Now there are many stories about the origin of how Valentine’s Day came about. Whether these stories are true, I would not know as it was not verified. The most popular of it all, describes Valentine as a Roman priest during the Third Century. Emperor Claudius III prohibited all single young men from marriage as they would make better soldiers. Valentine went against Claudius’ orders and continued to perform marriage ceremonies for young lovers in secret. On discovery, Claudius sentenced Valentine to death on 14 February.
Without verification it is believed that St Valentine was the patron saint of love.
On the eve of Valentine’s Day it seems as if many are scrambling to make last minute reservations for a romantic dinner, to buy that perfect gift, a box of chocolates and that enormous bouquet of flowers. It is the main topic of discussion whether in the office, on the radio or television.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? How will you be celebrating? What did you get your partner? What is he getting you?
Personally my answer to these questions are quite simple – nothing. As a married couple, my husband and I have no romantic plans for Valentine’s Day. In fact we never celebrate this day and have no intention of doing so in the future.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against this day. If people feel the need to make romantic gestures to their significant other or someone they have been admiring for months – then good on them. There is nothing bad about celebrating and showing love and affection.
As the saying goes, each to their own.
I was never one to celebrate or make a big deal of this day and knowing my husband for 18 years – he feels the same way.
The commercialised aspect of Valentine’s Day is a bit overbearing. Since when did the true meaning of love become an obligation to buy gifts, a box of chocolates, roses, a Hallmark card and a fancy candlelight dinner. It creates an expectation and not living up to that expectation will leave many disappointed.
Why do I need an official day to celebrate my love for my spouse or partner? Should this day be a reminder of the love we share and what happens the next day? Do we just pick up and carry on as normal, until the next Valentine’s Day comes along? Surely expressing your love for your spouse or partner should be everlasting.
A specific day should not be a reassurance of love. Giving an expensive gift does not express love.
To me love means that I have someone to count on 365 days of the year. Love is not always glamorous – it is about having a partner that will rub my aching feet after a long and tiring day. It is waking up at 02h00 in the morning to nurse your sick child and allowing your spouse to sleep. Love is having arguments and finding a way to forgive and learn from it. It is selfless and about making sacrifices. Love is humble and allows you to trust and pray with your partner.
On the other hand, romance is an expressive act. Although associated with love, it is an act that should not be pressurised or forced. It should have real meaning and be authentic. The most popular ways of portraying romance is by means of little surprises, flowers, gifts and going on date nights.
Whereas true romance is an act of gratitude and appreciation for your spouse or partner. It does not have to be commercialised. It is about noticing that person, listening to them, learning something new about them and acknowledging their worth.
Although we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, we do many special and spontaneous things for each other – on other days. Love and romance is celebrated on our terms – it is not specified on a calendar.
Hoping that this day will be special whether you are in a relationship or single.
I would love to hear your views on Valentine’s Day and whether you celebrate this day or not. Feel free to share your comments.