Tag Archives: real life romance

history of valentine's day

Valentine’s Day Is Here Again, So Let’s Have Some Fun

history of valentine's day

Valentine’s Day: A Tale of Love, Laughter, and Maybe a Little Bit of Madness

Ah, Valentine’s Day–a day dedicated to showering our loved ones with affection and appreciation. February 14th is when couples express their love for one another through acts of kindness, gifts, and special moments shared.

But have you ever wondered where this love-filled holiday came from? Well, buckle up, folks, because it’s time for a hilarious journey through the history of Valentine’s Day, which dates back to ancient times.

love on the seashore
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Origins of Valentine’s Day: When Love and Fertility Collided

In ancient Rome, there was a festival called Lupercalia, which was held in mid-February to celebrate the Roman God of fertility, Lupercus. The festival was a wild and crazy time for couples to exchange gifts.

In addition, young men drew women’s names from a box to be paired up for a few weeks. Yup, you read that right. This practice became known as a matchmaking tradition that was just one step away from the modern-day version of “The Bachelor.”

But wait, it gets even better! As the Roman Empire declined and Christianity spread throughout, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day in 496 AD.

Saint Valentine was a Catholic priest who lived in Rome during the third century. According to legend, he performed secret marriages during a time when the Roman Empire banned marriages.

Saint Valentine was later executed for his actions and became known as the patron saint of love and affection. Talk about going above and beyond for love!

Over time, the celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day became more popular and spread throughout Europe. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the tradition of exchanging love letters became popular and eventually gave rise to the practice of sending Valentine’s Day cards.

By the early 15th century, Valentine’s Day had become a recognized holiday and was celebrated in various ways throughout Europe.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day Worldwide: Love knows no boundaries

Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated all around the world, with each country putting its own unique twist on the holiday.

In the United States, it is a time for couples to express their love and affection through gifts such as chocolates, flowers, and jewelry. Couples may also spend the day together, enjoying a romantic meal or participating in special activities.

Single people celebrate it, too, in a variety of creative ways. Friends come together either and celebrate “Anti-Valentines Day” with horror movie marathons, at-home spa events, or solo dance-offs.

Japan and South Korea celebrate Valentine’s Day as a time for women to express their love. They show appreciation to the men in their lives through gifts and acts of kindness. It is also common for women to give gifts to their female friends to show their gratitude for their friendship.

In some countries, such as Italy, Valentine’s Day is a time for couples to renew their love and commitment to one another. It is traditional for couples to exchange gifts and exchange love letters. In many cities, there are special events and festivals that are held in honor of Saint Valentine.

No matter where you are in the world, Valentine’s Day is a time to show those special people in your life just how much they mean to you. And what better way to do that than with a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, and a love letter written in crayon?

funny valentine's day
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Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

Valentine’s Day has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. It’s been a wild and crazy ride, from the days of Roman fertility gods to its recognition as a holiday honoring Saint Valentine, to the sweet and sentimental day we currently know and love as a cherished tradition.

Whether you’re spending the day with your significant other or celebrating with friends and family, Valentine’s Day is a time to let your loved ones know just how much they mean to you.

And remember, love may be a many splendored thing, but laughter is the best medicine. So have a little fun and make this Valentine’s Day one for the books!

love and laughter
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Funny Love Quotes

“I love being married. It’s so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” —Rita Rudner 

“If you love them in the morning with their eyes full of crust, if you love them at night with their hair full of rollers, chances are, you’re in love.” —Miles Davis

“Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.” —Phyllis Diller

“By all means, marry; If you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.” —Socrates

“Valentine’s Day is when a lot of married men are reminded what a poor shot Cupid really is.” —Anonymous

“Love is a lot like a backache, it doesn’t show up on x-rays, but you know it’s there.” — George Burns

“The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing.” —Blaise Pascal 

“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” – Joan Crawford

“Love is being stupid together.” —Paul Valery

“It wasn’t love at first sight. It took a full five minutes.” —Lucille Ball

“Love is a two-way street constantly under construction.” —Carroll Bryant

“Love is something sent from heaven to worry the hell out of you.” —Dolly Parton

“You know how people say, ‘You can’t live without love’? Well, oxygen is even more important.” — Dr. Gregory Houser

