For Lovers Only...

By now you know my issues with Valentine’s Day; the commercialization of love does more to drive a line between the haves and have-nots than Christmas, because it drives at an emotion that many of us feel consistently and dictates just how we live our lives, loneliness. It’s great that millions of couples and individuals are sharing their love with so many today, even better for retailers, but I digress. But what of those with the lonely hearts, the two-time losers that just can’t seem to get it right when it comes to L-O-V-E? More than any other day of the year, today is a reminder for many of what they don’t have, don’t want and some feel, don’t need.

That’s the lie of St. Valentine’s Day.

Today is not for couples only, it’s for those who believe in love, but more importantly, love themselves. In my opinion, self-love is the most important expression of love today and all other days. There’s no shame in sending yourself roses today (just don’t create a fake boyfriend) or taking yourself to dinner. Furthermore, today provides the space to examine your singleness and determine if this is what you want or if it’s the result of deep-seated issues that may cause you to have to do the dirty work of improving who you are. However, many of us will bury our heads in the sand in attempts to block out the outpouring of love in our offices and through social media. Even worse, some will revel in the disappointment of others, whose mates have fallen short of an often unrealistic expectation of what their love should look like today.

That’s the ugliness of St. Valentine’s Day.

I had a friend who anticipated her boyfriend proposing to her on Valentine’s Day a few years ago and when it didn’t happen, another friend took it as her cue to delight in what she deemed the failing relationship. However, when he proposed two weeks later during a dinner to celebrate her parents anniversary and announced that Valentine’s Day was too cliché for such an occasion, that friend was largely silent. She offered a half-hearted “congratulations” and came to the realization that her ill feelings towards relationships should remain singular and judging by her friend’s overwhelming happiness, her attempt at poisoning her did not work.

Retailers and mass media draw a line in the sand today; I haven’t seen ads or coupons directed to the single folks who love themselves enough to not feel slighted today, there’s no “Every Kiss Begins with Kays” commercials for a single woman buying herself a charm bracelet with all the pieces of her that will make her a great wife someday. Buffalo Wild Wings is not running a deal for the fellas who are between relationships at the moment, but holding out hope for something real. No, I suppose there’s not much in the budget for those marketing campaigns. However, the absence of this population in media and conversation doesn’t delete them from existence, nor should it shame you into believing that Valentine’s Day is not for you too.

The truth of St. Valentine’s Day is that it’s for the lovers; lovers of God, lovers of self, lovers of love and lovers of the possibilities. 

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