Valentine's Day, like Christmas, has its critics. Some of those decry how commercial the special day is. Others are students of history who know that the romantic love it celebrates is nothing but a man-made concept which has raised the expections of human beings beyond what our species is capable of.
In PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, Lubomir Lamy chronicles the evolution of the pairing off of people into economic units from arranged marriages to the notion created in the Middle Ages of intense feelings between those parties. French poets helped move that concept along into the mainstream. Soon enough, love became a prerequisite for entering into a marriage.
Today, of course, the feelings associated with romance are what those in Western nations have been socialized to chase. On this Valentine's Day society might reflect if it is time to toss this notion for less volatile and enduring ones such as economic utility, mutual respect, and trust.