Medium published my new article “Valentine’s Day Is Great Business but Love Takes More than Gifts”
Valentine’s Day is a very lucrative day for gift sellers, florists, and… pet shops. Americans spend nearly $21 billion on Valentine’s Day shopping. They spend nearly $900 million dollars on gifts for their pets, $1.8 billion on candy, and $5 billion on jewelry. They buy no less than 250 million flowers and plants, with roses (especially red) far out in front. It’s very pleasant to receive a gift, and it feels very good to give a gift, so I am all for it, but gifting is not the same as loving. Other than a mother’s love for her child, love between people requires time, effort, and mutual concessions. Love is built over time and by enduring trials.
When people meet and “fall in love,” it isn’t love. Call it infatuation, crush, or attraction, but it is not love. We should not connect between hormones and love because there is no connection.
Love means wanting to do good, to help, to make the beloved person happy. That special someone may or may not know about it, but what matters to me is not what I get in return, but that I have made the loved one happy, that I have done something good for my beloved.
In true love, there is no “because.” I do not condition my love on a reward or something in return. If I do, it is not love; it is business. Even if I don’t disclose my provision to the other person, but deep down I stipulate my love on meeting certain requirements, it is already a fake; it is not true love.
It may seem as though such selfless love means denying myself necessities, but we have no idea what a treasure we deny ourselves by not loving in this way, without attaching any conditions to it. If we can love another person the way a mother loves her child, this will be true love.
It may seem impossible, but it is not. We can achieve it if we really want to, but as I said, it takes a lot of work.
Our main work should concentrate around building a supportive social environment. If we surround ourselves with people who aspire to develop among them relationships of true love, we will have all the energy we need to perform such a transformation in ourselves.
Therefore, the more people understand the difference between love and attraction, and feel that such a goal is worth the effort, the easier it will be for them to achieve it. And the more people achieve it, the better it will be for the rest of society and the rest of the world.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and may we all come to experience true love.