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A vicious battle of the sexes ensues each year of varied proportions. I am, of course, referring to the day most dreaded by Singletons the world over – Valentine’s Day. Cupid’s Arrows have caused enough damage to both sides of the battle field to bring a shared unity, but sadly, a bloodbath emanates as each involved party fires their own arrows of resentment/disappointment, loneliness, and desperation.

What are we to do then?

Convert. One of the fourteen saints appointed by the Catholic Church, Saint Valentine, whose name is derived from the Latin word, Valentinus, meaning “worthy, strong, and powerful,” was supposedly born on April 16 and died February 14. However, so little is known of this Saint. Two 18th Century English antiquarians suggested that the Catholic Church simply created St. Valentine in order to usurp the Pagan holiday, Lupercalia, a purifying festival said to increase health and fertility held February 13 through the 15th.

Am I suggesting a mass conversion to Paganism? No.

But a mass conversion is in order if we are to survive future holidays with our sanity, and relationships, intact. There are obviously two camps in which any man or woman belongs – Singleton or Non-Singleton.

For the Singleton’s, Valentine’s Day is indeed an arrow through the heart, but rather than piercing it with its love dipped tip, it rips a hole straight through, leaving a gashing wound in its wake, which is much harder to mend.

However in this day and age, Singleton’s often forget about the most important and long standing relationship – the one with them. Cliché I realize, but all too often we women focus our energies on others so that we sacrifice our own needs; and though love is all about sacrifice, isn’t it about time we show ourselves some much needed love? There is nothing wrong with courting yourself for a night complete with chocolate and Jane Austen. And at the end of the night you can even make it to home base without thinking worse of yourself in the morning.

For those of you Non-Singletons, Cupid’s Pheromone Laden Arrow will have your heart running ragged before the night is through, if you’re not careful. For women, this is one of the most anticipated, and most dreaded, night of the year, and men, you’ve got your work cut out for you. This is where knowing your date’s interests comes into play and if you’re clueless, there’s still help for you (but you must make an effort to learn if you wish to remain with her).

There are plenty of ideas floating through the Webisphere that you should have no problem planning your evening. Location and activities can be, depending on your date, rather important. But what is a guy to do if your date is unimpressed by your best laid plans? Here are a few simple things anyone can do to help rescue an evening or even simply help it along.

Regardless of setting, looking into your date’s eyes and truly listening as she speaks will speak volumes. Do your best to not interrupt and be sure to silence your cell. At appropriate intervals, ask open ended questions to show her you are actively listening. Stuck for questions? Inquire politely about her friends and family while holding her had from across the table. If not in a restaurant, make certain there is appropriate physical contact being made; holding hands, a protective arm across her shoulders, guide her through a door by placing your hand upon the small of her back. Just make certain that you are being a gentleman and not attempting to cop a feel otherwise you’ll walk away with the wrong look of a lover’s kiss. Remember tonight is all about her and you will be rewarded.

As the day of battle quickly approaches, each camp prepares for war in various forms in anticipation of what lies ahead. However, this is a case of the grass is always greener on the other side. Resentment and disappointment abound in situations such as these and it is in these moments when we must all set down our arrows and embrace love in all its many forms. Rather than casting envious looks toward your neighbor who’s preparing for a night out or coveting your coworkers plans for a night in with Pride and Prejudice and chocolate and wine for one, drink in the true meaning of Valentine’s Day by celebrating your own strong, worthiness and toast to the health of those around you.

 

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