It is February and this is the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day. This has become a western celebration of expressing love and deep caring feelings for those that are near and dear to us. Chocolates, cards, romantic dinners, getaways, and flowers are just a few ways we share love with our partners and spouses on Valentines Day.
Many do not know in light of this rich and loving holiday; it has a history that is not so romantic. Historically, February is a month that the Roman Empire celebrated the decapitation of 3 priest that were very influential with preaching the gospel and converting the lost during this time. Ironically, each priest had the name Valentini or Valentinus during the 3rd century. During this time the persecution of Christians was common and definitely did not go unnoticed by the Roman Emperor, Claudius Gothicus who showed no mercy to any Christian that made too much noise for the Kingdom of God.
By the time the second St. Valentinus was murdered (be-headed) during mid-February which the Romans’ called Lupercalia. This was a rural masculine cult that indulged in the sacrifices of goats and dogs. This evolved into a carnival over time where half naked young men would streak through the streets with the skins of the goats and dogs on the young men’s hips like thongs. As this rowdy celebration continued for some time it all came to an end with Pope Gelasius.
As things during mid-February continued to be passed down the ages leading into the 1400s. An author by the name of Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote, The Canterbury Tales created a writing piece for the February Feast of Valentines to the mating of birds titled, The Parliament of Fouls. From this point of time Shakespeare’s play was another course to peak the interest of being love struck with his production, Ophelia. There was a part in the play where she referred to herself as Hamlet’s Valentine.
So, we see the origin of Valentine’s Day was not as sweet as we make it out to be today. But today who does not need a little love and passion in their lives for being who they are. Celebrating love is a wonderful thing that is really an act that would benefit throughout the year and not just one day. This year the Coaches Corner would like to share ten ways you to improve or strengthen your relationship so you can live your relationship like it is always Valentine’s Day!
- Sexual Compatibility-this does not constitute the amount of sex but the quality of the sexual experience when you connect with your spouse or partner.
- Avoid Monotony-doing the same thing gets old. Either spouse at some point will desire change.
- Observe and Balance Interest-keeping and interest in the relationship by engaging one another and being flexible to participate in the interest of your partner works wonders for the relationship.
- Grow Towards Each Other- when you have been together for some time it is easy to grow apart due to interest and responsibilities. Try to grow together in the direction towards each other. Doing this can deepen the connection with couples.
- Unifying and Managing Values-division is the core of break-up and divorce. Work on staying unified on beliefs, morals and standards. This can help keep couples connected through agreement and common values.
- Stay Attractive for Your Spouse/Partner-making sure you take care of yourself and look appealing for your partner or spouse. Where colors and outfits you know they like. Stay fit and as much as possible to manage your body that remains appealing to your partner.
- Focus on the Relationship/Marriage-we live in a time that demands our time and attention constantly. Work, events, and social media all contribute for the business we encounter daily. This business can be a distraction and creates a wedge between two people if they do not focus on the relationship. Make the relationship a priority. This means be mindful to make time for each other.
- Do not place the Kids over Your Spouse-it is different when you are dating because there is a higher decree in relationship when you say I do. When dating you must be understanding to the time a single parent needs to take care of children. But when you say I do you are blending the family together. Even in that situation too much attention to the children can create a serious division within the relationship.
- Practice Forgiveness-in relationships there will be times we make mistakes and do things wrong. In order for the relationship to last both parties must practice a forgiveness. Forgiveness strengthens character and allows a couple to grow through tough situations.
- Be Flexible with Your Partner/Spouse-if you don’t ever consider their thoughts, ideas, and feelings you can make it difficult for that other person you are in relationship with to be who they are. They can feel stuck and not valued due to your lack of considering of their view on things that are important to them. This instantly creates division and emotional separation within the relationship and over time of the relationship it will not be healthy and at some point, it will end.
So, now we know the history of this lavish gift giving holiday. But we also have some ideas of how to not look for materials to make this annual love celebration in the middle of February. Challenge your-self and see which one you could improve on practicing to enhance your relationship. After all, Valentine’s Day is symbolic for how we should display our love through out the year and regularly towards the ones we love. Do not allow one day to define your relationship. Remember why you chose this person to be a part of your life and if you really love them make sure you let them know frequently not just one day throughout the year.
(This history of this holiday was provided from an article from Smithsonian.com. Lisa Bitel who is a professor of the History and Religion University of South California)
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