EDITORIAL: Real love: You can afford it

Illustration by KAYLIE FOSTER
Illustration by KAYLIE FOSTER
Illustration by KAYLIE FOSTER | The Ranger

Curled in a ball, crying, listening to Def Leppard’s “Love Bites” on repeat and licking your wounds probably isn’t the ideal way to spend Valentine’s Day. Speaking from experience, however, having just been dumped by the one you love makes you feel that way.

Don’t give in. Being alone doesn’t reduce your value as a person, and there are countless other people who still love you. Love, like a beautifully crafted diamond, has multiple facets.

Valentine’s Day was created to honor a priest who lived and died a martyr’s death in Rome under Claudius II’s rule in A.D. 270. St. Valentine loved his parishioners so much that he willingly sacrificed his life so they could live better and more abundant lives. He gave of himself to teach others about the love of Jesus Christ. That is love. That is what Valentine’s Day really should be about.

Big businesses have turned it into a commercialized profit-maker, and in so doing they have cheapened the value of saying and meaning the words, “I love you.” The truth is: You really can’t buy love no matter how many sparkling diamonds you purchased. Love is something you choose.

People buy random, useless junk that no one needs just because it is for sale. Perhaps that isn’t the best way to show that special someone they are loved and appreciated. When people truly love each other, they learn to do what is in the best interest of their loved one.

Most people wish to feel appreciated, desired, needed and loved. Humans need connection with others, acknowledgement of their inner worth and acceptance. Give that to your mate. Do something they take delight in for a change. Take the time to make their favorite meal. Help clean the house, then watch how quickly the housewife can transform back into a sexy woman again. Give them a reason to feel loved, desirable and special. It can make a world of difference.

Lounge with the couch potato. Paint the town with the merrymaker. Take the dancer to a club. Do something that acknowledges the individual who awakened in you the anticipation of a future shared with someone special. Remember why you started loving each other in the first place. Stop taking each other for granted. Life is too short. Don’t waste a minute of it. In the immortal words of Bon Jovi, live while you’re alive and sleep when you’re dead.

For those individuals who have yet to find a mate, never give up hope. Some of the best things in life take a long time to come to fruition, but when they do, their value is much higher and more appreciated by those who waited and worked for it. Celebrate who you are right now. Use this time to learn about what you really want out of a relationship and why. Spend time with friends and family who love you. It isn’t all about sex, although it may seem like it sometimes. Recognition of St. Valentine was intended to remind people about love’s sacrifices, not of lust and sexual passion which fade quickly, leaving one feeling empty and used.

People who have been together a long time know that friendship, trust, loyalty, commitment and honesty are some of the most important things in a relationship. Love and sexual attraction wax and wane like the oceans’ tides. If people want a relationship that lasts, they have to invest in themselves. They must choose to love every day even when they are tired, bored, sick or angry. They must learn to apologize often even when the other person also is wrong and forgive even if the other person refuses, or is too thick-headed, to apologize. Love isn’t always happiness and flowers. Sometimes it is downright difficult because, love, real love, is a choice.

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