365 day are my
"Knowledge about the likes, dislikes and emotional needs of one's partner
is a major key to a successful love life."
Valentine's Day may not have been very popular amongst Thais in the past, but that's not the case anymore. Today, most Thais recognise the day and associate it with their romantic relationships. However, not many people realise that this special day was reputedly first introduced to honour a priest named St Valentine. His death during the Roman era for secretly marrying soldiers against the emperor's orders showed his love for mankind.
Today Valentine's Day means different things to different people. To business people, this Season of Love is an opportunity to make more money. They are ready to use all types of marketing techniques to boost sales and spur consumption. Teenagers, in particular, normally spend quite a lot of money on this day as they seem to take the event seriously.
Actually, love should be celebrated every day and not just on this day. Valentine's Day was introduced to remind people not to forget the significance of love. For the same reason, there is also Family Day, Day for the Elderly, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Children's Day and more, to remind people to pay more attention to important people around them.
Everyone has many roles to play. A man can be a father, an uncle to his sibling's children, a grandfather. This very same person can also be a supervisor to a subordinate. A woman too, has many roles to play. For all these roles, love is always involved.
However, most marketers target only teenagers and young people for their campaigns. Hence young, romantic love dominates Valentine's Day. Teens have intense feelings and strong passion.
However, the romantic relationships are different from blood relationships. For blood relationships, we cannot choose whom one wants to be with, but with a romantic relationship we can.
Love for someone who is not blood-related allows us to feel very special. There is also an element of apprehension involved because we cannot be sure whether the love will blossom or abruptly end.
Romantic relationships are also a symbol of adulthood. Romantic love is not wrong as long as we embrace it at the right time. Yet we must be mature enough to deal with such relationships. Without proper planning, family problems may arise and careers may be ruined. A promising future may be lost forever as lovesickness can lead to serious problems such as depression or even suicide. We read about these sad events often in newspapers.
This Valentine's Day, young couples who have just started dating should realise that they need time to get to know each other more. Knowledge about the likes, dislikes and emotional needs of one's partner is a major key to a successful love life.
For young people who still have not found their Valentine, do not despair. There is no need to envy couples who are in love or ask yourself why you have not yet found the love of your life.
On this occasion, you can love yourself, your colleagues, your parents, your relatives and fellow human beings. This will definitely make you feel good about yourself.
More importantly, you should realise that the day of love does not fall on Feb 14. In fact, it falls on every day of your life, 365 days a year.
There are simple tips about how to enjoy a happy love life. First of all, you must manage your emotions well and respect your partner. Communicate with each other to create understanding and learn about your partner's character. Then, you should respect his or her opinions and not intrude too much into his or her privacy. You should trust your partner and avoid apportioning blame.
Last but not least, you should be co-operative whenever possible.
If you know how to nurture your love, you will definitely have a secure, and loving relationship.
BangkokPost, myfamily February 11-17, 2010
By Dr Kraisit Naruekhatpichai is a psychiatrist at Manarom Hospital