“If I love you, what business is it of yours?” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“I like to say there are certain things you can’t take back: One of them is ‘I love you,’ and one of them is bullets.” —Nathan Fillion

“Save a boyfriend for a rainy day—and another, in case it doesn’t rain.” —Mae West

“I love you no matter what you do, but do you have to do so much of it?” —Jean Illsley Clarke

“Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.” —Jules Renard

valentine's day ideas

24 Super Sweet Valentine’s Day Ideas for Couples & Friends to Enjoy

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day can be a fun day (or night). Here are 12 ways couples and 12 ways friends can appreciate this day dedicated to love together.

valentine's day activities

12 Romantic Valentines Day Ideas for Celebrating This Year

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with your partner is special, no matter what activities you engage in. But if you’re looking for something unique or are stumped for ideas, we’ve got a dozen off the tops of our heads that might thrill you!

  1. Taste finger foods or desserts together.
  2. Write love letters to each other and exchange them over a candlelit dinner.
  3. Make a surprise scavenger hunt for your partner, with clues leading to a special gift or sexy surprise.
  4. Plan a surprise weekend getaway to a romantic location, such as a cozy cabin in the mountains or a beachfront resort.
  5. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
  6. Take a dance class together and learn a new style of dance.
  7. Have a movie night at home and watch sexy films together. We recommend Secretary starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
  8. Cook a romantic dinner together at home, with candlelight and soft music.
  9. Read your favorite romantic passages from romance novels to each other. See who can last the longest: who gets turned on first… or who laughs first!
  10. Have an erotic game night at home with your favorite board games or card games, only the loser of each round strips off a piece of their clothing!
  11. Plan a surprise picnic in a picturesque location or indoors. Make clothing optional.
  12. Recreate your first date. If you can’t make it to the same destination, recreate it at home with what ever’s handy!
valentine's day activities for friends
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12 Activities for Friends to Enjoy on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to get together with friends and celebrate the day of love. Here are 12 fun activities that you and a friend can do together to make the holiday special.

  1. Get ready for a movie marathon featuring romantic comedies or romantic films.
  2. Put your cooking skills to the test and whip up something special together.
  3. Take a day trip taking pictures of your hometown’s or nearby cities’ tourist attractions.
  4. Pamper yourself and your bestie with an at-home spa day that includes pedicures, manicures, and facials.
  5. Dine out at a fancy restaurant. You’re guaranteed a great night out with your BFF as your date.
  6. Throw a crafting party and make some DIY gifts together, such as a scrapbook or photo album, to remember your special moments together.
  7. Enjoy a game night with friends, whether tabletop games, RPGs, or video games!
  8. Spend some quality time volunteering together in the community.
  9. Learn a new hobby like dancing or cooking together.
  10. Explore nature on a hike surrounded by tranquil scenery.
  11. Go out for a night of dancing or karaoke. Be silly, go wild and have fun!
  12. Sample different wines or cocktails for a memorable tasting experience!

Your Opinion

How will you be spending this Valentine’s Day? Will your date be with your romantic partner or your best friend? Or will you be relaxing with yourself? Or is Valentine’s Day just another day on the calendar for you?

Please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance!

What Matters in Marriage: Wealth, Looks, Age, or Status?

“Real Life” Romance Isn’t Always Romantic

Besides talking about romance in fiction, at Sweet Savage Flame, we’re touching on romance in real life. In this latest entry to our “Real Life Romance” discussion, we’re addressing the issue of what men and women search for in life partners. As members of two sexes, are we hard-wired to seek out mates for different reasons? What does the role of society and government play in relationships? Is love impossible in real life and merely a game of giving and taking?

(Note: This article speaks in generalities. It in no way presents a complete picture of the complicated relationship issues between men and women.)

What Do Men & Women Want in Partners?

If you’re brave enough to delve into the depths of the manosphere, you’ll hear a lot of talk about hypergamy, usually as an invective against females. Female hypergamy is the idea that women choose mates from a more established background, be it social, financial, and/or educational. This is both to improve their rank in society and ensure their children will be provided for.

