Opinion: This column is boyfriend tested, girlfriend approved
Over-sized plush teddy bears, gourmet chocolates packaged in heart-shaped boxes and roses sent from secret admirers. They all evoke thoughts of Valentine’s Day and the effort undertaken by those in relationships to display the affection they hold in their hearts for one another. Actions and statements of love and care that bring smiles to faces and invite warmth into hearts.
However, it is sometimes easy for us as humans to forget to put in the necessary effort each and every day after. So, this Valentine’s Day, take notice. Take notice of the little details your significant other pays attention to, to show you that they are listening when you open up to them about what you love, what you hate, what your fears are and your dreams. Take notice when they go out of their way and step out of their comfort zone, all because they love you and desire so deeply to put you above themselves. Take notice when they look at you in a way unlike anyone else on Earth and tell you they love you. For some, hearing those words may not be a revelation, however it does not take away the meaning behind perhaps the most transcendent feeling people are capable of experiencing.
Devoted relationships are among the most fulfilling commitments there are, and the very best reasons behind this statement are showcased on Valentine’s Day. Conflicts are set aside, hard feelings evaporate and blow away with the wind, and for at least this one day out of the year, those walking through life with a partner in tow are reminded of the connection they share with each other, love. And that is what Valentine’s Day is, a day of love. The kind that is evident within every word of a handwritten poem or every note and chord of an original love song. On Valentine’s Day, relationships showcase their strength, bringing out the best in every partner of every pair. It is a sight that restores faith in humanity and admiration for what humans are capable of at our best.
Not every day is easy as pie for relationships like Valentine’s Day. The stressors of work, family, school and individualistic fears and anxieties can easily overwhelm and make us lose sight of the person that makes us feel most alive and at peace with the world. The googly eyes and warm embraces witnessed on Feb. 14 can, without care, descend into fights, bitterness and resentment toward ourselves and our significant other, destructive emotions that so easily can fester and pull at our heartstrings in all the wrong ways. What we remind each other and ourselves of on Valentine’s Day, we many times forget the rest of the year.
Relationships, commitment, love—they aren’t easy (understatement of the century). They take work, push individuals’ and couples’ limits. They can make you question everything you thought you knew and believed in this life, but the bottom line is: They. Are. Worth. It. The pain, the conflict, the inescapable state of not knowing whether it’s meant to be or destined to fail. It’s all part of the risk we take in our respective pursuit of happiness. So, this Valentine’s Day, take notice. Take notice when your significant other conveys to you those three little words, because regardless if it is the first time hearing them or the hundredth, the meaning behind them is as world-changing every single time. Go above and beyond when caring for them, committing to them, loving them this Valentine’s Day and never stop, even long after it has come and gone.