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I waited until today to let you all in on something I’ve recently discovered.  I completely understand the ins and outs of Valentines Day.  Very much like Homecoming and Prom dances, New Years Eve, and to an extent Christmas morning there is way too much social pressure for it to be “perfect.”  Many more people are left feeling worse after the holiday than before it.  Three people each year, and no more, have a perfect Valentine’s day.  Here’s the analysis.

First of all, it is based on relatively nothing.  With every other “holiday” there is a 20 second easy to understand reason for the holiday.  Christmas is based on the birth of Christ, Easter the sacrificial death of Christ, Thanksgiving our earliest settlers giving…well, thanks, New Years Eve celebrating the new year, July 4th celebrates our countries independence.  Valentine’s Day?  Love?  Naked angels with bows and arrows?  Relationships?  It is very very hard to say.  Yeah, you can google it or do some wikipedia work (and I clearly did not) but on the surface?  Nothing.  At least nothing worthwhile.

Secondly, I have figured out how to look at it.  Early on in a relationship you actually get excited for it.  You have been very careful so far in letting the new boyfriend/girlfriend how much you care without smothering them.  You don’t want to play your cards too early or let them wonder if you are really into them.  The game is on and the rules are complicated.  Here comes Valentine’s Day and the rules are off and you are free to be creative/over the top/intentional and above all else you are happy to do it.

Moving forward as you hit year two or three of the relationship you get to refine the day and use what you’ve learned about the person to really make them feel special.  You are still happy to do that.  You also have gotten pretty good the other 364 days a year of letting them know how you feel that it’s not so much make or break it on this one day.

At this point, several years down the road, it’s simply a function of where you are and what you value as a couple.  You get into a routine of how you celebrate it or ignore the day completely.  If it’s still a day full of pressure you’d better take a good look and see if this relationship is really working out.

Thirdly, as with most things that the devil intends for bad, you can use it for good.  Valentine’s Day is perfect for loving and comforting those who are obviously taking on water and slowly drowning in a sea of self doubt and loneliness.  A very simple encouraging note, message, text, tweet or voicemail can be received so much more on this day than any other.  You can be the one person that just loves someone for no reason other than the fact that they deserve to be loved.  Better yet, you can do it without looking like a weirdo creep.

So, you have the day, it comes and goes.  Pretty much, that’s it.  If you are new in a relationship it’s fun, if you’ve been in a relationship it is what it is, and if you feel pressure after several years in a relationship…it’s time to move on.  Like all let down days it’s awesome for loving others.

So that’s it, that’s the list, tell me I’m wrong.

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