Love is in the air and flowers are everywhere! February 14th marks the day we celebrate and honor our loves with the traditional offerings of colorful roses, boxes of decadent chocolates and sentimental cards. The truly ardent celebrators of Valentine’s Day have raised the stakes even higher to lavish gifts such as weekend getaways, expensive jewelry or glamorous days of over the top events intended to prove their affection. With all these material objects intended to represent our love and affection, Valentine’s Day seems to just be another artificial holiday created by greeting card companies to get people to spend money and buy merchandise. Whimsical memories are made, wallets are emptied and you are left no more or less in love then before your purchase.
According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day is also known as “Saint Valentine’s Day” beginning as a Christian holiday to commemorate Saint Valentinus’ courageous act of “performing marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry” and “ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire”. Reflecting on the origin of Valentine’s Day makes me wonder: what ever happened to the luster of this heart felt holiday? Each time the routine is completed, does it make the relationship better or worse? If buying gifts is for the sake of love, then is buying love more honest in the end?
Many times, I have been given gifts on Valentine’s Day, whether it be from a friend, admirer or someone I’m dating. These “gifts of love” are lovely and beautiful, and much appreciated, but I was not “in love” with the givers. To me it felt like Christmas with a one way “Secret Santa” aspect. I would be so happy and honored to receive these gifts but somehow I ended up feeling obligated to return a gift, especially if I was not expecting to receive one. Which presents the personal conundrum: am I required to give a gift back? Does he love me if he gives me a gift? How does this gift affect my relationship with this guy? When I was single and getting gifts, I felt so exhilarated because I was able to get the attention I so craved. When I was in a relationship, I was always so anxious to receive my gift not knowing what it was and if it was better than the ones I had received in the past. When I would receive a gift, I would analyze the meaning of the gift. My Valentine’s Day Gift Interpretation Chart went like this:
- Chocolate = sweet and thoughtful
- Flowers = he admires and thinks of me
- Dinner = he wants to get to know me
- Jewelry = he likes me and wants to get to know and date me
- Getaway = he wants to get to know ,date and get intimate with me
- Lingerie = he wants to have sex with me
He loves me, he loves me not. Sigh….
Honestly, personally I have not experienced “true love” so I cannot yet give my experience or standpoint of receiving gifts when in a relationship of pure love. However, I am curious to know what it is like for the lucky ones who are in love on Valentine’s Day. So, to my readers who know firsthand I ask: do the gifts make your love stronger and pave the way to marriage? Do the gifts mean anything in a relationship or is it just a mandatory routine? When you are married or in a long term relationship, do you feel the necessity to get better gifts each year?