© 2011 Kebba Buckley Button, M.S., O.M. World Rights Reserved.
It’s February, and love is in the air. February 14th is Valentines’ Day, and despite the dubious pedigree of the day, people adore celebrating it. In stores and online, we see special cards, foods, and trinkets created just for this holiday. There are heart-shaped jewelery items, mugs and trays, together with pink- and red heart-bedecked socks, purses, and sweaters. Candy makers offer heart-shaped candies and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Love-themed movies are released in time for Valentines’ Day. Collections of love songs are released. Restaurants offer romantic dinner specials.
Nowhere is enthusiasm for love more evident than in the romance novel industry. There are NASCAR romances, historical romances, suspense romances, inspirational romances, and even inspirational suspense romances. Romance novels are the fastest growing segment of the e-book market and comprise 55% of all paperback book sales. Readers, it seems, are very interested in love.
For singles, the 5 top U.S. matching services have a combined 64 million members. There are companies that help many specific groups of singles: straight and gay; Christian, Jewish, Messianic Jewish, and LDS; Latin, Black, Chinese, Asian, Russian, Australian; Military; overweight (their word, not mine); and SoCal, Virginia, and Capital Area (DC). The unattached can meet at dances, at dinners, through a matchmaker, or online. If you are looking, just be ready to answer many questions about yourself. What are your real attitudes and values, your shining traits and the irksome ones? Is there anything you want to change about you, before you meet the One of your dreams? What are you really looking for in your match? You may as well be honest, with so many potential partners out there.
For people in committed relationships, this is a great time of year to celebrate all that’s wonderful about your spouse or Particular Friend. I like to pull my husband aside and say, “You know, I only love you because…” and then I go on for many sentences, about how great and amazing and enjoyable he is. If you pull this stunt, be sure you have picked a time when your beloved is not in the middle of solving an accounting problem or just starting to dial the phone.
People communicate love most with words, touching, gifting, doing-for, quality time, and money (think, teenagers). Are there ways in which your beloved has been expressing love to you, and you’ve been missing it? Are there different ways in which you can share your love with him/her? The number one thing that makes people feel loved is being listened to. This year, would you like to give that gift to your beloved? Often? You may be surprised at the great results.
So where else and how else would you like to give love? Do you have a family member that needs more time and conversation? Is there an older person from your church who needs help? Within your community, do assistance agencies pull your heartstrings? Is Habitat for Humanity calling you? Is animal rescue or food bank service or soup kitchen volunteering tugging at the back of your mind? Paul McCartney wrote and sang about love, more than any other subject. He sang, “And in the end/the love you take/is equal to the love/you make”. Give from the heart, and you’ll be singing “Baby, I’m amazed!”
Reach the writer at Kebba@kebba.com