Celebrating Romantic Love

By: Joy cagil

Yesterday, I found this quote scribbled in one of my old note-pads: “With love, nothing else matters; without it, everything else gets on your nerves.?

Every Valentine’s Day, flowers, cards, chocolate candy, and presents abound and love letters are sent between lovers. Widespread symbols are hearts and arrows, flowers especially red roses, cupid, and the color red or pink.

February 14 is the time when birds start mating; therefore, since the olden times, the celebration of romantic love was traced to this day. The earliest date this holiday is found in would have to be in Greek mythology attributing February 14 to the marriage of Zeus and Hera. On Zeus and Hera’s trail, comes Lupercalia or the festival of Faunus, the god of fertility in ancient Rome.

Then, there are several Christian saints named Valentine to whom this celebration of love can be attributed. Most of these St. Valentines were martyred for one reason or another, like the St. Valentine in Rome who aided prisoners or the St. Valentine in Africa. Among the martyrs, the most likely St. Valentine for whom the Valentine’s day was named is the saint who performed soldier weddings, disregarding Emperor Claudius II’s order banning Roman soldiers from marriage.

Without any doubt, celebration of love leaped into the earliest centuries and to the time of Renaissance. The oldest known valentine is a poem written in 1415 by the duke of Orleans to this wife, while he was in prison. It is kept in the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.

Sending love poems, letters, and cards to lovers soon became a fashion. During the 1800’s books of romantic poetry were published for Valentine’s day. From inside those books, young men chose poetry to give to their sweethearts. In the United States, most of all valentines people sent to each other were imported from Europe until 1914 when the American publishers jumped into action.

In our time, celebrating Valentine’s Day custom still exists and flourishes, even if St. Valentine was taken down from sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church. During the latest two decades, celebration of Valentine’s Day has spread to India and China, probably due to these countries’ sudden economic boom.

Accordingly, Valentine’s Day has become the most card-sending time of the year after Christmas, with most of the cards purchased by women. Not only that, elaborate, tasteful, and original artistic card creations have come into existence and are now being offered even on the internet, like those in http://www.prye.com.

Since there is so much ado about it, let’s try to define romantic love. It is said that real love is unconditional. This is such an appealing statement and so idealistic that we wish it were true.

The notion of romantic love, however, is based on the idea of preservation of our species and works better on reciprocal give and take than on one-sided martyrdom. Romantic love is based on a genuine concern for the welfare and happiness of the other partner without giving away from one’s own safety and personal power.

Experiencing truly lasting romantic love takes time, work, and patience. Once the initial attraction and fantasy wears off, sometimes we stumble and doubt our partner and even our own feelings. This is nothing to worry about but a natural outcome of being human. A good and enduring relationship takes time, effort, understanding, and acceptance to cultivate. The idea is not to give up but work attentively at perking up the relationship.

When two people care about each other’s happiness, pleasure of being together becomes delightful and healthy. Genuine praise, little loving gestures, kind words, and true caring enhances such a relationship greatly and that’s what makes the celebration of Valentine’s day or the celebration of love so important in our lives.

Joy Cagil is an author on a site for Writers (www.Writing.Com/) Her education is in foreign languages and linguistics. She has also trained in psychology, mental health, and visual arts. Her portfolio can be found at www.Writing.Com/authors/joycag

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