Valentine’s Day. Is it the most romantic day of the year or the anniversary of a brutal massacre? As a somewhat cynical, single mom, I’m inclined to go with the latter.

Valentine’s Day trades in the most insipid clichés of romance. If you took the promotions seriously, it’s all about hothouse roses, lobster dinners, cheap champagne, teddy bears, domestic chocolates, and tacky lingerie. It’s engineered to make people feel bad.

On the other hand (where you proudly sport your wedding ring), if you aren’t single, Valentine’s Day could have a whole different, starry-eyed appeal. You might consider it an annual festival to celebrate love, friendship and admiration. Affection showers may rain down in the form of Netflix marathons, thoughtful cards, fancy meals or foot rubs.

Ok, so maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad, but building a love that lasts takes time and effort. Relationships cannot subsist on chocolate and flowers alone. Problems will arise.

• the stress of a new baby
• work exhaustion
• loss of interest in sex
• health problems
• extramarital affairs
• struggles with depression
• arguments over finances
• changes that come with retirement
• the loss of a job, an identity, or a lifelong dream

Having the tools to handle such events is the key to relationship bliss. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, don’t fret. KPCC Counseling can help. Our therapists work with couples to identify problems that are proven to destroy relationships and then use research-based techniques to turn those problems around. We may not be able to help you find your soulmate, but we can certainly help you keep him/her around.

In an effort to lift my Valentine’s Day spirits, I consulted my friend Google to get some positive perspectives on love. This is what I found:

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” – William Shakespeare

“I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” – Paulo Coelho

“I want to be one of those old couples you see still holding hands and laughing after fifty years of marriage. That’s what I want. I want to be someone’s forever.” – Rachel Gibson

“Love is not finding someone to live with; it’s finding someone you can’t live without.” – Rafael Ortiz

I mean really, if these are true – sign me up. And don’t forget my flowers.

Hopeless romantics across the globe unite,

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Take our poll and let us know. Results will be shared on KPCC’s Facebook page.