Valentine’s day is here, in all its cloying, grasping, cheesy-plastic-hearts glory.

This is a holiday that seems to cause a lot of anxiety. People who are not in a relationship feel pressure to be coupled. People who are in a relationship feel pressure for theirs to look like something out of a romantic comedy.

What a mess.

Valentine’s day has good intentions; the celebration of love is a beautiful thing. I remember back to grade school when Valentine’s day was about those flimsy paper cards and everybody got one, regardless of their popularity. That tradition seems so much more authentic to the spirit of the day than the grown-up version.

Now, February 14th seems to be about expensive dinners, flowers that immediately start wilting and stressed out people striving for an impossible ideal.

Anything with that much pressure is bound to explode.

Does that make me sound unromantic? Maybe I am unromantic in the traditional sense, because the romance of movies makes me roll my eyes.

I love real romance. I love the connection that comes from being deeply understood and accepted. That just doesn’t happen to come in a heart-shaped box.

Whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, let’s de-clutter some of the extraneous garbage from our friend St. Valentine. Let’s simply celebrate love. Tell someone that you are crazy about them. Tell your partner, your hairdresser, your friend or your cat.

Tell them that you smile when they walk in the room and that you feel safe enough to cry in front of them. Tell them that they matter. Tell them that their soul is unique and valued and they make your world a better place. Tell them that they are perfectly imperfect and they never have to change to be worthy of your adoration.

Write it on a post-it note or leave it on a voicemail or tell them over a cup of coffee in the morning. Just make sure you tell them.

So, maybe I am a bit of a romantic mush. I love love, in all it’s forms. I just don’t think it needs to come with a prix-fix menu.

And that’s why my Valentine’s Day will not involve candy or blood diamond jewelry. It will be about connection, gratitude and being in the present moment. I’ll be spending the evening getting all hot and sweaty with Husband – in our Bikram yoga hot room.

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