Goodbye Valentine’s Day

Valentine's DayValentine’s Day seems synonymous with knights on white horses coming to rescue damsels in distress. Or not. Maybe it’s a dreary day filled with what-ifs and if-only-I-would-haves. If February 14 leaves you feeling empty and blah, maybe it’s time to kiss Valentine’s Day goodbye.

Valentine’s Day has lost it’s meaning—it’s just another day filled with holiday hype and cheap hyperbole. Valentine’s Day produces more angst and agony than joy and jubilee. No matter what, someone ends up feeling like a looser—but it’s not the businesses that cater to the Valentine’s Day craze that lose out. Americans will spend over $18 billion on Valentine’s Day related merchandise and services (cards, candy, flowers, jewelry, eating out, etc.).

Therein lies the problem. Performance pressure starts young—schools offer ‘Secret Valentine’s’ (cards, candy, roses, balloons, you name it) for sale as fund-raisers in the week leading up to the day. First graders talk about whether or not they think anyone will send them a Valentine’s Day card.

What six-year-old needs that kind of pressure? And so teachers send home notes requesting that children bring a card for every child in the class—how does that make anyone feel special?

When my high school students ask me whether or not my husband and I will do anything special for Valentine’s Day, I usually laugh and say, “No, every day with my husband is a gift—I don’t need Hallmark or Russell Stover to tell me when to treat my husband special.”

We kissed Valentine’s Day goodbye long ago. It’s unfair to burden a loved one with meeting your commercial-driven fantasies for what the day should involve. (tweet this)

Here’s a list of things you can do year-round to make the people in your life feel loved.

1. Start by discovering the love languages of people in your life. Gary Chapman offers several free assessments on his website.

2. If you’re like me, you might find it hard to remember to act intentionally in someone else’s love language—so set repeating reminders in your phone or write them in on your calendar.

3. Go ahead and buy pink and red paper and cut out hearts, but use them year round to leave notes for those whose love language is words of affirmation.

4. Commit to doing one nice thing a week for the person in your life whose love language is acts of service. Fill their car with gas or surprise them by doing a chore that they usually do.

5. Give meaningful gifts to your loved one who has receiving gifts as their major love language. They can be home made or purchased—don’t save them up and only dole them on special occasions (imagine only telling someone you loved them on their birthday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day).

6. If spending quality time with you makes someone you care about feel loved, than make a point to schedule dates and activities with that person. Meet for coffee or a walk in the park or commit to watching their favorite show with them.

7. One of the easiest love languages to learn is appropriate physical touch and affection. Hold hands. Give more hugs. Lean in and touch them when you talk to them. Don’t be afraid to give high-fives or fist bumps.

If you really love someone, you’ll take the time to learn to speak his or her love language—even if it doesn’t come easy for you. And that, my friend, is worth more than all the cards, chocolate, roses, swanky nights out or jewelry.

What about you?  How do you show love to the special people in your life?

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • One of the kindest things I can do is to make it easier for my wife to let me go.

    She’s looking past the assumption of my soon-to-happen death, to another kind of life. I can anchor her with me, crying “I’m still here, be with ME!”.

    But that’s for weak sucks. I want her life to be good. I don’t want to be an anchor.

    So I’m trying to make the process easy, by letting her pull away, and build the walls that will protect her on the day.

    Of course…God does have a weird sense of humour…and I might survive.

    Which would be a bit awkward!
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Can Fifty Shades Help Your Marriage?My Profile

  • Showing love year round! A much better plan. 🙂
    Emily recently posted…What Are Your Actions Teaching Your Children?My Profile

  • I love these ideas, but I have to say setting my phone reminder takes the cake. What a great idea! My husband’s love language is acts of service, but mine is words of affirmation and touch. So I’m always trying to speak love to his heart in my language. The reminder will help me remember to do it in his. Thank you for your words, Anita!
    Jenni DeWitt recently posted…What Are You Worrying About?My Profile

  • This past year I finally got the chance to read the 5 Love Languages! You are SO right my friend…Valentine’s Day can be the simplest days ever, yet we make it so complicated. Great ideas in here too!
    Bethany Boring recently posted…One Redefining MomentMy Profile

  • Perfect post for this hyped up Hallmark holiday! Just change my oil, hubs and I’ll rub your back!!! xo
    Susan Shipe recently posted…the conciergeMy Profile

  • I love how our hearts resonate, Anita. I just posted what a group of single women are saying they so badly need from us, the church, today.

    Practical needs. Including relationship. Invitations. Home Maintenance. Mentoring. And if we all put our hands and hearts together, this we can do.

