Valentine’s Day – A Romantic Peak Or A Commercial Basement?
Every year there is a surge in romantic interest as February, the Month of Hearts, approaches, and the scent of Valentine’s Day begins to waft in the air. When it comes to reality, though, how much of that surge is genuinely about romance? Is it not all a commercial exercise designed to rake in the profits?
I do not think anyone can argue that commercial interests contribute greatly to the publicity that surrounds Valentine’s Day. You see it everywhere from Christmas onwards; the Valentine’s cards, the Valentine’s chocolates with their heart shaped boxes and pictures of roses, plus of course all the advertisements for the roses themselves and how you must book early for that Valentine evening meal.
The commercial side of Valentine’s can appear so overwhelming you may be persuaded to believe that it is nothing to do with love and romance at all, but purely about making money; that the hearts and the roses are nothing more than artificial symbols of a romantic world that no longer exists.
With much of Western society having a hardened veneer, where underneath relationships fall apart with a puff of wind, and divorce is almost built into marriage, anyone can be forgiven for taking such a cynical view. However, dismissing the whole Valentine Day experience as nothing but commercial is far too simplistic, and to do so is to deny oneself a far richer experience: that of genuine romance and love.
Any commercial venture only succeeds if there is a demand, and Valentine’s Day has been a commercial success for many years. Before then, the Valentine’s tradition itself had evolved over many centuries, long before commerce became the apparent driving force behind it. So where has the modern demand come from for an event such as Valentine’s Day?
Love, attraction, obsession, and romance are as old as the hills, and are integral to the human constitution. While many modern people may claim that they prefer to be alone and do not need anyone else, do not need love and romance in their lives, if they were truly honest with themselves they may say something very different. It is not “macho” to publicly need love, affection and romance, so many hide from their own truth, that they probably yearn for the love of another as much as the most openly romantic.
Others, though, reflect as much desire for romantic love as any man or woman over the centuries, and it is deeply natural to do so. They reflect those desires as they go searching for romantic fiction, love poems and true love stories by the million. If they do have love in their lives as Valentine’s Day comes around, then they are well prepared to make the most of it; to indulge in the romantic image with their own twist of reality and desire.
Love and romance have not died and will never die. Some may shy away in fear of the pain of a failed or a tragic romance; but others dive in head first, not fearful that their love will turn out to be as tragic as Romeo and Juliet. Such people provide the never ending demand for a Valentine’s Day that transcends the commercial and explores all the bright and dark corridors of romance. In other words, experience life to the full, and risk the pain and heartache to achieve the ecstasy.