Every Valentine’s Day for the last two years I’ve sat down at the end of the day and watched “For Lovers Only” which, in my mind, is a fantastic modern love story artistically told, beautifully written and perfectly performed. Against the backdrop of Paris and the surrounding countryside two lovers reunite after being separated for eight years and begin a whirlwind affair across France. But their lives have changed since they were last together and they can’t stay in bliss for long before the real world calls them back. More than anything this is a story about being in love.
You don’t see that a lot in movies – being in love – for them it’s all about the adventure of falling in love with someone. It dramatizes love until reality starts becoming about the fantasy and the passion and less about love. There’s the other side of romantic movies where it’s not so much passion as sappy romance and Disney movies that everyone criticizes but can’t say what the right way is.
I gave up on finding that fairytale romance that I read about and saw in movies but I still believe it exists. I believe that you can meet someone and become their friend and their lover and that you can look at them twenty years later and still be hopelessly in love with them. I believe there’s no timeline for falling in love; there are no guidelines. You know it’s love because your heart beats faster when you think about them and you can’t stop grinning when you talk about them but when they’re there with you, everything is so calm and easy.
I believe there are many ways you can fall in love but there’s only one way to be in love: you just are. You are yourself, there’s no pretense or games. You’re comfortable. You tell them the secrets that they need to know; no obligations or guilt. Everything about love is mutual and understanding – that gets lost in translation sometimes.
I don’t, however, believe in love at first sight. I believe in attraction at first sight and those aren’t the same at all. You feel an attraction or a chemistry with someone right away but love? Love is slow and burning, drawing out whatever emotions come along with it like a magnet.
Just because you're single doesn't mean you have to be against Valentine's Day. Today isn't sappy couples, and flowers and 80s love ballads. It's about love, plain and simple. Celebrate love in any form: being in loving, falling in love, finding love - the hope for an ever after that I know everyone secretly wants. It doesn't matter if you're in a relationship or if you're single; celebrate love as it is. I know Valentine's Day means different things to different people but one thing it is not about is being miserable. There's no eternal deadline for love (unless you're the Little Mermaid but we'll talk about her later) so there's no reason to be sad today; today is about being happy that there is love in the world. So I see no need to be anti-valentine's day or to be aware of your singleness. I don't care if hallmark claims rights to Valentine's Day, today is my day to celebrate love and compassion.
The history may be dark but the tradition of Valentine’s Day has become an obligation more than an expression of love and I don’t think that’s how that’s supposed to work. If, in the middle of February, you feel like shouting your love to the rooftops then by god do it but don’t do anything you don’t mean…that’s what it comes down to.
Mean every word you say to someone you love. Be comfortable in the world you’ve built with them.
That’s my definition of love.