The Soul of Eros.

That day of love is fast approaching and soon our calendars will land on February 14, most popularly known as Valentine’s Day.

It creeps up on us every year.  Twenty-four hours of sadness and longing for broken hearts and those who are desperately yearning for their other halves.  Twenty-four hours of bliss for those who have found a romantic partner and celebrate the commercialization of Eros, the passionate love defined in Greek mythology as a desire for another person’s physical body.

Chocolates, roses and gifts.  Ben and Jerry’s, tissues and Netflix.

How one spends that day depends upon which direction of the love highway s/he is traveling.

Over the years, single people have come together to celebrate with anti-Valentine gatherings, a flip of their middle fingers to Cupid and all that he stands for.  Who needs romance?  There is a single people trend gaining momentum – and that should be no surprise.

In 2017, the U.S. census reported 110.6 million unmarried people over the age of 18 — that’s 45.2 percent of the American adult population in the United States and research predicts that approximately one-quarter of young adults in the U.S. will never marry.

The common stereotype portraying single people as lonely could not be more wrong. Based on studies from different countries, it is determined that conventional wisdom is not only passẻ, but completely inaccurate.  Singletons today have more friends, bigger social networks and on the whole, more robust lives.  They have the time to find new hobbies, travel, learn new skills and live without compromise.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, why is it most choose between kisses and hearts or isolation and tears?

According to psychologists, there are seven types of love – so why the preoccupation with romantic love, which is said to put us at risk for neglecting the other types of love that can be more stable and readily available which in turn, may prove to be more healing and fulfilling in the long-term?

Over my lifetime, February 14 has found me laying a loved one to rest, dumped by boyfriends and a host of other less than pleasant experiences. There have also been happier ones, but never the dream come true commercialization and consumerism paints it out to be.  It’s another day, yet some of us are apt to have such high expectations and desires that we are bound to hit reality like pavement – hard.

So for me, Valentine’s Day is a day of love.  Every kind of love.  It is a day to celebrate those I care about – and to make others feel as special as they are.  It is not solely about romantic love.  Why limit it?  Spread it around like those rose petals and light the fire within those who mean the most to you.

Love is truly all around us if we make the time to look – and we can find it deep within ourselves.

So if you find that you are on your own this Valentine’s Day, make sure to lavish yourself with love and make it special.

Author: E.M. Murphy

A freelance writer, coach, eternal seeker and Renaissance soul who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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