A few days after Valentine's Day, during our Zoom call with our RelationshipByDesign community, we saw something about relationships that we hadn’t considered before.

March 9, 2022

From Lon&Sandy:

It began with remembering that when we were young children we gave valentines – simple little expressions of friendship on colorful pieces of paper – to all of our neighborhood and school friends. As we grew older, we gave or sent valentines to far fewer people, mostly family. When we became “mature” only our lovers/spouses and our children got valentines from us – in the form of cards, flowers and candy. 

During the Zoom call, it dawned on many of us that, just as the number of people to whom we sent valentines shrank over time, the number of people to whom we spontaneously express our affection and appreciation has decreased. In many cases, expressing our experience of being related and loving has been limited to – and expected by – only our families and very close friends. 

Science tells us that everything in the universe is constantly changing – either expanding or contracting. Perhaps the decreasing number of valentines being given on Valentine’s Day is an indicator that the experience of being related and loving has been contracting. 

Is it possible that such a trend can be reversed; that our experience and expressions of being related can shift from contracting to expanding?

Happy Valentine’s Day 2023

From Carol and Paul:

Remember how we celebrated Valentine’s Day in elementary school? We decorated bags with hearts and filled them with enough cards and candy hearts for every child in the class. In 2022, our young grandchildren had fun doing that very same thing.

What began as a fun game to play got more serious as we grew up. We gave or sent valentines to many fewer people, mostly to best friends and family, or someone special we had a secret crush on. We forgot our childhood joy in making and giving cards expressing affection to lots of people we care about in our communities. 

What if we revived our childhood game, and treated Valentine’s Day as a reminder to reach out – to let more people know that they are important to us and we cherish them? Could be fun at a minimum, and surely would nurture some friendships we may not have contacted recently.

Once we had this idea, we didn’t want to wait for next year to do it. Any day can be Valentine’s Day!

Here’s our Valentine to you: We deeply appreciate your participation in our community. You enrich our lives day in and day out. Without you, we couldn’t do the work that gives our lives meaning. WE LOVE YOU!

Carol and Paul

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