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Hers Magazine



Did Valentine’s Day Expose Who Truly Loves You?

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By Annette Johnson, Editor

 

Whether it’s your love interest or loved one, most women expect an expression of love on Valentine’s Day. For some, the day had a positive, satisfying outcome, but for others, the day yielded questions and even disappointment, including:

  • No one said anything or sent you something for Valentines, not even a text message or email.
  • Maybe someone did send or say something, but it was the wrong person or not what you expected.
  • You expressed love but got nothing in return and all you wanted was a sign of gratitude or anything, for that matter.

One popular comedian declared that he never gives his girlfriend anything on Valentine’s Day because love is intangible, something you should have for yourself rather than demand from others in the form of gifts and so forth. He felt his girlfriend should recognize his love because they are still together. Whether the comedian was serious or joking, he exposed an issue that often occurs on the holidays:

Is giving someone something he or she may like, necessary on special occasions as a sign of caring, commitment or love?

The greatest lesson about love is teaching people to acknowledge it. We have so many fantasies and ideas about what should be and how it should appear that we often overlook or ignore the love that already exists. We simply fail to recognize it. For instance, a child may complain about his or her parent working too much, and fail to recognize that the parent is only working overtime to provide ample resources for the family.

 




 

Learning to recognize love isn’t easy because of our very human tendency to take people and things for granted. The simple, often free, things, such as a compliment, hug, listening or consistent presence, are downplayed in favor of showy displays of love, especially on holidays. Certainly, a tangible, or visible, form of love helps, but it should not be solely relied upon to prove that someone loves or cares about you.

Some people truly don’t need an exchange of gifts to express love. On the other hand, there are others who are truly selfish, more or only in love with themselves, or don’t care as much as you thought. Therefore, saying something like “you should already know I love you” as an excuse for not doing anything, should only be acceptable if the other person is sincerely unable to provide a token of affection, no matter how small. Even if you have no or limited resources, here is a general list of five ways you can show love and affection:

  • Make something special or unique (i.e. handmade card)
  • Say something special or unique (i.e. “I love you”)
  • Do something special or unique (i.e. wash the clothes)
  • Take him/her somewhere special or unique (i.e. walk in the park)
  • Give something special that you already had (i.e. favorite book)

Ultimately, love should be acknowledged and expressed prior to a day like Valentines, and then it should be somehow honored on these special occasions (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries). Going the extra step to display love in a tangible way should be done to establish or reinforce love and affection.

gratitude listFor those who feel as if they are unloved or not being loved adequately, remember, love is always there. It must simply be acknowledged because it doesn’t always appear or look as we believe it should. When we adopt an “attitude of gratitude,” we’ll begin to see love all around us, coming from above (God), outside (others) and inside (self). Gratitude is the most fundamental element of love, for it generates the other necessary components, including “kindness” and “respect.” As practice, create a gratitude list, one that you refer to and possibly add onto each day. Doing this will ensure that you know who is loving you and how your are being loved at all times – even beyond Valentine’s Day.

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