I’ve been reading Debt Kid’s blog and I see that he fears that he can’t date until he gets his financial house in order. Apparently he’s over $300,000 in debt and fears to have to reveal that to anyone he is dating. There is a lot of justification for these beliefs in our culture where our status in life is dependent on how much we make, meaning that being severely in debt and facing bankruptcy could disqualify you from the dating game. Well, maybe yes and maybe no. Does debt kill romance? I don’t really think it has to unless you are the one judging yourself. I don’t think debt is a good reason to give up dating. I think that being unable to connect with someone you like is a better reason. And, who knows, maybe if Debt Kid is willing to date someone during his financial upheaval, he will start to find some of the values that speak towards cultivating spiritual values and an internal sense of self-esteem instead of one based on his income or debt. Dating is one thing, marrying is completely something else. Marrying, you should have your financial house in order so it doesn’t affect your loved one. Ironically, many people would suggest that marriage kills romance, heh heh. So, take your pick.
Okay, so now let’s talk about the idea that Valentine’s Day might kill romance because “it fosters the notion that romance is something for special occasions” as J.D. at http://www.GetRichSlowly.org put it. While I like the way that J.D. is offering some frugal tips for lovers, I tend to disagree that it’s purely commercial. Christmas – sure! It’s pure commercialism, but Valentine’s Day can be anything you want to make of it. And besides, exactly how expensive is a box of chocolates? It’s not the Christmas spendathon that retailers want us to engage in around Christmas. That is really not a way to build personal nor spiritual wealth. I take the stance that Valentine’s is about relationships, your relationship wealth. So, you can use frugal tips like the ones at http://www.getrichslowly.org or you can do it up and splurge. It really doesn’t prove you love someone more or less, just that you were thinking about them – and that’s the point.
I will give you an example of romance and Valentine’s Day that is thinking outside the box. I am a single mother and one year I heard the door bell ring on Valentine’s Day. I opened it and there was a single red rose tied to my door. It was from a “secret admirer.” Ha, ha. Secret admirer…Okay, it doesn’t matter who it was from because I knew, but the point was he never admitted it until much later. The idea is that he didn’t want to admit it because it was meant to be romantic not pompous. It wasn’t a half dozen roses and it wasn’t a diamond ring. It was a single red rose and it came with no strings attached: Very romantic. I think it was the “no strings attached” that made this gift romantic and the appeal of a little mystery and sensitivity. That year I felt special and that was the intent. See, I did not have a live-in spouse and wasn’t expecting a gift. How nice it is to receive a beautiful, heartfelt, token of someone’s affection with no strings attached. Do I want Valentine’s Day banned for commercialism? No. Maybe it would be different if I were married and had taken my loved one for granted and didn’t think they required any “special day” to show my love and affection. That’s really being blessed in tremendous relationship wealth, but I think the rest of us would like to be noticed at least one day of the year, especially if we’re not married. It doesn’t have to be about spouses or lovers, it can just be about friends. It’s celebrating our relationships, not our bank accounts.
Romance is definitely one of those intangibles worth cultivating -whether you are rich or poor, married or single, dating or not. It has to do with making someone else feel special just because they are a human being and you’ve noticed them. It’s very life-affirming in a very intimate and personal way. I don’t care if it comes with a box of chocolates too, all the better!
*Image courtesy of Flickr Creative commons license by Zest-pk