Make your Valentine gift from the heart

Bouquets upon bouquets of scarlet roses, heart-shaped powder candy with messages like “Be Mine” and “Soul Mate,” bite-sized chocolates meticulously wrapped in wax paper, dinner-for-two bargain deals — call these couples’ galore or single people’s incessant reminders of their relationship status.

Commercialization of the holiday in the U.S. can be trying — trying to the point that single people might have considered self-purchasing flowers and having them hand delivered to their office desks with a note signed by their “secret admirer,” creating an illusion of desirability.

(Admit it, ladies, the thought has crossed your minds at least once.)

Is that considered desperate behavior? Probably.

The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend a near record of about $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day this year. About 55 percent of U.S. adults plan on celebrating the holiday, spending an average of $143.36 per person, according to the NRF.

In 2017, Americans reportedly spent about $18.2 billion or an average of $136.57 per person (which is more than my monthly car insurance and phone bill combined).

Let me give you my two cents — OK, let’s say five cents — about what I call the over-commercialization of Valentine’s Day.

But before giving my opinions about this, I want to clarify that I think there is nothing wrong with treating your significant other to gifts, whether it’s flowers or chocolates.

(Always choose chocolate over flowers. Flowers die and wither within a week while chocolates release endorphins at least).

I get it. Maybe that’s your love language.

pressured to buy anything on this particular day just because it’s Feb. 14 and because society says you should.

You can treat your significant other any time of the year, first of all.

Secondly, society places such an emphasis on material items as a means of expressing affection. But here’s the thing: These are just things. They have no true worth.

Years from now, it’s not going to be the Godiva gold collection of assorted chocolates or the $50 sirloin steak dinner that we are going to remember.

It’s the engaging conversations we have with our partners. It’s the discussions we have about topics that matter to us whether it’s politics, education, foreign policy, religion, etc.

It’s the times we laugh at comical, satirical YouTube videos together and the times we exchange books we think the other would like.

It’s the times we give the other a rare but well-deserved compliment about their character — their humor, their integrity, their consideration, their sincerity.

It’s the mornings we run out and bought our partner’s favorite coffee drink, even when there is snow on the ground.

It’s the moments we are able to be vulnerable with each other without judgment, the moments we learn about why the other person is the way they are and what makes them a flawed, yet still wonderful human being.

As a friend once told me, vulnerability is not a weakness but a strength. It takes courage and trust to be vulnerable.

So by all means, go out and buy your significant other flowers or chocolates or a surprise trip to Paris (um, yes please…where’s a sugar daddy when you need him?) or all three.

But keep in mind what really matters and what truly makes a relationship meaningful.

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