Happy Valentine’s Day. Some cynics will avow this holiday is nothing more than another corporate means of cashing in on something called love, which should be celebrated every day with that special person in my opinion. However, it’s always nice to get chocolate, especially since dark chocolate is supposed to be a great substitute for love – or that’s what the Internet says! Some will state it’s a holiday celebrating “singleness.” Of course, the Hallmark Channel exhibits nice young and attractive white people always finding love with the same storylines, just different actors! But what exactly are we supposed to celebrate? Being alone and having that “thrown in your face” by TV and candy companies? Or your profound love for your partner? Which again, should be celebrated every day and never taken for granted. Coming from someone who is single, I haven’t decided if I am depressed that I am single, or celebrating how much being single is a benefit? Not really sure at this point. If my beloved fur baby were still alive, I would celebrate Valentine’s Day with him. Because that is the true definition of unconditional love, which is what love is supposed to be in the first place.
People can tell you that they love you, but it is actions that speak louder than empty words. When I tell someone that I love him or her, it’s because I genuinely do and I try to back that up with my support for who that person is. I don’t tell someone, “I love you” just to hear myself say it so I can feel good about myself. I try to make that clear. If that person doesn’t get it, then that’s on him/her, not me and I have to understand that. If someone doesn’t want to love me, then I am fine with it. The world isn’t going to come to an end and all I can be is someone who is deserving of being loved. But Valentine’s Day seems to be that little knife in the side to some, and yes, sometimes to me. As contradictory as this might sound, I’d love to have someone bring me flowers or a box of candy, or even a card – just because!
So on Valentine’s Day, what are you going to do or to be extra special for that someone? And it doesn’t even have to be someone you are “in love” with. Do something for someone you know is alone and in need of a friend or companionship but doesn’t know how to go about asking for “not being alone” on a day which just reminds them that they are. And it isn’t about the money, it’s not and should never be about, “I spent this on you, so I expect you to spend this on me.” Money should never influence a relationship and should never be used as a weapon against the person you profess love to. There will always be some time of degree of variance between incomes. You do what is within your financial means or for me, something that someone has made me, is the most wonderful gift in the world because it showed thought and time spent expressing that person’s creativity, love – and most importantly, that they were thinking of me!
My philosophy for a lasting relationship should be, the honeymoon should never end. I have seen so many couples, that once they get what they wanted, all of courting and wooing stopped. Why? Again, never take each other for granted, never assume, be “in love” for the rest of your lives. Talk to each other, not at each other, listen to each other, share, and most importantly, unconditional love! Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!
- Gary Schwartz is a composer, musician, counselor, writer, performer. Double majored in Behavioral Psychology and Music Composition. Worked as counselor through Whitman Walker Clinic, Gay Men's Counseling Collective, Hospice of Frederick County, Montgomery County Health Department and Frederick County Department of Social Services as Adult Foster Care. Gary currently teaches private piano, voice and composition and just finished his 19th year performing at MDRF!