It’s Valentine’s Day! A day when most of the fairer sex look forward to receiving a display of splendid bouquets, chocolates and jewelry, as affirmation of affection and admiration from their beloved. However, as much as I enjoy the grand exhibitions that our culture of consumerism equates to the embodiment of the mysterious, sacred bond that flows between lovers. I’ve always found the commercialization of loving gestures hollow, lacking in imagination and redundant; accompanied by undue pressure to buy the “perfect gift” of flowers, chocolate, jewelry, etc.
As much as I appreciate a gorgeous grand bouquet to share on my Facebook page, I would feel even luckier if accompanied by a thoughtful gift tailored to appeal to my sense of uniqueness and hopes for the relationship. This could range anywhere from a collection of Khalil Gibran’s poems, a compilation of my favorite songs, to a hand written love letter, or a shared lesson. I can see myself in such personal gifts as well as the heart, thought, time and effort, my cherished partner put into making me feel valued, thereby fostering sentimental feelings and intimacy between us.
On the other hand, a friend of mine would much rather receive a roomful of beautiful flowers and dinner reservations. While another still, wants a day at the spa and a nice piece of jewelry. According to Gary Chapman, most of us need at least one of the five love languages of gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch to feel cherished in a relationship. Given that this love language is highly individualized, we should be mindful that what we might consider loving and romantic may not be true for the one you love and include those considerations in your loving gestures. Nonetheless, when all is said and done. What most of us really want is trust, appreciation as unique individuals, respect, an open heart to love us, a shoulder to lean or cry on, a hand to lift or fight for us, an ear to listen, kindness, friendship, understanding, consideration, intimacy and mind blowing sex.