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Love is Not Just for Valentine's Day-How Does Your Love Rate?

Updated on February 10, 2013

Mature Love

When I stand before God at Heaven’s gate and I am asked, “What have you done?” I will answer, “I have loved another with all my heart, regardless of the outcome.—Denise Handlon 2/13/2011

If you are lucky in love you are with the ‘right’ person and experience a life filled with the richness of knowing that your love is reciprocated. Unconditional love between two people brings a deep satisfaction and pleasure to one’s life. It touches the very heart and soul of those in love. It frees one to focus on other areas of life with a confidence that the love established is one of trust and dependability.

In Robert Browning’s poem: Grow old along with me he writes of a love that is long lasting; a love that ripens with age and maturity. This true love of spirit, mind and body, deepens as time goes on and surpasses the superficiality of changes that occur to the body when aging. A respect for one another and acceptance for one’s own place in the process of growing old are key components to healthy aging and continued love. Again, there is a trust that your beloved isn’t going to discard you when you no longer wear the hue of the newly blossomed rose.

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be...


When Friendship turns to Love

One of the favorite romantic comedies is When Harry met Sally. It features Billy Crystal, as Harry, and Meg Ryan, as Sally, two college grads who first meet as they embark on a long road trip together. The longevity of their comedic attraction to one another developed first into friendship and finally into recognition of their love for one another. When an awkward, ‘morning after’ the consummation of their love creates a misunderstanding and they drift apart, Harry realizes on New Year’s Eve that he can’t live without Sally, and makes this announcement to her as she leaves a crowded party.

To be truly seen by another, beyond appearances, and with all of the personality quirks and disagreements, is a wonderful gift. It is the act of being recognized for who we really are, the very essence of our being, and loved not because of what we achieve, nor for our external beauty; not for our wisdom or overall intelligence, but despite all of that and everything that gets in the way in everyday life. This is a love that leaves one feeling a warm glow inside.

When Harry Met Sally

Unrequited Love

Unrequited love, however, can evoke feelings of anxiety and depression. In situations such as these, the world seems to be populated by couples while you are the only ‘lonely’. Despite the fact that many people experience this phenomenon at some point in their lives, when it happens to you, it seems as if you are the first one who has ever experienced this heartache.

People whose love goes unreciprocated share a common bond. Perhaps they are in love with the wrong person: someone who is married or otherwise unavailable. Or, maybe they have difficulties expressing their feelings and fear rejection, so they keep their love hidden. Or, possibly, you are the one who is with the ‘wrong’ person and yearning to be with someone else, (or someone yet unknown, but hopefully soon to be discovered), such as a fantasy dream girl or guy.

In the 1987 movie: Roxanne , a modern version of the late 19th century French play, Cyrano de Bergerac, Steve Martin plays the long nosed fire chief in love with Roxanne, an astronomer played by Daryl Hannah. She thinks she is in love with the handsome firefighter, Chris McConnel, played by Rick Rossovich, who is a tongue tied buffoon when it comes to wooing women.

Just like in the original play, the movie version has C.D. ‘Charlie’ Bales writing love letters that Chris claims as his own and the unsuspecting Roxanne falls for the ruse. It isn’t until the end of this 1987 movie that the truth comes out, and in good Hollywood form, all ends happily with Roxanne and Charlie professing their love for each other.

This ending is contrary to the one playwright, Edmond Rostand wrote in 1897. In this original version Cyrano dies, never revealing the truth of the love letters to Roxanne, who suspects him despite his protests. This is one form of unrequited love.


Don't sell yourself short on love

But, what about falling out of love with another? How many stories have we heard or know personally of the professional who, following many tough years going through medical or law school, abandons the loyal love for the new found one on the way up the career ladder? Or, the situation where the spouse announces, after children are grown, that he is looking to build a relationship with someone new, younger, and dreams of ‘growing old together’ are dashed.

Is it right to continue in a relationship that has no spark or common goal? Is it fair to either party to ‘settle’ when one or the other is no longer, (if ever), attracted to the other person because of well…whatever the reason may be?

In the very popular book, He’s just not that into you, authors Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, a former writer for the Sex and the City series, offer advice to women on how to recognize and let go of a ‘go nowhere’ relationship in which one is feeling hopeful, but stuck. Realizing when love is one sided is an important skill to hone. The ability to read the signs and move on with one’s life gives you the freedom to seek a fulfilling relationship; one with someone who will reciprocate the love you have to offer.

I will wager that the reasons to stay or leave are as many as there are lovers in the world. In my opinion, it is an individual decision, but one which should be based on the integrity of the person asking the question, “am I loved, respected, and valued in this relationship? Is this relationship fulfilling my needs and heart’s desires?”

