If you've been to a drug store in the past two weeks, you know it's almost Valentine's Day. Many of us have a love/hate relationship with this holiday. If you're single it can be tough to be alone at this time, and if you're in a relationship the pressure to get the perfect present looms. This year, I invite you to distract yourself from the superficiality of V-Day and define love for yourself. It's a word we heard, we use, we toss around carelessly, but what does it mean? The answer is different for each of us. Thus I encourage you to sit down with a blank piece of paper and write what loves means to you. The answer won't come instantly, but it's not supposed to. It's not an easy question. If you'd like some guidance, I point you toward my friend Karen's book simply entitled Love. Karen has spent years doing love research—meaning she has sat dedicatedly in public places wearing a red suit and handing out roses in exchange for answering questions about love. She has compiled the answers on these pages, and they are fascinating. You will laugh, hold your breath in wonder, and look at love—romantic and platonic—in new and precious ways. This Valentine's Day, be quiet and still. Feel the connection between your mind and your heart, and dare to define love.
If You're In a Relationship: Once you have written your definition of love, take that meaning and put it in a love letter. Tell your significant other what love means to you and how he/she has brought that meaning to life before your eyes.
If You're a Swinging Single: Some of the best Valentine's Days I've had have been spent as a single gal. Do not despair. Spend the day with the people who love you—your parents, friends, children. Even if you spend the day alone—feel free to remind yourself on the hour that you are worthy of love. Write your definition of love, and give it to yourself or to a person that you are madly (and platonically) in love with.
Samara O'Shea is an author and professional letter writer. Visit her at LetterLover.net and follow her on Twitter.