Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why Valentine's Day Matters

I used to hate Valentine's Day...or so I thought. What I really hated was the unconscious expectations associated with it. I'm a romantic, but not an obligated romantic - and obligation and desire don't peacefully co-exist. I felt, for the longest time, that all Valentine's Day did was commercialize these obligations.

I'm now aware of the fact that much like Christmas, we are all pulled and pushed to embrace the activities that have become social norms and are driven by what is referred to in psychology as social proof.

Just as Christmas holds personal meaning and is viewed and celebrated in a plethora of ways by more and more people, Valentine's Day should also be a collective undertaking between two individuals who have agreed upon its significance.

As career & life coach focused on helping people identify and remove barriers to growth that limit success at work and in life, I've come to think of Valentine's Day as a catalyst to work/life balance - especially for workaholic men and women.

Commitment to one's work (though admirable and necessary) should not interfere with, nor supersede, the commitment to one's partner or family (though challenging and at times difficult). To this point, recent studies on marriage are finally citing what I've exposed as the real cause of divorce for years and wrote about extensively in my eBook, Rethinking Love, Marriage & Divorce: Lack of commitment is the top cause for divorce. With this in mind, Valentine's Day matters because love and commitment matters. This is why Valentine's Day has become symbolic of both.

Life, regardless of whether you are a self-described or psychologically diagnosed workaholic, can  consume you at anytime, for a myriad of reasons. We can become close only in proximity instead of close through intimacy. Valentine's Day, at a minimum, can be used as your annual check-up to diagnose and improve the health of your relationship. And like Christmas, it can also can serve as a delicate reminder of what matters most

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