For a day that is all about love, Valentine’s Day sure elicits a lot of negative feelings. Poll after poll suggests that if people celebrate it they do so out of a sense of obligation rather than any Valentine’s Day spirit. I get it. No one likes the implication that if they don’t buy just the right cheesy card or expensive chocolates then they’re not a loving partner. Or if you’re single, the day might just serve as a reminder of that. But love doesn’t have to be about candy or well-rhymed sentiments to one special person. In positive psychology, Love is identified as a character strength in which one “values close relationships with reciprocal caring and sharing.” It falls under the virtue of Humanity which is defined as “interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others.” So what if you made the holiday about caring and sharing and tending and befriending everyone you care about? At least this rhyme is supported by positive psychology instead of Hallmark. Hugs are free and unlimited. Hand them out generously this Valentine’s Day.


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