February 10, 2018

Real Love : Not Just a Valentine’s Day Post

There’s something about Valentine’s Day that either gets people super giddy and weak in the knees or makes people feel worthless. In middle school I felt special when someone gave me a Valentine (you know, the ones with cheesy sayings and a piece of candy attached), or when that cute boy admitted he had a crush on me. In high school I felt the desperate need to get my crush to be interested so I had someone who’d pay attention to me on Valentine’s Day. In college it evolved into planning a girl’s night with friends to forget the fact that we were single (like being single is a bad thing?!).


From an early age, we (especially women) are conditioned to be selfish on Valentine’s Day. Yup, I’m even SO guilty of this. We expect our man to plan an extraordinary date night and lavish us with expensive gifts. If not that far, we expect them to at least spend time with us. Being single, I’m guilty of treating myself to more heart-shaped donuts than I can eat, binge watching romance movies, or planning a girls night out- subconsciously throwing myself a pity party because I wasn’t receiving love from someone else.I’m not saying to be loved is wrong. But how many of us are guilty of that selfishness on Valentine’s day?


I don’t think it’s entirely our fault, this day has been stereotyped and marketed for lovers only and, in my opinion, has made people (not excluding myself here) extremely selfish in one way or another. All we see are the “buy this for her” and “treat yo’ self” campaigns everywhere.

Selfishness is the root of all heartache. Expectation leads to disappointment. Valentine’s Day can be disheartening for people in relationships too, not just for us single people.


If Valentine’s Day is about love, this begs the question, what is real love anyway?

Real love is loving without expectation. To unselfishly love.


A challenge to myself and to you reading this- to build up others by intentionally loving them, starting this Valentine’s Day. All it requires is a little change in our mindset. Instead of focusing on ourselves, what if we focused on others- a significant other, family, friends, coworkers, strangers.


A simple way to do this is by learning people’s love languages.If you’ve never heard of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, read about it here.

The 5 Love Languages

  • Words of affirmation: telling someone what they mean to you, encouraging them, complimenting them.
  • Acts of service: Do something you know they don’t like doing or help them with a project.
  • Receiving Gifts: Thoughtful gifts. If that mug with a silly quote on it reminds you of them, buy it for them!
  • Quality Time: Spend an hour with someone, doing what they like to do, focusing on them and not you.
  • Physical Touch: Even a hug or high five can make someone’s day.



Learning someone’s love language may take a little time if you don’t know them that well. But once learned, it’s easy to show you love them!

Instead of being selfish with our time and thoughts this holiday, let’s build up those around us. Show them we love them. Spread the love. A little love goes a long way.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16