Rerun of Celebrating Love with Jesus Diaz, Jr., Episode 165 [Valentine’s Day Edition], Episode 165

Thank you for listening to this episode from my archives. Stay tuned for my brand new 10-minute Q&A episodes, new creative guests, and even news on my upcoming book! Send me a DM on Instagram @melissallarena – I would love to hear your thoughts on this “best of episode.”

Do you believe in marriage? Do you feel left out this Valentine’s Day? Where do you stand on this “need” to even have a partner on Valentine’s Day or forever? 

This week’s guest is my husband, Jesus Diaz, Jr., whom I met 25 years ago, and we’ve been married for 18 years. Some of our Valentine’s Days have been remarkable, and others we can’t even remember. 

This is Jesus’ second time on this podcast and he’s back due to popular demand. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day alone or with a partner, tune in to this conversation as Jesus shares his thoughts on loving ourselves and others too. This is not a gushy conversation between two married couples who feel like we have to recruit the world to follow our path. 

We both believe you should spend Valentine’s Day however you choose because you are the only person who best knows what your greatest expression of love is. You know what you need this “love season” more than the idealities that you see about love. 

In this episode, Jesus and I cover a lot of ground including whether marriage can be easy, the thought that divorce could be healthy, and how anyone can learn how to be a better recipient of love. 

Share this conversation with someone wondering if they did something wrong for not having the love of their life this Valentine’s Day. This episode might be what they need to feel adored.

About Jesus Diaz, Jr.

A kind and gentle husband for almost 18 years and the father of my three sons – these are the roles that he has taken since we met back in 199. Jesus was 20 when we began dating back at NYU, where he was a computer science major at that time. It was when his Latino fraternity put together a dance called Caliente Jam where it all began.

Jesus and I have grown together, sharing our deepest secrets with each other. We dated for six years and then got married in a side chapel of his Jamaica, NY hometown church. Jesus has gone from boyfriend to fiancée to husband to co-parent through the years. He has played every role with a sincere desire to make things easy for us. 

Meanwhile, I’ve always wondered if “easy marriage” was just a fantasy or truly possible. It turns out I’ve essentially been the one to benefit the most from his ease. He may not admit it, but Jesus is a romance expert. Because of his talents, I have learned to be more receptive to love through the years. 

Side note: Jesus is actually the reason I launched this podcast back in 2017. He was the one who told me to take GaryVee (episode 10) and James Altucher (episode 5) on their dare, which was to start a podcast and they would appear as guests. 

Two similar episodes you may enjoy too:

How To Be A Present Father And Raise Gentlemen Who Will Pursue Bigger Dreams Than Can Possibly Fit Into Any Box, Meet Jesus Diaz, Jr. An Incredible Dad, Episode 79

Should You Say What You Are Really Thinking? Dating Coach Connell Barrett Reveals What Works When You Want To Make A Romantic Connection, Episode 75


Creativity: Be creative this Valentine’s day in a way that manifests your greatest expression of love.

Curiosity: Always ask yourself why you want something and that includes a partner.

Courage: Both marriage and divorce take courage. It’s not for us to judge.  

Love and Marriage: Love and marriage are two separate things. You could be married, but not in love and in love, but not married. 

Easy: Jesus has always thought that marriage seems to be very easy, growing up with his parents who love and support each other, giving him an example of what marriage looks like. 

Simple: With any two different brains coming together, there’s oftentimes going to be disagreements in different areas. That said, Jesus still isn’t giving up on the belief that it can be simple.

Stigma: Because of how marriage and divorce are portrayed in society, people have different impressions in their heads that are reinforced over and over again. Divorce is comparable to a breakup in a relationship, but it has a stigma that a breakup doesn’t have.

Growth: Divorce is a healthy thing. It’s like being fired from a job. It’s not working out so why continue to bang your head in a place where you’re not at your best? A divorce can actually open up doors for you to get to your best spot. 

Expectation: Our society has built this Valentine’s Day construct, making you feel that you have to be in love or you have to find love as if there’s something wrong with you.

Happy: If you’re single right now, find comfort in knowing that you don’t have to be anything for anyone on Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to be in love as long as you’re happy. 

Romance: Romance is painted in one way. But as a married couple, we might experience it and need it in a different way. Jesus defines romance as the daily activities you do, even if you’re just washing the dishes or scraping the stove. It’s not the traditional role men are supposed to play.

Fluid: Romance can be very fluid. It doesn’t have to be the prescription of what we see on TV.

Celebrate: Celebrate occasions if you have someone for Valentine’s Day. Don’t just treat it as an off holiday either. Carry it out every month and find something special that you can look forward to or celebrate together. 

Fire: There are many ways to keep the fire burning. It doesn’t have to be just one way. Keep it front and center every month, even if it’s watching a movie together when the kids are asleep or just having a conversation by a candle outdoors. 

Clues: Find out more about the other person and what’s important to them. Find traces of what makes them feel great and what inspires them. It doesn’t even cost money to be romantic, as long as you’re being thoughtful about it.

Maturity: It takes emotional maturity to put yourself out there. You’re thinking about yourself much more than anyone else on this planet is thinking about you. If you put yourself out there emotionally for that one person, what do you have to lose?

Dates: You could be very interested but just very limited in terms of what you get to say. And so, it helps to keep a list of topics in your pocket just to make sure you get the conversation going.

Challenges: Don’t immediately say no, or don’t react in any other way than saying, “Yes, and” because that will continue the conversation. Don’t just shut down.

Gentleness: Gentleness facilitates ease in a relationship. And when your kids see that between you and your partner, it also facilitates aspiration among your kids.

Authenticity: Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect or ideal. Romance comes in many shapes and forms. As long as you’re unique and true, love and romance will follow.

Self-love: Sometimes you have to make a choice between loving someone else versus loving yourself.

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa Llarena is an author, imagination coach, consultant, speaker, and contributor to ForbesWomen articles that have garnered 4 million + views. She is also the host of Unimaginable Wellness, the podcast for entrepreneurs, founders, and creators who are also moms. Featured guests include GaryVee and Beth Comstock. Melissa holds a psychology degree from New York University, an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and a Transformational Coaching Academy certificate. She is training to become a meditation practitioner. Melissa lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three sons. Visit

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