Many enter the second month of the year with high anticipation for February 14. Whether one is single, in a relationship, or married, the thought of the fourteenth day of this particular month draws one's attention—be it negatively or positively.
The broken hearted sometimes shun this day and look bitterly at others who are in a relationship. Some singles dread the coming of the day as it marks yet another Valentine's Day spent alone.
Older couples, who are now left alone in this world, reminisce over the love they had with fond memories of their late spouse. Younger married couples, on the other hand, look forward to this date and often appreciate a getaway from their children to spend some time together without disturbance.
Dating couples plan a lovey-dovey night out and exchange gifts to commemorate the lasting relationship. Of course—not to be forgotten—are the singles searching for love eagerly hoping they will have a date on this romantic day.
The peak of love search
With so many people focusing on love, it is no wonder that the search for love is at its peak during this time of the year. People are determined to find love, and online dating sites seem to be a popular hit.
3news reported in January that a particular dating site's registration was 212% more during this period, in comparison to other times of the year. The increase in numbers of registrations and people searching online for love is expected to continue escalating till Valentine's Day.
Among reasons for the surge in numbers is searching for love as part of one's New Year's Resolution; it can be a top priority. With the coming of Valentine's Day on a Sunday this year, the fresh motivation from the start of the year provides the extra push towards this quest of clinching a romantic date.
Like many other festivals and special dates, Valentine's Day has also made it to the big screens with numerous movies about this day. The movie Valentine's Day depicts the love story of couples focusing on materialism, sex and the pressures and expectations of love throughout the various stages of a relationship.
Undeniably the world seems fixed on such themes during Valentine's Day as many are caught up in buying the right gift, or becoming one through sex, in hopes of having more confirmation in one's relationship.
Flowers, chocolates and cards
The highlight of Valentine's Day seems to be either flowers, chocolates, candies, jewelleries or Valentine cards.
Social networks like Instagram and Facebook are often overloaded with posts of bouquets of flowers from their lovers. Japanese comics often show couples baking homemade chocolates and candies to express their sincerity.
People spend lots of time and money trying to purchase the exact gift for their partner. Some are stressed out weeks prior to the day as they work part time jobs to earn extra money to buy the diamond or necklace they think their partner would like.
According to some Hallmark research, Valentine's Day is one of the most popular card-giving occasions, second only to Christmas. Sales for cards, flowers, chocolates and jewellery are usually at their all-time high as these are used as representation of love during Valentine's Day.
Be my Valentine
To be someone's Valentine, however, is more than just giving of gifts and putting on a glittering, sexy dress or a tuxedo for a romantic candlelight dinner. While cards and gifts are lovely to receive, they do not wholly represent Valentine's Day.
The origin of Valentine's Day is credited to St Valentine who presumably was sentenced to death because of his heroic act in marrying couples despite the edict that soldiers were not to marry. What started as a simple act of romance—defying the orders of the authority in the belief of love and marriage—is now one of the most celebrated occasions.
Valentine's Day signifies the coming together of two people who are in love and would go the extra mile despite opposition. They 'tie the knot' as a symbol of their commitment to one another and that is the true illustration of their love.
The better half
We often refer to our partner or ourselves as the better half. Sayings like, 'he completes me' and 'she makes me whole' are common in relationships. These are true to a certain extent but they do, on the other hand, advocate that we are not a whole being by ourselves.
The suggestion that we need someone to complete us makes us dependent on the other party to be complete. Danger arises then, when at times our other half does not fill the gap in our lives because they fall short of our expectation. After all, 'to err is human'.
The truth is we should not go into a relationship expecting the other party to complete us. Instead a relationship should consist of two complete individuals coming together as one.
Two become one
The great philosopher Aristotle beautifully said, 'Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.' Likewise the Bible says in Matthew chapter 19, verse 5: 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'
My proposition is that the best way to enjoy Valentine's Day—whether you are single or in a relationship—is to be complete on your own. My pre-marriage counsellor stated this on the issue of loneliness—that to be complete and confident in ourselves is to be at ease with who we are in God.
The Valentine's formula is an easy one: 2 (1+1) = 1 instead of 1/2 + 1/2 = 1. Let us find who we are in God and let God complete us this Valentine's Day. That way we can celebrate Valentine's Day with or without a partner and still be joyful and at peace. Blessed Valentine's Day to all!
Esther Koh is a stay at home mum living in Wellington with her husband and two year old son. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
Esther Koh's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/esther-koh.html