valentine's day

Aww, you shouldn’t have. Really.

We’re coming up on the that great bastion of love for some, heartache for others, and general indifference for the rest. That’s right, I’m talking about *cue ominous sound effects* St. Valentine’s Day.

Before I go any further, let me say I am not inherently against Valentine’s Day. I’m all for love being celebrated between two people. However, it needs to be celebrated at all times. Love, and it’s singular day,  have become commercialized. And what’s worse, we’ve all fallen into the trap. Women tend to reap most of the benefits of the day.

And we men?  We will spend time trying to find the perfect gift for our lady.  We’ll be setting final plans for the evening, in hope of making our woman’s day, and night, a special one.  All in the name of showing (proving?) our love.  Not too many of us will take the time to examine if we’ve been putting that same energy into our relationships all year.

How do I know? A degree of stealth is needed to find this out, but for the fellas who can pull it off, ear hustling can be our best friend. Just listen wherever you may be the day after V-day.  For every woman who felt special and loved, there will be another who appreciated their guy’s effort, but wonders why he only puts energy into Valentine’s Day.  If ol’ boy took as much time the rest of the year as he does for that one day, I’d venture to say his girl would appreciate his efforts even more.  Heck, she might even not trip off the day (too much) because he’s shown his love, not just said it.

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This isn’t to disparage the fellas who want to do for their girl just because. It’s to get the ones who are lazy to be more proactive. There’s no reason, if a man wants his relationship to last, that he isn’t doing what’s necessary to ensure it does. Existing throughout the year, just to make it to V-day like it’s the big shebang is a recipe for being unfulfilled. And if the two people stop feeling engaged, then their connection begins to wane.

All this could be avoided if a man maintains some semblance of consistency throughout the year.  But, there are the times when even when he does, he *still* has to “do it up.”  This usually depends on a man’s respective lady. Does she expect him to go above and beyond because she deserves it? Is it really the thought that counts for her, or what he is willing to do? Add all this up and we get one word: pressure.

Yet, it shouldn’t be so.  Showing our love, even on the swindle day that is Valentine’s Day, should be freeing.  If we feel pressure to do something, anything, then perhaps we need to take a inventory of why we feel it.  Is Valentine’s Day a referendum on the relationship, or how we view it?  Ideally, it’s not the best way to think, especially about the day set aside for romantic relationships. It still needs be considered if a guy is feeling pressure.

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No, not everyone is going to feel, or admit to feeling pressed.  For those that do, it’s vital to differentiate if the pressure is internal, or external.  If it’s internal, then we need check ourselves and find out why.  But if it’s external, we really must ask ourselves, if Valentine’s Day is like this, what will the rest of the “major” holidays and potentially our life together be like?

Think about it.

Do you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day?  Fellas, do you feel pressure to go above and beyond for your lady, or does she not really trip off of V-day?  Ladies, do you feel like your beau should go above what he may usually do to make you feel special?