Here’s an interesting tidbit…the original Valentine’s Day tradition (which was actually the 15th of Feb) was inspired by the Romans who would get drunk and naked, kill a goat and/or dog and then throttle their love interest with the dead carcase before mating with them for the duration of the 3-day holiday (the love interest, not the carcas).
Warms your heart, right?
But somewhere between the brutality of the dark ages and the last 20 years, the ritual turned from animal cruelty and sexual assault to trinket shopping and sugar-pushing. Now we feel kinda forced to demonstrate our affection for fear of being judged for not loving your partner enough. This year, the retail sector is expecting an $18.6 billion profit from the fake holiday, so they’re doing a great job of keeping that social pressure going.
Question – if your significant other didn’t recognize the holiday with some sort of tangible gift, card or event, would you consider that a reflection of their (less than stellar) love towards you?
For if you do, even just a little bit, then for at least this one day, the retail industry has more control over how you perceive your most intimate relationship than you do.
Just something to consider.
[bctt tweet=”How to avoid buying crap nobody wants for Valentines Day this year. #minimalistloving” username=”fundinghappy”]
Now clearly there are the romantic types that just want to enjoy indulging their partners, and I get that. Just like Christmas or Thanksgiving, it can be a fun ritual to celebrate (unless you’re single, in which case it can be miserable). But this year, I challenge you to think beyond giving flowers that have been jacked up 4x their regular price or going to a restaurant with an annoying prefix menu and think about how you can enjoy the modern-day meaning of the occasion without adding to that $18.6 million retail frenzy.
Here are a few ideas to inspire a special day of love without buying useless stuff…
- My favorite – order takeout sushi and have a picnic on the living room floor. Got a fireplace? Even better. Got dogs? Watch they don’t steal your sashimi when you’re not looking.
- Write your partner a letter or an email. Tell them exactly why you love and appreciate them. No one gets sick of hearing that stuff.
- Do something for them that demonstrates care – cook a meal, make them coffee in bed, bake heart-shaped cookies.
- Snuggle on the couch and watch your favorite shows with some chardonnay and a few homemade healthy truffles.
- Give your SO a massage or do the bubble bath thing with candles.
- Partake in adult activities, even if it’s a school night ?
Probably the most important tip I can give you is to make your expressions of love and appreciation a daily ritual rather than waiting for an arbitrary day of the year with a dark and bizarre history to celebrate your relationship.
Love to all of you!