Valentine’s Day, the day of love, is often debated as a holiday that favors one gender. Let’s solve the age-old question: is Valentine’s Day for him or her?
When is Valentine’s Day?
The exact Valentine’s date is February 14th. It’s always on the 14th and doesn’t change from year to year.
What is Valentine’s Day and How Did it Start?
It dates back to 496 and there are a few myths and accounts of what it is and how it started.
St. Valentine was a Roman priest. who performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. The Roman emperor decreed soldiers could not marry thinking it hurt their ability to be good warriors. Enter Saint Valentine who wore a ring with Cupid on it so soldiers could recognize him. Clearly, an advocate of romantic love and relationships. He was also said to hand our paper hearts to help Christians remember to love their God. Hence, the idea of gifting heart objects was born.
There are some dark myths and beliefs and history too. You can check it out at History.com if you want more details.
Christians placed a St. Valentine’s feast in the middle of February as an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. I can see why they thought it might need a makeover. The day ended the Roman version of The Bachelor. Legend has it all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. Next. the city bachelors would each draw a name the two would be paired off the next year. Often, they ended in marriages.
How’s that for matchmaking and interesting blind dates?
Valentine greetings and poems date back to the Middle Ages. Also, shoutout to Geoffery Chaucer for recording St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his poem “Parliament of Foules,” in 1375.
Hearts, cards, romantic gestures continued throughout history. Consequently, Valetine’s Day evolved into a day of sharing an expression of love.
Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?
It’s a day of love, plain and simple. There’s no denying that Valentine’s Day has become a romanticized and commercialized holiday. But if we look back to the origins, the need to celebrate a love of relationships and a love of God is at the root of it.
The ultimate purpose is to honor love in all its forms. Romantic love is at the center of the celebration. But one could argue that it extends well beyond romantic love.
So Is Valentine’s Day for Him or Her?
Commercialization has definitely taken over the holiday. It wants us to think Valentine’s day is designed for men to buy things for women. However, I’m going to argue commercialization missed the point. It’s about celebrating love. Last I checked, men love being included in feeling loved too.
Perhaps the holiday stems from the stereotype that men can need a little more help expressing love. Regular expressions of love are needed regularly in any healthy relationship. That means from both partners in a relationship.
Perhaps the traditional bouquet of flowers isn’t in order, but I’d argue even a box of chocolate is a much-appreciated gesture of love for men! If you want to stick to the commercialization check out these Valentine’s Gifts for Him.
Valentine’s Day Expressions of Love
I have learned in 13 years of a happily committed relationship, it doesn’t have to be about gifts. That’s one way to show love. But there are so many other ways to express love. These expressions of love fit into the 5 Love Languages.
If you need a refresher, here are the 5 Love Languages:
- Physical Touch
- Quality TIme
- Works fo Affirmation
- Acts of Service
Clearly, Valentine’s Day is a great day to serve! Also, it’s a time to be a little more physically affectionate, to express love verbally through a letter, or just to plan Valentine’s Day date night to spend quality time together.
I’d challenge you to try to hit each of the 5 love languages and think of something you can do to express love on Valentine’s Day. And that goes for him and for her.
Ultimately, this leads to the conclusion that no, this isn’t just for her. Celebrating love is important to everyone. Also, if you’re in a romantic relationship, it’s the perfect excuse to find a way to celebrate it. Choose what works best for you!
There’s no shame in buying flowers and chocolates. There’s also no rule that says guys have to do all the buying or give a set gift. Find a way to make this day fun and your style so you both feel more love!
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