While the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, it is important to live a life that honors who we are. I am not advocating relationship hopping to find someone who will give us what we want materially or sexually. What I do suggest is to live your life truthfully and if that inner guidance is revealing something to you in which you have been avoiding looking at, by all means follow this guidance. You, and your current partner, will be happier in the long run.

Valentine’s Day, or any other holiday in which we share special moments with someone we love, are made that much sweeter knowing that we are with the love of our life. Anything short of that is merely settling.

Happy Valentine's Day


Song: Grow old along with me written by John Lennon; Sung by Mary Chapin Carpenter

When Harry Met Sally


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    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Nyamache-true and wise words. Thank you for your comments. :)

    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 

      7 years ago from Kenya

      True love is love that is unconditional. It is there throughout and it doesn't depend on circumstance or occasion. Valentine's Day should be taken as a day for couples to reflect their relationship.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you for your comments, anuramkumar. How fortunate you are in love. :) Happy Valentine's Week.

    • anuramkumar profile image


      7 years ago from Chennai, India

      Lovely hub. I just enjoyed it. Loved the first quote by Denise Handlon. Regardless of how much money you have, what is important is a person who truly loves you...I'm fortunate to say I've a person whom I also truly love and who in turn reciprocates the same.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Mary, I believe you are right. I had mine and he died of cancer in '05. Thanks for reading.

      Thanks so much for your feedback, dream seeker2. Happy Valentines Day.

      Born2care2001-thank you for your lovely comment and votes up. I appreciate that.

      Hi Linda-Thanks! Happy Valentine's Day to you, too.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      This hub is so filled with L.O.V.E! Happy Valentines Day!!!

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      7 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Denise!

      Wonderfully warm hub filled with emotional backbone! I absolutely adore your quote. Perhaps God knew you were one who would appreciate the love and commitment of another human being in the same way you give it. I'm certain it isn't luck however, and it isn't earned. It's because you are one who loves...and like attracts like!

      Again, wonderful hub. Voted up +++

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love this hub! : ) Also the movie: 'When Harry Met Sally'. Thanks for sharing your spin on love and our often wished for, but not always gotten 'soulmate'. I am happy to hear there are those out there who have been fortunate to find their one true love. Voted up and awesome!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      I believe we have one true love in our lifetime (I could be wrong). I had my one true love, the father of our four children. He died in 1988, and I never the chance to grow old with him, sadly.

      This is a beautiful article. Voted it UP, and will share.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Jerry-thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this hub. I do admire the new marriage that you and Kally have with each other. Your advice is sound.

      Hi Tammy-thanks for reading and commenting. I do miss John...not just Valentine's Day, but most every day. I miss his encouraging words and his laughter. My loss, but there is nothing to do but continue on.

      Stephanie, thank you for sharing your experience with that wonderful sentiment. How lovely that you have gifted your husband with it on a sundial!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      "Grow old along with me" has always touched a special place in my heart. Years ago I gave my husband a sundial inscribed with that saying, and just today, many years later, I saw it on our patio wall. Sentimental as it sounds, the quote is a lovely comment on enduring love, and I love the way you incorporated it into your hub. Very beautiful, Denise!

    • tammyswallow profile image


      8 years ago from North Carolina

      I am so sorry for your loss and can imagine Valentine's Day is very difficult for you. I can't say that I know what that is like. It breaks my heart to watch so many couples, especially with children, throw away their relationships because they think the grass is so much greener on the other side. This is a very wonderful reminder for Valentines Day and everyday. Bravo!

    • profile image

      Jerry Handlon 

      8 years ago

      Great blog. I would consider Kally and I to be in the "lucky few" category. Never a fight, always touching, intimate in our thoughts, hopes and dreams and in our communication. We both came out of hurtful and contemptuous previous marriages, and we are committed to the opposite kind of that is rooted in love and respect. It seems easy, but it's not. There is one key ingredient in most relationships that is lacking in ours, and that is "criticism". It is a love killer. If I could counsel any one thing to hurting couples, it would be to eliminate this from your life. If you want to criticize the love of your life, ask yourself "why?". You are not perfect, so please, allow your lover to be imperfect. Remember that you once felt that that person was the most precious treasure in your life, and start to treat them like that again!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Dear Cara-thank you my dear. You are a sweet and sensitive daughter. Much love to you. :)

      Lady G-sadly, many people seem to have that problem. The richness of true love has an intimacy and maturity to it. Thanks for your comment.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      9 years ago from West By God

      There is a saying something like if you lost them, they weren't your's to begin with. If your lover has found someone else then be happy for them. We do not own them so it is more trust for ourselves and not another. Unconditional--no strings attached, no ownership or posession of another. Jealousy is just a mask we use when we don't trust the person that we are.

    • cardelean profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      I love this hub on love. It is both beautiful and touching. I know that love will find it's way to you.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you so much, Viryabo, for your kind comments. I appreciate the thought that this could be an 'evergreen' hub. :) Thanks for visiting and leaving your feedback.