    Valentine’s day … all year ’round. Showing love to those who need it most. Yes, yes.
    Linda@Creekside recently posted…In Which 12 Single Sisters Speak Truth to the ChurchMy Profile

    • Beautiful post, Linda! Thank you so much for sharing it here. It’s too easy to overlook those who aren’t just like us. I needed that reminder!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Losing My FocusMy Profile

  • Richard and I had Valentines Day every day of our marriage. He was my greatest gift. We need to remember to let them know that now. Everyday. In every way!
    Paula recently posted…Everyday was Like Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Amen! It’s important to let those we love know just how much we love them–all year round! I’m so glad you and Richard understood this :).
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Goodbye Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  • We don’t celebrate Valentine’s day. It’s not that we intentionally don’t, or that I am against it, but we can’t afford fancy gifts, or a baby sitter. Even if we could I wouldn’t want to go out and wait in line at a restaurant on one the busiest days of the year. Same rules apply for mother’s day. That one can be a real let down too. Great ideas. I am all about the 5 Love Languages! I am words, the hubs is acts of service and we both have touch tied for 1st place.
    Messy Mom recently posted…When Andrea Met MikeMy Profile

  • I understand what you’re saying, and agree you have lots of great things here! But it’s fun to have a day to focus just on love. It’s just for fun for us – no pressure for anyone, and we usually don’t even get to get out alone. But it’s a fun, sweet time for our family. I love how our boys make Valentine’s for us, for each other, for their grandparents…Not because they are mandated to, but because they think it’s fun to show love like that. 🙂
    Jenn recently posted…Loving like ChristMy Profile

    • I wish more people enjoyed Valentine’s Day the way your family does! My husband and I are both teachers, and it seems as if all the important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) fall on days that there’s always something going on at school that needs our attention–and so we’ve learned to celebrate when we can. I also see a lot of heartache caused by the hype, and it pains me to see teenagers devastated over a silly holiday.

  • Ah yes – perhaps the best gift – on any day – is intentionally speaking someones’ love language!

  • Perfect post for the upcoming Valentine hoopla! I love the idea of speaking someone’s love language and it should definitely be an all year round relationship builder. I will be enjoying some Valentine fun with my students tomorrow!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…When Life is a Big ExhaleMy Profile

  • Fantastic advice–it takes much more effort to work on daily love than it does once-a-year love. I love the button, too. 🙂
    Laura recently posted…Five Tips On Getting Things DoneMy Profile

  • Tomorrow I will have the boys write love notes to me and to their dad and to one another. Because while we want to love well everyday, sometimes we need to stop and have a day to remember to really communicate it well. But for the husband, honestly I had totally forgotten to pick him up something. I just love him, everyday kind of love him. And… I’ve come to love you too. So, Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Wendy recently posted…Savor motherhoodMy Profile

  • Great ideas! Even as a kid, I didn’t really care about Valentines Day. After having my girls, it became their day. We tend to celebrate days that have meaning for us, not one that Hallmark tells us to 🙂
    Sarah Donegan recently posted…Difficult People-For the LoveMy Profile

  • I know what you mean! I sometimes did special things for our girls on Valentine’s Day when they were in school simply because I didn’t want them to feel left out. But we definitely do the ‘celebrate when we want to not when Hallmark says we should’ thing!
    Anita Ojeda recently posted…Fitbit Charge HR Review: Accountability on Your ArmMy Profile

  • Anita, Rev and I agree. We celebrate every day and take the pressure off making holidays something to “brag” about. Enjoy a wonderful weekend!
    Deb Wolf recently posted…How to Follow the Best Prayer Model (Blog Party)My Profile

  • Anita, you just always bless my socks of with your wise, practical, and relevant council. This post was no exception. You are so right – everyday is a gift and we ought to appreciate the loves in our lives every single day – in the way that makes them feel most appreciated. I don’t need Russel Stover either and truly it’s the act of love on the off-days, when I’m run ragged, feel scattered, and messy that means so much more to me. Thanks for sharing, friend! I’m texting my husband right now to tell him I’m making his favorite meal tonight! 😉
    Tiffany recently posted…The Grace StoryMy Profile

    • Aw, that’s so sweet that you’re making his favorite meal! Thank you for your kind words of affirmation, Tiffany :).

  • Thank you for these great tips of love. I am going to try some of them out. I am sure it will go over well. I need to give out more love. Thank you for joining the #RaRalinkup.

    • 🙂 We can always learn more about sharing love, right! Let me know how it goes!

  • Great tip, thanks Anita- the 5 Love Languages book is superb! It clarifies the mystery of why we respond so differently to love- even with our children. I know I’m guilty of presuming if one is thrilled to bits with something, then surely they all should be? Duh! And I’m pretty sure it shaved years off my discovery of what makes my husband tick 🙂 A book to be read and re-read, I think. Blessings to you!

    • :). I know! I need to read it over and over just to brush up on the love languages that aren’t mine ;).