Valentine’s Day: Lover’s Day or Day of Pressured Obligations?

By Ikenga Chronicles February 15, 2016

Valentine’s Day: Lover’s Day or Day of Pressured Obligations?

 — Ifeanyichukwu E. Uke                                                                      

I hate to be the Grinch-like cupid that stole lover’s day; but the activities of Valentine’s Day are no longer in sync with its original memorial intent, at least that is what it looks like. Now Valentine’s Day is all about what significant others bring to the table of romance. There is almost an unspoken pressured obligatory status that rides with this famous day. Some people even go as far as using Valentine’s Day as a litmus test for their significant other’s love for them. The after effect of the unmet expectation and or the fear of the unmet expectation often wreaks havoc in relationships, especially those that are not solidly grounded on authentic and heartfelt love. The fear of the implication of this unmet expectation often cumbers people with unspoken pressure and stress, which violates all known and unknown tenets of love. Furthermore, due to this unspoken obligatory status of Valentine’s Day, especially on men, some men, as a matter of expediency, become very proactive few days leading to the day by picking unnecessary fights just to excuse themselves from this pressured obligation. On the other hand, some ladies would drop their men of many moons like a hot potato simply because some other men with deeper pockets and social clout promised to show them glamour on this day.

The fact remains that most people present valentine gifts, dinner, and other shows of afffection out of obligation, and not out of devotion. It should not be that way; after all, St Valentine gave a greeting card to the young damsel from his jail cell and nothing more. Why can’t it be that simple? Why must it be very complicated? Why must a supposedly romantic day turn into a mad-cash-cow for retailers? These retailers have since capitalized on Valentine’s Day celebration to milk the unsuspecting celebrants to pulp. Some really do not want to be dragged into the spending spree, yet they are caught up in the ritual yearly.

Do you know that it has been estimated that about one hundred and fifty million cards exchange hands on Valentine’s Day yearly, making it the second busiest card-giving celebration only after Christmas?  My point? Rather than focusing ultimately on material things on this day, it becomes very imperative to make the day a matter of the heart.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong in dedicating a day out of a whole year to celebrate the enigma called ‘Love’, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong in showering one’s significant other or loved ones with gifts of inestimable value when it is well within reach, there is everything wrong with its unspoken pressured obligatory status when it could not be afforded or when it lacks willingness. Love actually knows no stress and should be celebrated every day, howbeit spontaneously. One day of pomp and gaiety fiesta, or lack thereof should not serve as a litmus test for healthy relationships. Then again, low-key unassuming observance of the V-day, is not a bad idea especially when one’s pocket frowns at the exorbitance of the affair; after all  captured the essence of love when she contended that “love is friendship that has caught fire. Love is quite understanding, mutual, confidence, sharing and forgiving. Love is loyalty through good and bad times. Love settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”

This piece, in no way, supports unnecessary frugality and stinginess. It is therapeutically healthy to appreciate your significant other at a maximum level; it is what lover’s day calls for. This appreciation should be done devoid of pressured obligation; anything short of this recklessly negates the tenets of Valentine’s Day affair even when the ‘un-spokeness’ is very deafening.

As we wind-up this year’s celebration, you have 365 days to shower your love ones and significant other(s) with immeasurable and priceless affection and love. Don’t wait until next February to show it as it is unloving to do so. Love and Peace Profound!

*Uke, who is the Chief Coordinating Correspondent USA for Ikenga Chronicles, contributes from Dallas, Texas USA

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