It seems like Valentine’s Day elicits strong emotions all around whether they are happy, angry, or sad.  I’ll admit to not being sure what the origin of its celebration is in U.S. history, but it has become a holiday focused on romantic love, particularly its sexual expression.  We are trained to ignore the other loving relationships in our lives and to feel sad and mopey if we don’t have a date (I’ll admit it, I’ve been there!).  I encourage all who are reading this to take a moment and consider the many individuals in your life who care for and love you–friends, parents, nieces, nephews, co-workers, and beyond.  How would today be different if you focused on the varied ways that you are loved outside of a romantic relationship and expressed your care in return?  If you are in a romantic relationship, what if you focused less on having the “perfect valentines” and more on giving a great valentines?

My main point is not that its bad to be sad or mopey if you don’t have a date or didn’t get a valentine, but that you have the ability to write your own story for today.  We know very little about the actual St. Valentine, so be free to write your own “love story” and let it include the breadth of love and care in your life.  Invite a friend for dinner, fix your pets a special treat, send a valentine to your grandmother, create your own V-day tradition–you might be surprised how much love you have around you!

Take-out Version: Love comes in many forms beyond the romantic–what will your Valentine’s love story be?