The Day of Love lands tomorrow, otherwise known as the day that encourages huge expectations from women and feelings of thrifty last-minute annoyance from men. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who hates Valentine’s Day and thinks that it’s a commercialized nonsense holiday (though, yeah…it kinda is), but I have come to believe over the years that Valentine’s Day is pretty much pointless. For one thing, if you need a particular day to come along and tell you to show your love for your significant other, you should probably reconsider your relationship because that’s pretty depressing.
But my real problem with Valentine’s Day isn’t the day itself, it’s the expectations of “romance”, because in this day and age we have developed a strangely warped sense of what romance truly is. Women in particular are bad for comparing their love lives to those of the characters in their books, their TV shows, and their movies. I’m not immune, but I have control enough over my own mind to realize that this is pretty foolish. Ladies (and some gents), the love lives presented to you in popular media are no more representative of real romance than the porn industry is representative of a healthy sex life.
Love is not flowers and candy and stuffed animals holding plush hearts. It is not ridiculously expensive dates at French restaurants. It isn’t bravely saving you from danger (that you wouldn’t have been in if it weren’t for your significant other in the first place). It isn’t lavishing you with constant surprise gifts that cost more than you make in a month. It isn’t extreme public acts of affection that embarrass your significant other or wind up getting someone arrested. Love is not big, impressive acts.
What is love?
Love is simply wanting to be together, to spend time together even if it’s just laying on the couch watching crappy TV.
Love is doing chores around the house without being asked.
Love is paying attention when your significant other mentions something they’d like to have so that your presents are things they actually want.
Love is taking care of each other when you’re sick, even if their whiny, nasally voice makes you want to smother them with a pillow.
Love is being supportive of the hopes and dreams of your significant other, whether you really understand them or not.
Love is trying to show an interest in each others’ hobbies, even if you couldn’t honestly care less about your significant others’ hobbies.
Love is occasionally cooking food that you can’t stand just because you know your significant other enjoys it.
Love is keeping the kid(s) occupied for a few minutes so that your significant other can have a shower in private for a change.
Love is turning the coffee maker on and getting a cup ready before your significant other has gotten out of bed.
Love is biting your tongue instead of starting a fight about something stupid.
Love is making yourself look like a complete fool just to make your significant other laugh.
Love is seeing your loved one’s faults and accepting them because you love them, damn it.
Ladies and gents, love is all the little things, the easy-to-miss things. Big romantic gestures might happen every so often, but lots and lots of little things are probably staring you in the face the other 99% of the time. Valentine’s Day is fine and good, but if you open your eyes and really pay attention during the other 364 days of the year you might notice that your significant other has actually been showing their love the whole time.