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The War on Valentine’s Day

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People have varying opinions about Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day. Now that we have social media, those opinions are flooded all over the internet. One can’t possibly escape seeing them, unless they choose not to be online.

My own views about such days have changed over the years. I was once one who longed to have someone to celebrate it with and do the cute and romantic things. Usually, I was single and I tended to be bitter about it. The exception to that has been that I would still make it special for my son. Even though a lot of the ads and deals are about couples, those days aren’t only meant for couples to celebrate. It’s supposed to be about celebrating love in general.

My views later changed to feeling that it’s just another way for stores and restaurants to make money. I also felt that so many are just greedy and want another excuse to get more stuff. Whenever I would see someone brag about what their sweetheart did for them or complain because they didn’t do enough, I rolled my eyes. Shouldn’t love be about more than just what we can get from others? Is it really so superficial? Do we really need presents to show love to one another?

I still held onto that view, for the most part, even after I got together with my now husband. I am the hopeless romantic type, but I also felt that I didn’t need grand gestures to know how he felt about me and he most certainly didn’t expect them from me either. For the most part, I felt that the greatest gifts you can give or receive are time, energy, and love. Gifts are nice, but they’re not what’s most important.

While I still feel that way, I have also come to see that putting down those who wish to celebrate it isn’t a healthy way to look at things. Since days like these are supposed to be about celebrating those you love, how can I really tell someone they’re foolish for wanting to celebrate them? I think if you wish to do something nice for those you love, do it and don’t feel shame in doing so.

If you’re one that hates those days simply because you’re single and will feel ignored, I would urge you to remember an earlier point that I made, those days aren’t just about couples. You can still celebrate with friends and family as well and have them be meaningful. There were a few years when I was single that I did just that, bought candy and cute little things that didn’t cost much for people at work, my son, others in my family, and my friends. It’s not about how much you spend or if you even spend anything at all. You can make handmade cards and gifts if you want to do something nice. It’s about the thought behind the gifts, not the gifts themselves.

That is something some forget and I am still highly annoyed with those who feel they’re entitled to amazing gifts and trips for these or any occasions really. My opinion on that sort of attitude is to stop being a spoiled brat and remember what your relationship is really about. If you want to celebrate, great, but don’t make it a competition between you and your partner or you and your friends, who can give or get the better gifts. Attitudes like that tarnish any positive meaning behind the holidays to begin with.

My husband and I don’t personally do much to celebrate them, because we feel that we don’t need those days to tell or show our love for one another. We’ve gone out to dinner a couple of times, but that’s been more or less of an excuse to not cook and do dishes than it is to celebrate the holidays. Some years, I admit that I have gotten a few little things for him. (Though other years, I have done nothing.) I am, as I mentioned, the romantic type. I haven’t done anything out of obligation, but out of a desire to give. I do random things through the year as well, just because. That’s just who I am, a giver. But, it’s about a lot more than that. He’s not been one to buy me anything. Do I feel less loved because he doesn’t buy me flowers or shower me with gifts? No and that’s because he shows me daily that he loves me.

Every day, he tells me he loves me. He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work (or going anywhere without me, even the grocery store.) and at night before we go to bed. (and plenty in between) We hold hands when walking somewhere or even when driving sometimes. He rubs my back randomly and now lately with my pregnancy, he’s been rubbing my feet too. He cuddles with me, tells me I am beautiful, and does things like take care of the housework when I am sick or having a very bad day. He worries about me, encourages me, and believes in me. So yeah, sometimes when people brag about the flowers they got on their anniversary or their birthday, I feel a tinge of jealousy. I will say this though, it doesn’t last long because I remember all that he does and how much he cares. He just shows it in different ways than some do.

That, to me, is the key in relationships. Know your partner, your friend, or family member. Don’t expect them to be someone they’re not and find the ways they show their love and loyalty and then cherish those things they do instead of being upset about the ways that they don’t. If you’re the type that celebrates and wants to make a big deal about holidays and other important days, great. But, if your partner isn’t, learn to accept it. Do not try to change them and don’t let them try to change you either. Like I said, for me, sometimes I still do little things because I want to. I know he won’t, but that’s fine. In that way, we’re very different. But, we accept one another as is. If the love isn’t strong enough that it’s too much of an issue, than perhaps it’s not a relationship worth staying in, only you can figure that out. Know your priorities and know theirs and whether they match, whether the bond you share is going to make it through the times when you don’t agree.

All in all, I am going to sum it up this way, Valentine’s Day and the like are days in which we can ignore them or celebrate them. Whatever you decide is your choice and you’re not wrong for whichever side you land on, just don’t try to get others to agree with you. If you want to celebrate, go for it and make it a day to remember. If not and you wish to treat it as any other day, then just make it the best day possible, as we should strive for every single day. Just be respectful of how others feel. 🙂

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