It's that time of year again. When chocolate and rose sales go up, while vino and lonely hearts go down. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, roundly loved or hated depending upon one's relationship status.
For those of you who have a honey, the question often is "How can I show my love?" If you're feeling adventurous, maybe you'd like to take up one or more of these dating ideas. If not, a nice home cooked meal or handmade card certainly would be appreciated.
However, I'm guessing more than a few of my readers have a more cynical take on the heart holiday. There have been years when I was in a relationship, and yet didn't want to deal with the whole thing. The expectations around this day can be a real strain. It really is just another day after all. There are 364 others available to demonstrate how much you love someone, and no end to the ways you might do so.
There's another thing about Valentine's Day you might not know. The origins of the holiday aren't so loving.
Originally, the feast day of St. Valentine honored two third century martyrs by the name of Valentine who were elevated to sainthood in the early middle ages. Both Valentines -- one the Bishop of Terni and the other a priest in Rome -- were allegedly decapitated by their persecutors on February 14.
Thus began a long, often ugly winding path towards the now quite commercial holiday we know of today. For those of us living in the colder parts of the Northern Hemisphere, it provides the opportunity for a celebratory break from winter. Or an excuse to take a trip to somewhere warm. Or simply a day of bonding and commiseration with unattached friends.
In some ways, it seems like the tortured aspect hasn't disappeared, but has simply gone psychological. Living in the hearts of those who either long for love on the day, or who in a relationship where the expectations around the day are heightened. Whatever your experience with Valentine's Day though, remember that it all begins with you.