      I agree that a mature love is unconditional and goes beyond the superficial beauty that fades. I had a love like that once, however, my husband died in 2005. I have been in a different relationship which has just ended because of this very issue. One cannot be what one is not and if the body does not cooperate with the image another has...well, there is much heartache to pretend what isn't.

      I appreciate your thoughts on the subject.

    • viryabo profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a beautiful piece Denise, one i can identify with.

      I always remember the quote "love, than death itself, more strong" from a song we used to sing when we were young (i still do).

      Unconditional love will make the world a much better place, if only we can practice it. It shouldn't be for any reason, finance, stability or security. It should be pure and simple, and un explainable.

      I missed this hub during valentine, but nonetheless, its a piece thats relevant forever. I say it's evergreen.

      Growing older with a spouse, slight wrinkles, sagging skin and all, is soothing and comforting, and knowing you both still feel the same way (certainly in a more matured way),for each other is by a special Grace from God which we must be thankful for every day.

      You are a great writer and inspiration flows so beautifully from you.

      Article rated up. Its beautiful.


    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Peggy. I congratulate you and your husband in the longevity of your marriage. Thanks for leaving your comments.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      So sorry to hear that you lost your beloved husband. This was a wonderful hub about Valentine's Day and true love. Loved the last video in particular. My husband and I have passed our 40th wedding anniversary last October and intend to keep growing old together. Up and beautiful rating.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello ImChemist-thank you for visiting my hub. I appreciate you vote. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

    • ImChemist profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice and awesome hub , i rated awesome.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Lady G-thanks for sharing your experience. It is truly freeing to let go of jealosy...but, this comes with trust. When we learn to trust the one we are with; when the person we are with is worthy of our trust...

      acaetnna-your husband sound like a wonderfully romantic man. Lucky you. Thanks for visiting the hub. :)

      Hi Manny-you are so right. Acceptance is the key. If we cannot accept the person as is, and attempt to change him or her, well, why are we even with them then? Thanks for your comments.

    • mannyrolando profile image


      9 years ago

      Wonderful hub... love is so many different things to so many different people. We have to first accept the person that we are with exactly as he/she is. The last thing that we want to do is try and change another person, that never ends well.

    • acaetnna profile image


      9 years ago from Guildford

      Ah - let's all find true love and grow old together. This is a great hub. Valentine's Day should be every day as my wonderful husband is always telling me. We need to love ourselves and then this love will be reflected towards others. Love can definitely snowball and we can all experience it in one way or another. Thanks Denise for sharing your words.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      9 years ago from West By God

      Thanks for pointing me to your hub. Love is easy when there are no expections. Love is not being jealous of others. I learned this from my husband. I didn't know how to love without being jealous, but you can and it is fresh and free. That is what I conside to be unconditional love. I liked the video at the end.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Tracy-Glad you enjoyed the hub. When Harry Met Sally is also one of my favorites. I've watched it so many times and each time I enjoy it just as I did the first time.

    • Tracy Gregory profile image

      Tracy Gregory 

      9 years ago

      When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies!!! Very thoughtful yet entertaining hub. Thanks Denise!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Ed77Burns-thanks so much for reading the hub and commenting. I appreciate it.

      RichERich-I salute you and your 'plentiful supply' of love ready to be deployed. I hope you find the one that will be a willing and worthy receiver. Thanks for commenting and nice to meet you. :)

    • RichERich1175 profile image


      9 years ago

      Well, I'm still searching for love but this hub certainly touched on many of my ideals about love. However, I'd say my love rates high because its there in plentiful supply ready to be deployed. Thank you for this lovely hub.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Truly lovely hub!!Just awesome!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Colin, thanks for visiting this hub and commenting. Always welcome here and I always appreciate your feedback. I'm with you on the negative side of the equation re: romantic love. And, I'm going thru some bumps in the road in my personal life. But, it will all balance out in the's just a phase I hope.

      I am in complete agreement about the 'special' day. If you are lucky you have a year round valentine. Best to you.

    • epigramman profile image


      9 years ago

      ...well my love does not rate too well right now - if you're talking about romantic love - but I truly love your hub subject and the labor of love you put into it!

      And please accept my best wishes, even if it's a bit late, because let's face it - this 'day' is all year round - but Happy Valentine's day - and I sincerely hope you are doing well and that you're healthy and happy!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Eiddwen-so good to see you again. I think of you often and hope all is well. Thank you for your kind comments.

      Hi Lene-Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. You're a sweetheart. God Bless.

      Vydyulashashi-Thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree whole heartedly. you are right. I love affection and that is one thing my husband had a lot of. He was very romantic and demonstrated his affection easily. I sure do miss that! Hope you have a special someone to share that love with.

