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Valentine's Day Has a Troubling Side

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woman on beach resizedHere’s hoping that you have a great Valentine’s Day full of love and affection. Unfortunately, there are some for whom Valentine’s Day is not a happy day at all.

In one newsletter by Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, two troubling concerns are associated with Valentine’s. First there are the wives and children who are victims of violence and abuse for whom Valentine’s Day is just another day of fear, dread and anxiety. Sheryl Cates, Executive Director of the National Domestic Violence Hotline reminds us in a Dear Abby column that these victims were hurt by people who said they loved them.

Then there are the cheaters who get caught on Valentine’s Day because they have to show up for both their lovers and spouses too. A Wall Street Journal article points out that this is why Valentine’s Day is a banner day for private investigators.

Most people don’t associate infidelity with Valentine’s Day, but it is such a sure bet that cheaters will be caught bearing gifts to the “other” person that this year will be the 8th Annual Valentine’s Day Infidelity Awareness Campaign. This campaign was started by Ruth Houston, Infidelity Columnist for Examiner.com. Her goal is to heighten public awareness of the connection between Valentine’s Day and infidelity, to call media attention to this seldom-discussed side of Valentine’s Day and to alert suspicious lovers that Valentine’s Day is the best time to get tangible proof of a cheating lover.

Out of this cheating sometimes grows enterprise. One writer was so upset at catching her husband cheating on Valentine’s Day that she started a website, www.revengelady.com to give advice on revenge, she says, so that you can bring happiness and humor back to your life.

Old-fashioned investigative techniques have been joined by high tech tools that help nail cheaters. The $199 Spark Nano Real-Time GPS Tracking Device is a 3-inch gadget that can easily be hidden in a car and broadcasts its location to a system that is accessible through the Web.

The pricier tool, the $497.50 Spy Matrix Pro, is a popular GPS for folks who worry about cheating spouses. Retailers of high tech tracking tools such as this report a spike in sales around Valentine’s Day.

Some cheaters fail to realize the long memories and far reach of social media and make catching them just too easy. When New York Republican Congressman, Christopher Lee, recently sought to hook up with a woman on Craigslist, he not only lied to her about his marital status and job, but he even sent a shirtless photo of himself. After doing a little research on him (apparently he failed to lie about his name) she learned not only that he was a sitting Congressman, but that he was very married with one child. The story spread across the media with lightening speed and lead Lee to resign within hours after it hit the news.

The syndicated reality TV show, Cheaters, that supposedly investigates and confronts cheating mates has been accused of being scripted. After a number of participants revealed that they were paid to help stage confrontations and even the stabbing of the host, we have discovered that this show, alas, has cheated.

With the overwhelming emphasis and money spent on Valentine’s Day, many have decided to attach less significance to the day. Many without mates choose to enjoy time with friends and family rather than pine over lost loves or long for the perfect mate.

The most troubling part of Valentine’s Day is that it’s the least romantic day of the year since so many commemorate it with chocolate and flowers out of obligation rather than celebration of love.

Love is kind. Love shouldn’t hurt.

“Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Elizabeth Browning

“Love is friendship set on fire.” – unknown

“To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best place to start seeking love is to love yourself. Then express your love and appreciation in words and deeds for those around you everyday, not try to heap it all on a day urged upon you by retailers. You can still celebrate Valentine’s Day, of course, but in your own creative way with people with whom you share genuine and requited love all year long.

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