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10 February 2011

Because everyone is talking about VD

Valentine's Day, that is.

Me and my boy on Tybee Island.

Despite being a girl who LOVES presents, I am quite opposed to Valentine's Day. I'm not sure when my aversion began because, growing up, my parents always made sure that we (the kids) received little valentines and cards on Valentine's Day, and I certainly appreciate those memories. But now, as an adult, I find Valentine's Day to be consumeristic, artificial, and sad. And that's not because I'm bitter because I'm in fact in a loving and happy relationship.

Why do I hate Valentine's Day? I guess that in many ways it is my parents' fault. I was raised to believe that if you love someone, you show them that every day at every opportunity. Waiting until one day a year to have a romantic dinner or splurge on a present or to write love poetry is a cop-out and is lazy. If you truly love someone -- in whatever capacity -- you should show him or her that every day. Valentine's Day makes love all about cards and jewelry and flowers and gifts. And showing people you love them has absolutely NOTHING to do with gifts. That's not what love is. Love is a deep emotion that requires nurturing and care, not presents. And I'm not limiting my discussion to just romantic love. I'm also speaking of familial love and friend love as well. Demonstrating your affection for those you love is in the little things: a call or a text to say hello, a thoughtful note left in a lunchbox, painting your nails the color he (or she) likes, laughing at silly jokes that you don't really think are all that funny, recalling special memories that you have made together, holding hands while sitting on the couch watching a movie, making sure not a day goes by without saying "I love you" and expressing your gratitude for having your special someone in your life.

Sure, gifts and shiny things are great. But they mean nothing without all the little things in between. If we hold off to openly express our true affection for just one day a year, what does that say about all the other days in the middle? They aren't as important? I think the opposite is true. All those little days in between are MORE important.

My wiser-than-she-knows mother once told me that the key to a happy relationship is to make your partner's happiness your absolute priority. If both of you do this, everyone's needs will be met and both of you will be happy. I think that demonstrating your love each day is a part of this. Never let your partner doubt the depth of your love; not on June 1st, not on February 10th, not on March 3rd, not on any day. Love isn't a once-a-year emotion. It's something that we (should) do every day.


(P.S. Don't forget to enter my newest contest! Good luck!)
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