by David McElroy
We claim Valentine’s Day is about romantic love, but it’s not. The day is really about fantasy — and that fantasy warps our ideas about what love should look like every other day of the year.
Valentine’s Day suggests that love is about over-the-top demonstrations of devotion and adoration, but I wonder if those grand gestures are mostly empty attempts to make up for the way couples live the rest of their lives.
It’s like a guilty way of saying, “I know I’m a terrible husband [or wife], but if I do these showy things for you and your friends to see, I can go back to living the rest of our lives as though you don’t matter.”
I believe love is best demonstrated by the way two people treat each other every single day of the year, not by the showy things they do once a year and attach shiny red plastic hearts. Love that is lived in an authentic way every single day can changes lives; love that’s just expressed when card companies and florists tell you to is shallow and already dying.
I’ve been thinking today about how a man expresses love for his wife. Other people are in better positions to say how a woman can best express her love for her husband (or how it might look in a same-sex relationship). I have no experience with that point of view.
All I know is how a loving man expresses his devotion to the woman who has chosen him: