I love when Mother Nature weighs in on the ridiculousness of commercial holidays like today. Here on Valentine’s Day in Akron Ohio we are in a severe winter weather advisory with wind chill factors bringing temperatures to twenty five below Zero. My interpretation of her thoughts:

“If you fuckers want to waste your money on something that’s free for all, so be it. But I’m going to freeze your balls off every step of the way. Have fun getting romantic with frozen chesticles and testicles!”

Love doesn’t cost money. So why should you have to spend money to tell someone you love them? Truth is, you shouldn’t. Time and effort are a far greater indicator of love and romance. How strong is a relationship that only shows “real” affection on one single day of the year? Two if you remember to celebrate “Sweetest Day”. *barf*

If you can only buy a gift to show your affection, perhaps you are too lazy to be in a relationship, spend time getting to know your loved one. A box of candy, a bouquet of flowers, even expensive jewelry is lame. It is generic. It is boring.

Anyone can walk their lazy unoriginal butt to any store and pick out from a myriad of seasonally overpriced red and pink shit. Why do you think that makes you a great significant other? Truth is, it doesn’t. It makes you lazy and uninterested in true declarations of the amazingly unique love you share with your significant other.

Try thinking of what makes your loved one light up. Find a way to play that up. Think what she enjoys doing in her free time. Try an activity you could do together to deepen your bond. Feeling frisky? Try a new sex technique book to add some zest to an otherwise boring bedroom sex show. Craving intimacy? A warm oil massage of backs while sitting in each others laps (facing each other if you’re brave) is to die for. The options are unlimited when you stop thinking of going to the store and start thinking about who your loved one really is.

On the flip side, if all you want for Valentine’s Day is commercial crap, perhaps you should evaluate the important things in life, as you so clearly value pretty and shiny garbage. When the candy is gone and the flowers wilt, will you still feel just as special as the moment you received them? If you’re honest and the answer is no – start looking to define what love means to you. Not just what love can get FOR you.

Because love is more than the trinkets and baubles you acquire through the relationship. A relationship consists of those in between moments where you just get to be you. Really one hundred percent you, without fear of judgement, and with nothing but complete faith in the undying love you share.

When you share that level of trust and commitment with a person, things money can buy became meaningless. Because there is not a damn thing valuable enough to demonstrate the sense of security I get from that epic love. Flowers are gorgeous and natural, but they pale in comparison to the natural beauty of someone loving my flaws to perfection. Sweets and treats may taste great in the moment, but the taste of love flavoring my life makes those delicacies seem like dirt on a plate. And jewelry and shiny things may sparkle and reflect the light in beautiful ways, but pure love is a light all on its own without need to put gems and metals to make it shine. The weight of baubles makes me feel tied down, where love always makes me feel free.

How could these things ever make me feel loved, when the love I feel everyday far surpasses the “special” feeling of receiving a gift? The truth is these things can’t. Gifts cannot make you feel love. Only a person can.

And if your person can only give the gift of love in the form of a present with a price tag, it is cheap and should be discarded in favor of something more valuable. Whether that means discarding your gift or your “love” is for you to decide. But whatever you choose, start embracing true real love.

Ask for what you deserve: A true declaration of love. Or someone capable of true declarations of love. Anything less and you’re cheating yourself. And ruining your chance at real love and joy in life.