Dating & Love Advice
When you’re a child, Valentine’s Day isn’t necessarily all that special of a day.  You call your grandmother to tell her you love her.  You buy superhero themed paper Valentines and write the names of each of your classmates on them.  You get to enjoy some of those chalky colored heart candies – yum.  It is a fun-themed day, but not much more.

As you get older Valentine’s Day becomes more important.  The emotion we call “love” starts to make more sense to you, as you experience it for the first time.  When you’re younger, you understand the word “love” but you don’t necessarily get what it really means.  Moreover, even if you do have a general understanding of the concept, the difference between the love you have for your mother, and the love you may share one day with a girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband may be a layer beyond your comprehension.

No doubt about it, Valentine’s Day is about love, but what kind of love?  Is Valentine’s Day only about the love you share with a significant other/spouse?  The kind of love that fills your stomach with butterflies?  Or, is the love you received from a parent – changing diapers, preparing food, and making sure you had a roof over your head.  Or, is it the kind of love you find in a close personal friend?  The type of friend who would drive an hour out of his/her way, just because you needed a lift? 

I suppose instead of asking what Valentine’s Day means to you, the better question would be “What does love mean to you.”  This is, obviously, a very difficult question to answer – considering the many types of love you may experience in your life.  What does “Love” mean to you?

For me, love is made up of three different things.  Commitment, passion, and intimacy…not necessarily in that order.

Commitment:  Love is about being there.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically…you get my point.  Love is about going as far as is necessary to help.  Whether that means picking up your son/daughter every afternoon from soccer practice with a cold bottle of Gatorade and a loving kiss on the cheek or providing a close friend suffering from a serious drug addiction the open ear he/she needs to talk through his/her problems.  Love is about giving 100%, no matter the circumstance.

Passion: All three of these pillars go hand in hand, of course, but I find it especially hard to describe commitment and passion without overlapping just a little.  Being committed means that you’re there to help.  Passion, to me, describes going a step beyond.  Putting yourself in the background, and selflessly devoting your time and effort to someone else – that is passion.  Losing yourself in emotion, breaking down emotional barriers, sharing intimate moments with another – that is passion.  Sacrificing your weekends to practice your art to become the best you can possibly be – that is passion.

Intimacy:  Again, piggybacking off of the last pillar – intimacy is all about completely enveloping someone else, and allowing yourself to become completely enveloped by them.  Hiding nothing.  Sharing everything.  An open book, a melding of bodies, a combination of hearts.  Intimacy can be physical, but mentally and emotionally sharing your world with another can be just as, if not more, meaningful that a physical encounter ever could be.

So, we hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day activities this year.  Have fun, and be safe.

Happy Valentine’s Day – and Happy Dating!

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