Valentine’s Day scares the daylights out of most men.
Speaking as a man, one married for decades to a woman I cannot imagine a life without, the truth is most of us are lucky to keep it together on a day-to-day basis. The added pressure of Valentine’s Day feels like we’re walking onto the field of play during the Super Bowl. Fumbling is not an option.
Marketers know it, too. From the suspicious rise in the cost of a dozen red roses in early February to television commercials suggesting a life-sized teddy bear will solve all of our problems, too many of us are easy prey.
Sparkling diamonds, odiferous flowers, and special offers designed to separate us from the protective constraints of our budget are to play on our greatest fear – failing to communicate how much we love another.
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to tell others how much we value them. Truth is, too many of us forget to celebrate the art of romance. Finding and reminding ourselves of the spark that brought us together is essential in a healthy relationship.
Going overboard with material items, however, is a poor substitute for sincerity.
I remember once bringing home an armload of roses only to be greeted with a cold stare from my wife. In the middle of raising our children, spending what dollars we had around on expensive flowers, only showed my insensitivity to our situation at the time. As the lesson settled into my thick head, the flowers felt increasingly more expensive the longer they sat on the kitchen table. I actually felt relieved the day I came home to find them missing in action.
Romance does not really need to be purchased. Rather, romance can be acquired or rekindled with the currency of time, attention, or just hanging out together at the local coffee shop. In reality, romance is not measured by what you can purchase with your credit card, but instead what you do with your heart.
I truly find my wife fascinating. While time can sometimes be scarce for us, finding the time to sit down together and share the day’s events is one of the best investments we can make is in each other. Years ago we both signed onto this gig due to a combination of overzealous passion and being woefully lacking in understanding what was ahead. But the one thing we learned along the way is how important it is to keep that original flame alive. With all of life’s distractions and interruptions, we’re finding the one constant is the spark between us. And yes, at times, we may appear selfishly protective of our time together, but in the end, we recognize this is how we got into this whole thing and we’re not going to let it go.
Which brings me to Valentine’s Day. I won’t be buying an armload of flowers or giant teddy bear. Rather, I’ll be spending time with the one I love.