LOUISE: The Love Month

      It’s the love month! Hearts. Flowers. Candy. Romance. You know the routine. But did you ever wonder how all of this started? Being a person who ponders things, I did a little investigating via the Internet. Not everyone agrees to the history and founder of Valentine’s Day, but being a romantic, I chose the most prominent legend to share.

      Saint Valentine of Rome was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the blind daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and on the evening before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed, “Your Valentine,” as a farewell.

Names to call the person you are dating      Imprisonment and executions aside, would we all be so eloquent in such a challenging moment? Would our hearts rule our actions? Would we care about the feelings of others? I think so and it was proven to me recently when a friend who is widowed posed this question. “How do you introduce a person you are dating when you are both over 50 years old? What word do you use in referring to the person?”

      Hmm. I suggested simply using the word friend. “This is my friend, ______.” Nope. He had tried that. Wasn’t quite special enough for the lady. And girlfriend? Well, that seemed a bit too juvenile. Brought up images of high school and college. We both agreed that over-50 dating is often complicated and introductions can definitely be awkward.

      And what about Valentine’s Day? Should you send flowers to someone who is little more than a friend? Take candy? Celebrate with wine at dinner? It takes a while to figure out this dating stuff.

      So back to the question. How do you introduce your date? As always, I went on a quest, searching for the proper term. I actually found a website that addressed this question. Some preferred terms were My Lady, Girlfriend, Woman, Baby, or Girl, along with My Man, Beau, Boyfriend, and Gentleman.

             I even asked Siri on my iPhone. She wasn’t much help so I turned to friends and asked the same question. Many responded to what they had heard friends use. Lady friend. Gentleman friend. How about Significant other? Think that works better for married partners. What about Sweetheart or Honey? You might call them by that name in your own privacy, but do you want to introduce her/him in this way?

      Though I didn’t come up with an exact word for this dilemma, I think I have the perfect solution. For the present time, why don’t you just call that special person in your life your Valentine? Whether it’s your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancée, or simply a friend, who could resist that title?

      Hope you enjoyed this little bit of history, humor and of course, romance.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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