An Expanded View of Valentine’s Day: Going Beyond the Romantic to Celebrate the Breadth of Your Love

Posted on Feb. 10, 2005 at 8:25 a.m.

By: Daniela Abbott


By: Daniela Abbott

Whether you’re in a committed relationship, dating, single by choice, widowed or single by circumstance, if we broaden the definition of love, Valentine’s Day can be a day of multiple celebrations- of the relationships that make you feel alive, and the activities that engage you passionately. 

In the Seed Project, we encourage you to expand your “language of love” to the words suggested by Claudio Bepko and Joanne Krestan, in their book, Singing At The Top Of Our Lungs.  The authors conceptualize love as a “…complex energy, embodying  passion, empathy, attention, compassion, care, commitment, delight, connectedness, etc.”    While the Bee Gees ask “How Deep Is Your Love?” and the Temptations declare, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,”  in both cases, the lyrics refer to the lengths we go to when we’re “in love” or pursuing love; in both cases, they’re talking about romantic love.

Unfortunately, our common, cultural language of love seems to limit us to just this—the pursuit and maintenance of romantic love.  Yet, if we can challenge the framework and get beyond the current definition, we are then free to open ourselves to the larger world of loving- i.e., the concrete qualities that allow us to stay in loving relationships and/or commit to our passions and interests over a lifetime. 

If you feel like it, take a moment and think about your current interests and relationships. Which of them embody one or more of these qualities? 

  • Empathy
  • Attention
  • Compassion
  • Care
  • Commitment
  • Delight
  • Connectedness
  • Passion   

Now, RUSH to the nearest Hallmark store and buy a Valentine’s card for each person and  a keepsake for each passion.  Just kidding!  In fact, it’s not likely that these qualities are fully represented in current card collections or collectibles.  However, you CAN make a mental note of the love in your life, the breadth of it, your aliveness beyond the world of romance, and, if so inspired, choose to acknowledge this love in a way that suits YOU.

February 14th is YOUR DAY OF LOVE, and it is your right to recognize love in as broad a fashion as you possibly can.  Why not? What do you have to lose?!

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day and all the passion, empathy, attention, compassion, care, commitment, delight, and connectedness your heart can hold and your spirit can give--  to you,  your interests, and to those you love.


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