    • vydyulashashi profile image


      9 years ago from Hyderabad,India

      Great hub.

      In love what matters is affection and not perfection. We have to accept our partner as they are.

      God Bless You!

    • Lene Lynn profile image

      Lene' Lynn St. John 

      9 years ago from Glendale, AZ

      HI Denise,

      Great hub...I am so sorry you lost the love of your life. I pray to God I never lose mine. I appreciate your writing and enjoyed the videos as well...take good care of yourself and thanks so much for stopping by to read my hubs! I am greatly humbled...:)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      Hi Denise,

      When it takes ages to get to the final comment you know you're going to read something special and i was not dissapointed.

      Beautiful and yes through all the cruelty in this world it is so heartening to see that love is still shining through.

      I push all the buttons on this one.

      Thank you for sharing Denise!!

      Take care


    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello GG-thanks for taking the time to read the hub and comment. I appreciate your 'vote'. Glad you enjoyed.

      You are doing very well here...great work.

    • gypsumgirl profile image


      9 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

      Thank you, Denise, for your inspirational writing. What a beautiful piece. You have a way of bringing it all together...great video by the way. Voted beautiful...because it absolutely is!

      Happy Valentine's Day!!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Genna-thanks for reading and adding your thoughts about this wonderful subject: Love. Happy Valentine's Day.

      Hi Pam-How are you? I agree-communication is sooo important in any relationship. Thanks for your vote up. :) Happy Valentines Day.

      Awww Patti-don't cry, LOL Happy Valentines Day to you.

      Bmalin-I agree with you. It isn't enough to make a few days a year 'special' if you are callous and inconsiderate during other days of the year. Thanks for visiting the site and commenting. Happy Valentine's Day to you, too.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Gail, Yes-five years now. It seems the 'anniversary grief' hits every year as well. That is what my hub 'Unresolved Grief' (back in October) was in reference to. Thanks for your comments. When the time is right, I suppose. Right now, my focus is to help my nephew get through the rest of his h.s. years.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      9 years ago

      Fun Hub for Valentine's Day Denise, along with two good Video's.. Who doesn't remember when Harry met Sally. Lots of good advise in your Hub. I'll add, treat your partner or loved ones "special" all year round...and you will reap the rewards...and Never Settle for Second Best... Thanks for sharing.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile image


      9 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      I am humbled as a writer by reading where are my Kleenex...

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Denise, I really enjoyed your hub on love and the videos were a lovely added touch to illustrate your points. Through the years I think its acceptance and good communication which will keep your love alive. We all go through good times and bad times but in the end if for going through them together the bond of love makes life so much easier. Voted/rated up.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I loved this hub. Browning's poem is one of my favorites too, and I am so pleased to see it included here. Love has many faces, but its spirit can never be diminished if we are indeed true to ourselves. Well done, and heartfelt. Thank you and bless you, Denise.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      I didn't know you were a widow. God bless you all the more for writing this beautiful Valentine's hub for your fellow hubbers. You have a big open heart despite your loss, which is rare and hard to do. May you find romantic love again at some time in the future, meanwhile I admire the life of service that you're leading through your work and writings on Hubpages.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi QudsiaP1-nice to meet you. Love is complicated, or very simple because in the end WE are love and Love is everything--not in the esoteric sense of it, but in the reality of all that is. It is the 'romantic' love that makes it complicated. However, staying focused on our own hearts needs will make it easier to figure out. If it isn't congruent with what that is or who we are...well, time to take a look at why we are in that relationship. Your true heart knows...that is the compass to guide you. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Hi Carrie-How are you? I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Happy Valentine's Day to you also. I agree. It is a warm consolation to grow old with a good companion. Take care.

    • carrie450 profile image


      9 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      What a beautiful hub Denise. If only we could all find true love and grow old together. I like the last video. Happy Valentine's Day to you.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image


      9 years ago

      Love is a complicate emotion, you remain in doubt always about whether you are keeping your loved one happy still you know exactly every thing that does brighten their day.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Gail--Happy Valentines's Day to you. I know you are with your sweetheart so that is all you really need. I agree about 'mature' love vs young love. My late husband used to say those to lines from the Browning poem. I miss him like crazy on days like this...he was a romantic like me. Thanks for your comments.

      Will-nice to see you here. I know what you mean...sometimes the lessons are later learned, but at least they are learned. Thanks for reading and commenting. God Bless...

    • WillStarr profile image


      9 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Love is not about expecting; it's about accepting.

      Why do we love and accept our children without condition but expect each other to measure up?

      It took me a long time to realize that the one who was lacking was me.

      Very good Hub Denise.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Great hub. I especially loved the video at the end, because I find that growing old along with the one you love is such a beautiful blessing and much richer than young love.

      I also liked the way you used movies to get your points across.

      Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day.


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