• Shalom Baer

Let's talk about love

Valentine’s Day is approaching. With it will come the sappy social media posts, roses, chocolates, and date-night photos. Of course, the opposite attitude will also make an appearance. Those who hate the day will cite the pressure it puts on relationships; some resent it because it’s a reminder to single people that they don’t have a valentine.

I’m not in the second group of people, nor am I in the first. I like Valentine’s Day; I always have, partially because I’m a fan of romantic gestures, as a lot of people are. For me, though, the romantic gestures aren’t a crucial part of Valentine’s Day.

Personally, I prefer to think of Valentine’s Day as a reminder to reflect on what love is, and what it isn’t. When we think of love, we often think of romance — but love isn’t romance. Often romance will accompany love, but it isn’t the true substance of it. Love is a choice and a series of substantial actions.

Loving someone, romantically or otherwise, means having their best interests at heart, pushing them to be a better person, being honest with them, communicating, and putting in the effort to understand and consider who they are and what they need, even when you don’t feel like it. We hear love equated with feelings often in our society, be it through books and movies or phrases like “they give me butterflies.” While the butterflies are lovely, they’re fickle and sometimes fleeting. Love is the opposite.

Whether you have a date for Valentine’s Day or not, don’t spend Feb. 14 fixated on whether you get chocolates or how much you hate the day. Instead, focus on the people in your life that you love, and consider the day an opportunity to express it and be reminded to work on loving better throughout the rest of the year.

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