Reading about the varying opinions on Valentine's Day... what is and isn't expected, who likes the traditions and who doesn't, etc., got me thinking about the whole "demonstrating our love for one another" thing when it comes to relationships.
If you've ever witnessed a group of guys huddled around the greeting card racks or floral arrangement display on Valentine's Day, you've learned the meaning of desperation. Does this card say enough? Too much? Is it big enough? Too big? Is it too frilly? To plain? What about flowers? Candy? Will what I choose please her? What if it doesn't? And most importantly... why did I wait to the last minute again this year?
Many men seem to dread this "obligatory" gifting, fearing that they will come up short and fail the test of love. In fact, they dread it so badly that they put it off until the last possible moment, then scramble to find something suitable among well picked-over racks, and to make dinner reservations if they can find a place that isn't already booked.
Does it really have to be this way? Should it be such torture? One of the arguments often heard is "I'm not a romantic type of guy." Is it really that you have no feelings of tenderness or a clue about what make the lady of your life smile? Or does it just require a lot of effort to come up with a plan?
Also fair game is the question of why is it just the men who are expected to "ante up" for Valentine's Day? Isn't romance supposed to be a two-way street? Ladies, have you got some plans in the works to make Valentine's Day something special to remember for your man? Guy's like a little tangible proof of love and affection too! Romantic doesn't just mean flowers and candy, or even sexy lingerie, though there's certainly nothing wrong with that if it makes him smile.
What matters, I think, is the whole motivation behind giving and doing for each other... do you do it out of a sense of obligation, because you feel that you have to for one reason or another - or do you do it out of a true sense of devotion, and a desire to do something that you know will touch the heart of the person you love? And, do you really think that putting on a big display just one day a year, with very little show of affection the rest of the time, is what it's all about, is it what she/he really desires?
It is said that we make time for the things that are most important to us. Where does your "Valentine" fit on your list of priorities? Are they up there at or near the top, or somewhere further down the list? My belief is that if you have someone special in your life that you truly love, then you are also in tune with them enough to know what little things mean the most to them. Is it flowers, candy, jewelry, dinner out, or maybe a day all to herself where you take the kids and disappear? It might be something is simple as a nicely-scented candle, one unique and beautiful flower (it doesn't need to be a dozen roses, and maybe she likes daisies even better).
What about for him? Cooking up a his favorite dinner, a new book by his favorite author, or a new release video game? Tickets for his favorite team's next home game or a movie he's been wanting to see? How about tucking a kid-style valentine somewhere for him/her to find, or a love note stuck in a purse/briefcase, or under the windshield wiper of the car/truck? Write a note on a mirror with a "white board" marker, email a photo of a good memory you shared, compose a silly love poem and post it on the fridge, or send a text out of the blue that says "I'm thinking about you right now."
Do you get what I'm saying? If you say you care about someone deeply, let that love inspire you to make them feel special, not just on Valentine's Day, but any day! The more unexpected, the more fun it is! Say "I love you" every day, and take the time to say hello and goodbye, share that kiss, give each other the look that says "Wow, I think you're something special". It's not an obligation, it's a way to pay it forward, and I guarantee the return will come back to you a hundred fold! Someone who feels loved and appreciated will love and appreciate you back, it's a great cycle to get started, one that grows and grows!
Most importantly when the day comes that you must say that final goodbye to the one you love, you won't have a heart full of regrets for the time you wish you'd spent, and the little things you wish you'd done just to make them smile and know how much you loved them.
This year, let your love inspire you... don't do it begrudgingly or out of a sense of obligation, do it because you love them and you want them to know!
This post is linked to Two Shoes Tuesday
This post is linked to Two Shoes Tuesday