they felt about me. I gave my heart with abandon, but this time, I gave it to those who had earned it. I gave love. And in the process, I felt love. 

If you’re single and looking for something to do this Valentine’s Day, come spend it with me and a few dozen of your closes Galentine’s! I’m hosting a free workshop called BECOMING JULIET, Taking The Lead in Your Own Love Story on February 14th 6-8pm Paris time. 

Funny thing, 9 years ago I took a trip to Paris and met a handsome Frenchman. He’s also in recovery. After three years of long-distance dating he asked me to move to Paris and I said yes. I’m grateful to have finally found my person, but guess what’s not a thing in France? Valentine’s Day. So, I remembered the old lesson, “give what you want,” as one of my mentors taught me. And that’s what I intend to do with this free workshop. 

If you would like to join us, click here to REGISTER 

There will be writing exercises and lots of group sharing and BONUS, Free Giveaways. See the registration page for more details! Mwah! 



Dufflyn Lammers (CPC, CAI, CRS) is an international Relationship & Recovery Coach, Writer, and Speaker. In her international coaching practice, she specializes in women’s intimacy issues (including She Recovers). She presents workshops at treatment centers and conferences, both in-person and online. Her workshops use improv games and creative writing to teach resilience, emotional intelligence, communication skills, and recovery skills through the power of play. Originally from Palo Alto, California, she now lives in Paris and works remotely with people all over the world.

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