Why Do We Stress Valentine's?

I love ‘love’ just as much as the next person, I even went through my “I-will-read-every-Nicholas-Sparks-book-ever-written” phase during the summer of 2019. However, I recently started dating someone, and Valentine’s Day has arrived. To me, it’s spewed as one specific day to show your partner the love you have for them (at least the stores that sell giant teddy bears and boxes of chocolate say so). Not to sound like a “hater”, but Valentine's Day truly holds no meaning in my heart. Not because I don’t enjoy chocolate covered strawberries and not because I don’t care about who I’m dating (I definitely love both). It’s because I show that person how much I care each day. Not branded for Hallmark companies to make me spend money on a cheesy card that will inevitably be thrown away.   

Why put stress on said holiday? Do we really care if the person we are with gets us a gift (big or small) or makes an expensive dinner reservation? Is this all about the Instagram-able Worthy Couple Status? Sure, little gifts here and there are sweet I won’t lie, especially if thought has been placed (flowers, heart shaped chocolates, or even a cute dinner date). When breaking down everything, the stress of “will my partner be participating?”, “I’m worried they won’t X, Y, and Z if I don’t give them something as well,” or even the, “what if I gift my partner something and they didn’t prepare, and things feel awkward?” All of this can be avoided just by being open with your significant other (especially if it’s the first Valentine’s together).   

Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend and I totally have planned to spend the evening together however, we have the mutual agreement that we feel as though we don't need to ‘buy into’ the Hallmark version of what Valentine’s Day is, and that may change in the future who knows. I’m by no means saying this makes us any better than those who do cherish this holiday or take it seriously, we just happened to find what we enjoy that adds passion instead of stress.   

Valentine’s day aside, let’s focus on true romance. We often forget that true love isn’t giant teddy bears or boxes of chocolate, but of compromise and compassion. I’ve been reminded lately that it’s about thinking of the other person. Putting that person's needs or wants first, and when that is reciprocated, it’s more than love, it’s respect. A home of real love is lifted by the pillars of trust, honesty, and a natural connection and the freedom to be yourself. Here’s a toast to the rest of our lives beyond this holiday. May our friendships and partnerships become healthier, happier and full of great love.    

 Happy Valentine's Day crossword puzzle