Those in “red-pilled” circles claim that human males are innately polygamous, and only societal pressures keep them faithful. They also claim hypergamy doesn’t apply to men. Reality is far more complex.

Some men (and women) choose not to settle down, preferring a rotating field of multiple sexual partners. Often there are no expectations of a committed relationship. Other men (and women) seek out companionships because they enjoy the company of an intimate partner. They can be serial monogamists or even choose to mate for life.

Men are hypergamous, but not in the way women are. While women look for partners with greater wealth, power, fame, stability, etc., in many cases, men seek females who are more attractive than they are, and to a certain extent, younger.

However, these are not hard and fast rules because the environment plays a significant role, along with an inconvenient emotion we humans are afflicted with. Love.

a man carrying a woman
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Monogamous Cultures

In a civilization with a large middle class and comfortable-living standards that almost all adults can achieve, other factors come into play when choosing a life partner. Will the male stick around to help care for the children? Does he equitably distribute the fruits of his labor with his family? Is he even-tempered, faithful, affectionate? Are the two partners sexually attracted to one another? And have they formed a pair-bond, i.e., love?

Of course, this is not a perfect scenario, as infidelity and divorce exist. Yet American divorce rates are not the highly inflated 50% many claim. First marriages have a 65% chance of lasting until death, so around one-third end in divorce. Second marriages–where a partner was previously divorced–go the other way, with 65% terminating in the courtroom.

Upper & middle-class Americans have a divorce rate of about 30%. On the other side, divorce rates skyrocket for the working and lower classes, at 41% & 46%, respectively. Fewer upper & middle-class pairings result in children born outside of marriage (only 13% compared to 36% working class, 64% poor).

Polygamous Cultures

In a culture where few men have the financial means to provide for a family or lack the desire to be active fathers in their children’s lives, the government–or whoever controls the system–must provide for these needy children and women.

Poor women have about double the fertility rates of upper and middle-class women. One can argue about access to sex education and birth control, but other issues are at play besides those. When poor families are denied welfare benefits because they consist of a two-parent household, it’s not surprising to see marriage rates decline.

Of course, romantic entanglements will still occur, human nature being what it is. In numerous cases, women choose men not necessarily for income status or stability but for perceived social status. Good looks, an “Alpha” demeanor” (i.e., confidence, strength, independence), and how many other women he attracts all hold great allure. Men on the lower echelons are faced with few dating options within their community.

In a civilization where only a few men have access to wealth and status, women must compete harder for a “high-quality mate.” This leads to polygamy, be it sanctified by law or religion or simply a casual pairing-up. Women have a lower social status in polygamous societies than in monogamous ones. They must share a husband and father with other females and their progeny. Increased divorce percentages, concubinage, lower marital rates, a high number of single-parent homes are symptoms of an environment that does not value monogamy–be it serial or life-long.

man and woman looking at earch other
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How Reality Relates to Romance

Promoters of Game Theory treat dating as an antagonistic interaction where one person tries to get the better of another person. This need not be so. Dating, or courting, if you prefer, is not a calculated exchange of sex for money or youth for stability. Two people can share mutual enjoyment in each other’s company for whatever reasons. They may cherish one another so strongly they wish to spend their lives together. Not out of primal necessity or utility, just a desire to share joy.

While we humans are animals and evolutionary mating habits still hold residual sway, technological, medical, and social advancements have changed the playing field. In a culture that has a thriving middle class where basic requirements are easily met, a woman need not have a partner who out-earns her. Declining birth rates are not always a sign of a society in peril but may signify value for long-term investments in relationships and child care.

Selecting the best partner for yourself is more than just choosing big muscles, a fat wallet, or a tiny waist and late birth year.

Carnal pursuits will always drive some people, yet others may have little interest in them, preferring a solitary existence. In between these groups are those folks searching for a special someone.

Few enter into commitments with a pessimistic outlook. There’s hope that perhaps this person is the “one.”

Whether readers of romance novels expect pure fantasy or some grit in their books, we all seek love stories that end optimistically.

That spark of hope is what brings comfort, no matter what our realities are.