Good old Saint Valentine would be rolling in his grave to see what Valentine’s Day has become. The 14th century Roman Catholic priest was busy performing marriages against the wishes of the Emperor Claudius, who preferred that his troops did not leave their hearts back home when they hit the battlefields. Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned, and tortured for performing those marriage ceremonies.
Today, while he might balk at the sight of the hyper-consumer fanfare in his name, the patron Saint of courtship would likely pop a gasket over two other social phenomena: First, let’s consider the length of a courtship. It was six months in his time and a mere three dates today. What’s worse? Courtship has dropped to the barrel bottom price of one well-worded text. Forget chocolate and flowers, gentlemen… hone your acronym vocabulary!
Secondly, for the first time in American history, there are more single adults in America than married adults. And, while plenty of those singles are in cozy love nests without legal marriage, there is a huge population of singles who aren’t super excited at the prospect of a holiday honoring courtship rituals that are quickly going the way of the dinosaur.
Suffice to say, Valentine’s Day can be stressful for single people and also for couples who don’t relish a kind of mandated expression of love. Why not express love everyday? The answer, of course, is to know that you are not alone. That plenty of people are holed up in their apartments with take-out food waiting for the sun to shine the day after Valentine’s night. If this is you, here are a few suggestions to deal with Valentine’s Day stress:
1. Host an Anti-Valentine’s Day Happy Hour.
Forget the expensive romantic dinners. Find a dive bar and create a Facebook page for a anti-V-Day drink fest commiserating the death of courtship as we know it.
2. Feed Your Friends.
How about a “For the Love of Friends” dinner party for singles and couples alike?
3. Celebrate the love you have for your children.
Single parents can pull out the red table cloth, serve juice in champagne flutes, and place chocolates and tiny stuffed bears at each place setting. Trust me. Your kids will fall back in love with you!
Say good-bye to Valentine’s Day stress. Say hello to the things that soothe us and makes us stronger — healthy relationships with friends and family.
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