You probably know when Saint Valentine’s Day is celebrated, as you probably know what tradition says on the matter. Tradition demands, you buy flowers. Tradition demands, you buy a Valentine’s card. Tradition demands, you give your love candies. And a teddy bear. Or any other stuffed animal with a heart. The bigger, the better. As tradition demands, you need to prove your love to your significant one, by spending a good deal of money to that end. It’s supposed to be romantic and it’s supposed to be original. You just have to make it memorable: organize a trip to Paris, send a love message in the sky, propose. And if you happen to be the lady, just do your best to make yourself look glamorous and let your loved one… well, love you. Don’t forget to make a good surprise face. And give him a biiig kiss for the effort he invested. And the money. Have a good time at the restaurant and enjoy the dinner, if any. And the gift, if any. But don’t get too disappointed, however, if you don’t get to Paris, have pizza in Italy, or you don’t see your name in lights in the night sky. Or if he doesn’t propose. Disappointment is a part of every relationship. After all, Buddha taught that the direct causes of suffering are desire or craving. Well, he knew better, no doubt about it. Expectations of how a date, a holiday, or a particular event would go form a great part of our disappointment. We make plans, we have expectations, mainly in terms of others, and we feel somewhat betrayed if things don’t go as (we) planned. And when we get something else instead, that results in frustration and sometimes we don’t even know why we suddenly feel so disappointed. Expectations. Expecting something to happen in a certain way eventually spoils the pleasure of getting it. Because it’s not how we saw it. It’s not how we imagined it or how we wanted it in the first place. So, as in any other situation in life, remain flexible. And start by opening your eyes, like wide open.
Saint Valentine’s Day is nothing but a farce, it’s a business institution. It didn’t take long before companies realized that it’s a real money-making machine. And the same applies for Christmas or any other public holiday that requires spending money. In a particular way. For a particular reason. You take something pure and sacred, whether love or God, and you make a business out of it. A profitable business. That’s why florists make their monthly wages on the first school day with all parents and students buying flowers for teachers, no matter the price. That’s why people spend millions on Christmas every year. Technically speaking, this is the greatest revenue-generating tool of them all and companies know that. Sadly enough, most people don’t. Or just prefer to ignore the facts. They buy like there would be no tomorrow, like the world would end after Christmas. And the same goes for Valentine’s Day. But when you think about it, why celebrate your love on one particular day and in one particular way?
Love in essence is a great reason to celebrate life and vice versa. The greatest reason. So why would one need to be told exactly when and how to love and express that love? I say, express it every day, every second. Celebrate every single day shared, every moment of beauty you had with your significant one and show your feelings on a daily basis. Why would you buy a Valentine’s card on February 14th, when you could write a love note with a few sweet words coming right out of the very depth of your soul? Why would you make a reservation for that fancy restaurant three months ahead, when you could cook the dinner yourself? That would make it much more private and intimate. And a great impression, mind you.
That being said, you don’t need a specific reason to celebrate love. But that implies, doing so all days of your life. So try doing that. Everywhere, anytime. Make a nice surprise and bring a smile on your loved one’s face. Of course, it’s much more easier when you have enough money to treat your partner well, but is it really necessary? No. Leave a little note on the fridge or send a sweet SMS. Take your partner hiking in the mountains or on a walk on the seaside, depending on what’s applicable in your case. Take the time to re-connect with nature and with each other. Go cycling or swimming. And if your partner is not much of the nature type, you could always find another way of amusement indoors. Have a shower together and leave a message on the foggy bathroom mirror afterwards. Bring them coffee and breakfast in bed. Find their favorite book, music, or movie and read, listen, or watch it together. Take the time for some quality time. Be creative. Make a paper heart and leave it on the windshield (but don’t forget to sign it :)). Draw like a child. Use your own hands. Make a love card on your own just like that, without a special occasion. You don’t need a birthday or a special day to express the light they bring into your life. Just say how they make you feel and how much they mean to you. That’s priceless. But if that kind of art is not your thing, you have quite a few alternatives. Play cards, give them a massage, surprise them naked, be wild and free. Why not even use your own body to send that message of love? Now, that’s what I call surprise. Later, take them out for a night walk under the stars and I’m pretty sure it would be romantic enough to kiss in the dark like teenagers. Whatever the case, your effort would be well worth it. Live. Love. Make any day Saint Valentine’s Day and you’ll see how the flower of love in your hearts blossoms every day more. Enjoy it.