In a "Me" culture Valentine's Day gets reinterprted. Love is self giving. It is other seeking; that is, it seeks out the welfare of another. It is "us" centered, in the sense that it is about two becoming one. When "me" is the sole center then there can be no true love. So on Valentine's Day there is only a serach for someone to make me feel good. The purpose of Valentine's gifts is to score.
Authentic love is not easy. It runs counter to our self-seeking impulses. Authentic love makes us vulnerable. Authentic love is sacrificial. Yet, authenitic love is also life blessing, exciting and transformative. Those who have loved and been loved call it the greatest experience of life.
Romance is certainly an aspect of such love. There is, however, so much more. Love is an echo of the Universe's Source. We read that "God is love." We read that the first commandment is to love God and the other is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. Love is tied up with the purpose of the universe. It answers, in part, the question, "Why am I here?" So Valentine's Day, which can be cheesy, or can be a farce, is also able to be the best of holidays. It can be a day when we genuinely open our hearts to the others of our lives and tell them not only that we love them, but how much they mean to us.