Celebrate Valentine’s Day all year long

By Branson Hardcastle | Broadcast Reporter

Valentine’s Day is a time when “love is in the air.” Everyone gets together with their significant other and goes to dinner, opens gifts and spends quality time together. The question is, why is this only celebrated once a year? Why do we only celebrate our significant other on this day and not continuously throughout the year?

I have known many people who use Valentine’s Day as their one and only time of the year to do something special for their boyfriend or girlfriend. They feel as long as they do one thing, they have done their “duty” for the year.

That’s not how it should be. If you truly care for a person, you should be taking time out of your day to do something special or to make them feel special. I’m not saying you have to do it every single day, but you should make an effort to do so throughout the year.

My parents put an emphasis on teaching my siblings and me to continue to pursue our significant others throughout the relationship. What is pursuing your significant other, you may be asking – it is to chase or to follow avidly?

How do you continue to pursue someone throughout the relationship? The first step is to figure out what love is. Love is an action; it’s not a feeling. In 1 Corinthians 13, love is defined as being patient, kind, not envious, believing the best and not dishonoring others. It always trusts, protects, hopes and perseveres. Love is used to serve your significant other and seek out their best interest.

It is also important to understand that people receive and show love in different ways. Many people have taken the love language test, which gives you results based on your answers to many questions. The different love languages are quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts and physical touch. Usually people give and receive love in multiple ways through these “love languages,” but what do all of them mean?

“Quality time” is exactly as it sounds. It is spending time together in a way that deepens the connection you feel with the person. “Acts of service” are done when you serve others out of love and not obligation. Encouraging and kind words that build you up are “words of affirmation.” “Physical touch” makes you feel loved by getting hugs, kisses, or touches on the arms. “Receiving gifts” happens when you feel deeply valued and loved when someone gives you a gift. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but the thought that they took time out of their day to get you something makes you feel truly loved.

It is crucial to understand what each of these “languages” mean and which one your significant other feels most loved through. The only way to know which of these they lean more toward is to spend time with them and pay attention to what make their eyes light up. It is also important to know that many people are inclined to multiple love languages. They might enjoy quality time and acts of service, and combining them can make them feel the most valued.

Once you understand what their love language is, it is time to take action. Use your knowledge of the person to make them feel special in your daily pursuit of them. Pay attention to their favorite types of food, music, what they do for fun and how they like to relax. These things will help you understand more about them and what they would enjoy doing.

Take them out to do something special once a month or more, and do things they like. If they like receiving gifts, surprise them with a gift periodically. My dad will send my mom flowers and write her encouraging notes that talk about her character and how great she is. Those things continue to strengthen my parents’ relationship even though they have been married for 29 years.

Valentine’s Day isn’t inherently bad, but it can be used as an excuse for people to not fully pursue and value their significant other. I want to encourage you to not only spend Valentine’s Day showing others you care about them, but each and every day of the year leading up to Feb. 14, and every day following it as well.

Branson Hardcastle is a journalism major from McKinney.