General

Is Valentine’s Day, OVER RATED ?

Romance is a challenge for many people and I think most men struggle with romance because of it’s inherent abstract nature. Well, considering most men are wired (subjective) to execute tackle tasks and activities with defined goals, it is not surprising then why we, men struggle.

As I travel conducting Relationship Matters Seminars and Singles’ events, I can wholeheartedly confirm this fact, Romance is a mystery, a topic that requires a teachable disposition. In order words, it is something one must learn, do, master and cultivate over and over again.

For more tips on Romance and other relationship insights, you absolutely need to get a copy of my new book, “Relationship Matters for Singles” that will be available next month – March 2012.

So we are about 48 hours removed from Valentine’s day, a day many expressed their love, affection to each other with gifts, candy, flowers and other gift items. In some circles, Valentine’s day is one of the most romantic days of the year.

Beyond Controversy:

My intention here is not to debate or recommend what people should do on Valentine’s day. I do however know that this day provides a perfect opportunity to show love without any reservation especially the redeeming love displayed by God in giving mankind is only begotten son, Jesus Christ.

History:
The history books are filled with numerous stories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. Coincidentally, Valentine’s day is named in honor of an early Christian martyr, a holiday that was established in 496 AD and became associated with romantic love in the Middle Ages. (Additional information about the origin including it’s pagan background can be reviewed further in detail online). By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, sweets, and greeting cards. Today, everyone including school children are involved in the heavily ‘commercialized’ holiday.

Current times:
Indeed, it is a day like no other; the agony, anticipation and associated pressure, of executing a flawless ‘event’ have left many fatigued and exhausted but I digress. Here are some surprising facts that really confirms how ‘big’ this day has become for some especially the retail industry.

  • The Greeting Card Association, an industry trade group, says 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card giving occasion.
  • 65 percent of households send greeting cards on Valentine’s Day.
  • 73 percent of Valentine Day flowers are bought by men, while women buy 23 percent of Valentine flowers.
  • About 45.8 percent of U.S. consumers will exchange Valentine’s Day candy.
  • Even as the economy crumbles, today’s relatively tame Valentine’s Day celebration is expected to generate some $14.7 billion in retail sales in the United States.

A few weeks ago, I asked a simple question, ” Is Valentine’s Day Overrated on the Relationship Matters Page ? And by Over rated; I mean not as good as most people say it is, because it is “rated” higher than it deserves.

As you can probably imagine, the answers were intense, immediate, articulate and clear.
Here are some of the comments I got:

FOR

  • If it is wrong to celebrate Val’s day, we might as well just cancel birthdays etc. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in setting aside a day to celebrate love.”
  • Another stated, it is a day designed to remind everyone about their loved ones. A day of romance and spreading love.
  • Here’s another, “It’s all good as long as someone doesn’t go overboard and make me look bad!”
  • Unfortunately, someone stated people need this day as a reminder to appreciate their spouses/significant other.

AGAINST (There was no let down from the other side either)

  • ‎It makes the Singles sad and couples competitive with other couples.
  • It’s too commercialized and heavily based on whether one gets a gift or not.
  • Yet another stated that the the gift exchange has outranked the essence of what’s supposedly being celebrated when it comes to Valentine’s Day.
  • While someone said, I want gifts everyday or every other day especially when I am not expecting it.
  • Another comment was poignant, a ‘forced’ day to celebrate anyone on a specific day is borderline abuse.
  • If you need valentine in order to be reminded of what is and should be important, then you’ve got it twisted.
  • Someone said Valentine day’s is not even scriptural so we should even be talking about it.

Interesting points presented by both sides, this is my opinion though, if you had a wonderful valentine’s day and the following scenarios are true then it is overrated.

  1. If your relationship is back ‘normal’, by normal we mean absolute disregard for each other then valentine’s day is overrated.
  2. If the abuse, disappointment, shouting, shoving, pushing has returned then it is overrated.
  3. If married couples no longer see eye to eye and discuss issues respectfully with decorum, then it is overrated.
  4. If the loving support and intent to make the other individual better is long gone, then Valentine’s day and it’s associated hullabaloo is overrated.

However, if all of the above is not true then how can we say otherwise ?

One thing I do know is this: LOVE is not ‘OVERRATED’… It never fails, it actually cannot fail. It sustains, it does not force itself, it doesn’t keep score, it revolutionizes, nurtures, it doesn’t misbehave, it doesn’t disappoint, does not provoke, does not irritate, and isn’t always ‘me first.’ It says the truth always, does not lie, endures long. (Culled from 1 Cor 13).

It’s been more than 36 hours for all of us (regardless of time zones), let’s move beyond Valentine’s day and focus on celebrating Real Love everyday. Now, that can not be overrated or what do you think ?

pF*

Stats source: National Retail Association, http://blog.seattlepi.com/boomerconsumer/2009/02/12/valentines-day-facts-and-figures/