“To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients — care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.”
— Bell Hooks
The words of acclaimed feminist Bell hooks ring true on so many levels. February is genuinely a month that we associate with Valentine's Day. A day designated for the expression of love, passion and intimacy. This year we slide into one of the most unique Valentine's days in recent memory. The ongoing pandemic has forced many people into levels of isolation they have never experienced before. This has put a massive strain on relationships of all types. Yet even as quarantine conditions have separated many, love always seems to find a way.
As men this is a golden opportunity to look at the relationships within our lives and examine just how healthy they are. Many of the classic gestures of love that we associate with Valentine's Day aren't feasible right now but that just creates a window for creativity. Many people say that love is the most powerful force on Earth and during a period that has brought so much stress to people, this is an opportunity that we should all take advantage of to strengthen our emotional bonds and reaffirm love within our lives.
Reach out to family members. Let parents and grandparents know how much you appreciate what they've done for you. Show love to siblings and distant cousins. Salute those close friends that continue to hold you down even if you're not able to have the in person social meet ups that you're used to. And for those special people in your life, the significant others, the lovers in your life, think of all the ways that you might take them for granted. Really be open and honest with yourself and find something new that you can express to these people.
Sometimes all the flash and pageantry of Valentine's Day isn't needed. Everybody likes flowers and candy but maybe this is the year that you sit down and send a few heartfelt, hand-written letters to really let people know how you feel. And if you're fortunate enough that you've been able to quarantine with your partner then really take a moment to do something extra from your normal routine. A heartfelt breakfast and bed and a body rub goes a long way.
Written By: Jason Francis