Valentine’s Day. The day of Love. We’ve heard it all. Valentine’s Day is “commercial,” it’s a day chock full of pressure for couples and exacerbates the myth that being single is a sad and lonely place. This focus remains solely on romantic love and the expression of such in moments of bliss and togetherness.
According to Samantha Smewing, (Valentine’s Day is Overrated. spokeonline, 2021), Valentine’s Day is often connected to two martyrs executed by Roman Emperor, Claudius. Both martyrs were named Valentine – one, St. Valentine the priest who performed illegal marriages during war. The other, St. Valentine of Terni, who sent letters to his lover, while imprisoned, signed, “from your Valentine.” The day may, also, have come from a hedonistic fertility festival, “Lupercalia”, that was changed from Feb. 15th to a Christian holiday on Feb. 14th designed to extinguish this pagan ritual (Valentine’s Day Facts, history.com, 2023). Over time, Valentine’s Day has evolved into the modern version of the celebration of romantic love that we now experience.
So, why do Valentine’s Day? And what about those who don’t have the romantic love personified in myth and legend? Love, as it turns out, is actually good for our well-being. If we stay with the broader sense of love, it is shown to be of great value for happiness and feelings of belonging. In Happify.com, Jessica Hicks (2023) shares information about how love is good for us here, 8 Interesting Psychology Facts About Love and Well-Being (happify.com) which outlines how receiving and giving love in “those micro-moments between us” does impact our sense of well-being and connectedness in our world. Now, this is not a suggestion that romantic love not be celebrated, because that is a wonderful type of love, but a reminder that love is all around us and is something we can all benefit from and participate in.
In recognition of the importance of giving and receiving love this Valentine’s Day, Cambrian Counselling and Wellness would like to share a moment of caring and love with you in this poem:
Valentine’s Day gives me a reason
To express the feelings I think about
But don’t say.
About people who enrich my life
In unique and meaningful ways.
You are this kind of special person.
When I think of you,
My thoughts are warm, and fond,
And filled with admiration.
I feel blessed to know you.
May your Valentine’s Day
Be filled with the love and respect you deserve.
- Joanna Fuchs (poemsource.co, 2023).