Valentine?s Day ? not just for romance

Ready or not, Valentine?s Day is almost here.

For a vast majority of married folks and couples in love out there, Valentine?s Day is something to look forward to. Ladies can?t wait to see what their main man has planned for Sunday and men are eager to please. But for the other percentage of the adult population, (yes, I am talking about you, singles) Valentine?s Day can sometimes be the target of a lot of negativity.

Whether divorced, widowed, seperated or just plain single, Valentine?s Day is often looked on with disdain, sadness, or dare I say, a twinge of bitterness, by many singles. Now, before you track me down and chide me for saying such things, I will be the first to admit that as a single person myself, I have been guilty of all the above feelings at one point or another when it comes to Valentine?s Day.

Why is this? Why do single people have a tendency to band together on the Valentine?s Day haters train? Many singles default to saying, ?I hate the consumerism of the holiday.? And while that may be true to an extent, no one ever mandated that Valentine?s Day had to break someone?s bank account, or be all about material things and getting expensive gifts.

I think the real reason many singles tend to dislike Valentine?s Day is because they feel the whole country is trying to tell them that they are alone and unloved in the world because they aren?t in a romantic relationship. In America, I think we have the habit of marketing Valentine?s Day to only those who are in romantic relationships even though Valentine?s Day is known as the day of love.

The last time I checked, love doesn?t just refer to romantic love (although that is also a real form of love). People of all ages can feel love for their parents, friends and family. So, in reality, Valentine?s Day, the day of love, isn?t just for couples in a romantic attachment.

Let?s stop making Valentine?s Day out to be something it isn?t. Perhaps one day I?ll get the chance to spend Valentine?s Day with a man who sweeps me off my feet. In any case, I still have lots of friends and family who love me. When the day comes that I fall head over heels in love, I can choose to spend the rest of my Valentine?s Days with my Prince Charming. Until then, I want to take the opportunity to focus this Valentine?s Day on the loved ones I have in my life right now.

This year, I will be spending Valentine?s Day weekend with some of my lovely friends and family, and that?s nothing to be depressed, miffed or bitter about.

Come Sunday, I hope couples take a moment to celebrate Valentine?s Day together. Whether it is celebrated in extravagance, or in a simple and meaningful gesture, be sure to make it special. Being in love with your partner in crime, your soul mate and your best friend is something special. Treasure it. Embrace it. Be thankful that God has blessed you with such a special relationship.

To my fellow singles, don?t hate on our non-single neighbors. Let them celebrate Valentine?s Day with their other half in their way, while you celebrate with your loved ones in your own special way.

My friends, life is too short to pass up the chance to show and tell those we care about just how much they mean to us. And with an entire day devoted to the idea, how much more encouragement do we really need?

English author John Galsworthy once said, ?Love has no age, no limit; and no death.? However you spend this Feb. 14, let it be from the heart and exude the everlasting affection you have for those closest to you.