Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. To those that have found love, to those that have lost love, to those looking for love, to us all. Love and relationships can be such simple things and yet so complicated, they can lift you to to the highest mountain and make you sadder than you've ever known. How many songs can you name that have love in the title or that are about love, I'd almost guess that it is 90% if not more. Certainly love is universal within humankind, and to a certain degree it makes the world go round.

I wanted to originally write an article with reader suggests for the romantically challenged, much like I did last year, but it just wasn't meant to be this year. So while I have deviated from my original concept, I hope that you'll find this article worth reading and that you might find a nugget or two that you can use to make today brighter.

Hugh Grant, as the narrator, has the line in "Love Actually" to the effect that if you really look around love is actually all around us. In the movie one of the story lines is about a has-been rock star that remakes the famous song "Love Is All Around Us". Hugh Grant as the narrator mentions that he likes to see the arrivals area at the airport because you notice how much love is all around us. In the arrivals area you see all kinds of people that have missed their loved ones and are so happy to see them again. You see parents and kids that are happy to each other. Grandparents see their grandkids again. Brothers and sisters are happy to be reunited. Friends of all shapes and sizes are happy to see each other again. And of course, couples, married and not married, young and old, at various stages of their relationships are happy to see each other again after some absence. This sight when viewed in this fashion can redeem your faith in humankind and give us all hope. Do you have a favorite Valentine's Day movie? Do you have a favorite Valentine's Day song?

A tip for all of us that are romantically challenged, and who isn't from time to time. The key to a successful Valentine's Day gift is not the price tag or many of the other things that you might first think it is. The key thing to keep in mind is that your gift shows that you care about the person you're giving it to. Some of the best gifts carry small price tags, if any at all. Most people on Valentine's Day want to be reassured that someone cares about them. There are millions of ways to do this, one of the best is to get yourself into a creative mind set and do some brainstorming. One thing that you don't want to do is to give your sweetie something that you want, thinking that they'll enjoy it (or at least you'll enjoy it) unless it is truly something that you think they'll enjoy. Most women don't really think getting power tools is a romantic idea and you're likely to get into trouble for doing such a thing! Women should also keep in mind that the same holds true for men, that gift that you'd likely give your best girlfriend is probably not a good gift for your sweetheart.

Unfortunately, Valentine's Day has become over commercialized and there is too much emphasis on spending lots of money on Valentine's gifts and the true meaning is often lost. Some of the fairy tales that we grow up with make people think that there has to be a perfect prince in shining armour and that everything needs to be perfect and so many other things that make it hard for real life to live up to our expectations. The truth is that we're all human with our own faults. While I'm not saying that Mr or Miss Right doesn't exist for each and everyone out their, you might have set your standards to the point that even true royalty won't meet your selection criteria. This can leave you lonely on many Saturday Nights (and many Valentine's Days).

Lots of people will get engaged today. Of course there is also lots of pressure on people to get engaged today. How many people are expecting to get proposed to today? Sure it can be very romantic to get engaged today, but I hope that this is not one of those line in the sand kind of things that your significant other doesn't have a clue about. It the expectation is that you'll be getting engaged today, I hope that it is because your relationship is at the point where it makes sense, not because it is a day on the calendar. Of course, proposing on Valentine's Day can really give your relationship a boost and lots of people would love to be proposed to on Valentine's Day. For married couples, maybe today is good day to think back to your proposal, every married couple has a story what is yours? If you have an interesting story about how your proposal, I'd love to hear it.

Lastly, I like Valentine's Day because it is an excuse to let people you care about know how you feel. While we shouldn't need an excuse, it doesn't hurt to have one. Everyone likes to know that they're valued by someone. I remember as a kid how we bought those prepackaged boxed with 20-30 little cards asking other kids to be your Valentine and I remember my mother doing various special things to let us know that we were loved. Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Photo credit: Heart Burst courtesy of ba1969.
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