With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it seems like some people dread getting into that lovey-dovey spirit. I mean, seriously, what is Valentine’s Day all about? Wasn’t there a Saint Valentine in there somewhere at one point? When did the commercialized version of our love become symbolized by red candy hearts and fuzzy teddy bears with caramel chocolates? For those of us who have been in relationships or are starting new relationships around this time, are we expected to express our emotions just because some national holiday says that “â€˜tis that time of year?”
Some people look at Valentine’s Day as a nice little tradition. It gives us a time to remember our feelings for the wonderful people around us whom we care about, or -- here’s the stretch-- even love! But does anyone agree that if we need to nominate a day of the year on which it is â€˜traditional’ to say those three little words that it takes away the gravity of what the word â€˜love’ can even mean?
Relationships are hard. They have their ups and downs, and what if sometimes we don’t want to say “I love you?” Let’s look at what the word has even come to mean. Everyone knows that old stereotyped cliché about a guy using those words to “bed some hot chick” that he’s been hanging around for a while. Sometimes girls expect use of the word simply because we hear it so much in movies. Every happy ending seems to include one person loving another. While love can be a wonderful thing that can lead to a happy ending, sometimes things other than love can get you there too. What ever happened to good old fashioned friendship? What happened to phrases like, “I really like you,” “You’re fun to be around” or “You are very important to me?” Sometimes, nose-diving into the “L-word” can send a couple down a fast track that neither person is ready for. And sometimes, the truth of the matter is that people find that they are not really in love at all. That’s right folks; sometimes we have a good time together or just meet and hook up. It happens, so why lie about it?
Love is a beautiful thing, honestly. It works in many ways, and it’s wonderful. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that just because some cheesy holiday is coming up doesn’t mean you have to start using words that simply aren’t in your common vocabulary right now. When it’s right you’ll know, and you’ll want to use that word as often as possible (in some extraordinary cases). But in the meantime, you can express the fact that you’re just having a good time without getting all serious about things.
So this Valentine’s Day, don’t worry about getting that perfect gift or saying the most magical of words to your significant other to make sure things are right. When things are right, they just are. And when the corny magic of things rolls into place, smile and remember to take a picture.
Kimberly Magnowski is a staff columnist for the DSJ. Her views do not necessarily represent those of the entire staff.