Happy Valentine’s Day! There’s no way around it, when it’s February 14th we all know it’s Valentine’s Day and a day that’s about LOVE! Love means many things to many people! CBS News hosted its own poll on love in 2022 and it turns out that according to the 86% of Americans who responded, true love exists, and 67% say they have even experienced it themselves. For that 33% of Americans yet to experience true love, not all hope is lost, and another 69% are still holding out hope that they will! If we take these numbers to heart (pun intended), almost 90% of the country believes in true love! Almost 70% are holding onto hope, even if they haven’t found it yet, that’s pretty awesome, but why? Why does love matter?
Why do psychologists say love matters? Amie M. Gordon, a Ph.D. social psychologist at the University of Michigan who researches interpersonal relationships and well-being at www.physchologytoday.com says, “In uncertain times, relationships matter even more. When the world is chaotic, we turn to our partners for security and stability… But times of uncertainty can also represent opportunities for growth. Forced out of our usual routines, we can reassess and remember what is important. With global uncertainty, investing more in our relationships is a safe, practical, and healthy choice. We need love now, more than ever.”
What do doctors say? Baran Kilical, MD, a cardiologist at Anne Arundel Medical Center says, “We are social creatures and we do best when we have strong social support systems. Being in love can affect everything from your stress levels to your heart health.”
What do kids say? Taken from the contest: What Does Love Mean? See How 4-8 Year-Old Kids Describe Love, www.dailygood.org, The winner of the contest was: Name Unknown, 4-year-old: “Nothing, I just helped him cry.” Which was his response to how he showed love to his next-door neighbor when an elderly gentleman had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
“Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
What does the dictionary say? Miriam-webster says:
Love, Noun: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
Love, Verb: to feel a lover’s passion, devotion, or tenderness for, to like or desire actively: take pleasure in
What do you say? Do you believe that relationships matter more than ever, especially in times of uncertainty? Do you believe love can increase your health? Do you believe that love is holding a space for someone to grieve or celebrate or just be? Because what matters most, is what love means to you and the channels of giving and receiving that love so you can be the healthiest and happiest you. This sounds easy, but not if you just suffered the loss of a loved one or a relationship, not if you just moved or are battling illness or affliction. Love isn’t easy if you are a student, a parent, or working multiple jobs. Come to think of it, we can all find many excuses to push love out. But, if love is so important that almost ALL of America believes in it, maybe we do too? Maybe there’s more than we realize.
Love really is all around. Yes, love can be found in relationships and personal connections, but it’s also in the small moments of a door held by a stranger, a smile shared with a baby being pushed by in a stroller and a salute to the veteran at the parade. Love is in the many moments that make up our lives, and we know that that matters to most of us. May you all find some little bits of love this Valentine’s Day in whatever ways you can and notice the affection you can find and the tenderness you can give. Love is all around!
Director of The Wellness Center