02/14/2012 12:22 pm ET | Updated Apr 15, 2012

Valentine's Day: What I Really Want This Year

This Valentine's Day, forget the flowers, the chocolates, the fancy dinners or the lingerie. Forget the grand gestures. Forgo the typical.

This Valentine's Day, I want something different, something that takes a lot more effort and, most importantly, a daily choice.

This Valentine's Day, I want you to love me. Not in the way they do in fairytales or romantic comedies. Not with words. Not with promises. No, none of the stuff we've been brought up to think is love. Leave the disguises and the icing at home. I want the real stuff. Raw, true, adult love.

You can't buy this kind of love. And even if you tried, no amount of decoration or fancy wrapping can create it.

This Valentine's Day, I want you to show up when you say you will. I want you to follow through on the commitments you make. I want you to listen when I feel the need to express myself and not try to fix me or stop me when I cry.

This Valentine's Day, I want you to be honest with me and tell me the truth -- even when it's easier not to. I want you to remember to appreciate the everyday moments we have together, and not take our relationship for granted. Because sometimes it won't feel warm and fuzzy. But no matter your mood du jour, you choose to honor your commitment and devotion even during dark days.

This Valentine's Day, I want you to act with integrity and compassion, and remember to use your values compass to guide you when making life's hard decisions. And when temptation or an easier path presents itself, I want you to choose the harder road of courage rather than the easier road of escapism.

This may seem like a lot to ask, but these are the everyday things that count -- and they don't come with any fancy ribbon or wrapping. No, they come exactly as they are -- and show what really matters on Valentine's Day.


Real, true, love. Love, which is an action, a commitment and a choice you make every single day. And if that's what Valentine's Day is here to remind us of, then heck, I want Valentine's Day to be everyday.

Amy Chan is a relationship and lifestyle columnist. To read more of her blogs, visit