Be My Valentine!
It’s Valentine’s Day! On this very special day I thought I would share how this holiday came into existence. The history of Valentine’s Day is not very clear. It appears to have its roots in a pagan Roman festival celebrating fertility. It was not until later that Pope Gelasius christianized the holiday after one of Christian saints named Valentine. Which St. Valentine the Pope was intending to honor is not clear as their are a few saints who go by the name Valentine.
Later in history it was English poet Geoffrey Chaucer who linked Valentine’s Day with love and romance. He wrote a poem honoring the love of between a couple of Royals who were engaged to be married.
The exchanging of cards with that someone special began a tradition in England sometime in the 18th century. It was not until the mid 1800’s that Valentine’s Day as we currently celebrate it with the exchanging of cards and gifts became tradition. It was around this time Esther A. Howland began to mass produce Valentine’s cards. The tradition of giving flowers, chocolate, and other gifts also became a part of the tradition.
Valentine’s Day is a very special day in my relationship. It was Valentine’s Day 17 years ago that my wife and I had out very first date. The details of the date are forever etched in my memory. I showed up late because I was coming back from an event. By the way, this is not at all a great way to start of a relationship. Kari, my wife, thought I had showed her up; she was just about to give up and leave when I finally arrived. Good thing I brought with me a huge lady bug balloon and flowers. By the way, this is a good way to start a relationship.
We shared a pizza at an Italian restaurant named, Mama Cossa’s. We later on went dancing which, for me, was really putting myself out there since I am a horrible dancer. Kari was gracious enough to teach me a few things, and I must not have all that bad since she kept me around.
I ended the night by asking her to marry me. The look on her face was priceless. I was joking of course. I actually saw a billboard with the exact words, “Will you marry me?” printed on it and thought is would be funny and cute to read it to her. Even though it was a joke little did we know we would actually get married about 2 years later.
I share this story because it is a story of love and connection which is what Valentine’s Day is all about. Love is what we all crave for. Love is what we all need. The love my wife and I share has certainly deepened since out first date together. What started as an attraction to one another has grown into a deep, safe, and secure bond of mutual love, connection, and commitment.
We have certainly had our struggles throughout the years. We have even had a couple of rough Valentine’s Days where there was hurt and disconnection. Through it all though we have worked to create a lasting and intimate connection with one another.
My hope for you is that you will experience love. If you are in a relationship marked by a safe and secure bond congratulations. Keep deepening your love by takings risks, sharing all you, and loving greatly. Let love motivate you to keep doing all the things that have grown your relationship to where it is. Find new and creative ways to keep growing both as individuals and as a couple.
If you are in a relationship that is struggling to connect then keep on fighting for love. Read books on relationships such as Hold Me Tight, How We Love, and 5 Love Languages. Find other couples who have a good connection and learn what they do as couple. Go to a couples or marriage retreat that will give you the skills or tools your relationship needs to grow. Consider relationship counseling that will help you and your spouse/partner learn more about emotions and needs.
If you want to be in a relationship and yet you are not because you have not found that special someone to give all of yourself to then don’t give up. Work on yourself, your own issues, so that you will be the best partner you can be. Read books on relationships to increase your understanding of what constitutes healthy connection. See a relationship therapist who can help you to identify any blind spots and who will promote your growth.
On this Valentine’s Day may love be at the center of all you do! Whether it is with that someone special, a friend, your family, your pet, or even by yourself may you love deeply and may you be deeply loved!