Valentine's Day 2013: 3 Things That Need to Change About the Holiday

I don't know about you, but I think something needs to change about Valentine's Day, which will be here on Thursday. I have some suggestions for how to go about this change, and here they are:

1. No candies

Every year when Valentine's Day approaches, candies are all over the place. Whenever I see these pink and red heart-shaped candies, this question comes to mind: In a nation with a predominantly overweight population, is it really necessary for us to have all these sweets? No. Get something else instead. Like, anything. 

2. No paper cards

This day also reminds me of the time when I had to buy candies and cards for my children during their primary school years. I remember lamenting the waste of paper when I was helping my children writing on these Valentine's Day cards, more than 20 of them. Imagine the number of cards sent on this day and the amount of paper wasted and trees killed! Send e-cards instead. They're probably funnier anyway.

3. In addition to romance, responsibilities need to be taken into account

Valentine's Day is supposed to celebrate romantic love coming down to us from a long Western tradition. These days, this love, which sometimes ends up in a marriage, seldom lasts, as half of our country's marriages end in divorce

Not that we don't celebrate romantic love, but as days move into years, love alone is not powerful enough to keep people together. Both parties need a lot more than love to continue their coexistence, like a healthy dose of mutual respect and trust, civil discourse and open communication, and responsibility for each other and for their offspring if they have so chosen.

Rather than simply say "I love you," do something to show your love, like making a list of the good qualities that you identify in your partner, taking care of the household work that you have avoided, being honest to your partner (as we know many extramarital affairs are carried out in an dishonest manner), reminding each other of the marriage vows, and planning to stay together till the end, as you both promised in the beginning. 

Use this day to strengthen the bond between you and your significant other, sans card and candies. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Yanwen Xia

Research section at University of Kansas Hospital Cancer Center & Midwest Voices contributing columnist

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