It occurred to me this week that Valentine's Day is the perfect occasion people have to gauge how much love and romance is in their marriage because, unlike holidays tied to religion (Easter, Hanukkah) or those honoring a hero, (Veteran's Day, President's Day), this special day is designed to highlight the love relationship(s) in our lives. 

After Christmas, this Hallmark holiday holds second place for the most popular card-giving event in America. Gifts are often exchanged as well - the most common being roses, chocolates and jewelry - the same gifts that are bestowed on those who are being courted. 

In researching St. Valentine, I found several accounts of who he was and how this day came to be. One was that Valentine was a third century Roman priest who rebelled against the ruling Emperor at the time, Claudius II.  Believing that single men made the best soldiers, Claudius II forbade young men to marry. Valentine deemed the Emperor’s actions unjust and is said to have continued to marry young couples and, as a result, he was put to his death. 

Just as with most tales of romance (Romeo and Juliet, for example), those who are willing to risk their lives in the name of love become heroes. If this tale is true, Valentine is no exception. Although the origins of honoring him go back thousands of years, Valentine’s Day was not celebrated commercially in this Country until the 1840‘s.

But what do couples do if the love and romance is absent from their marriage? My guess is that many will simply ignore the day, hoping it passes by quickly. Some will exchange obligatory gifts and cards and that will be the extent of it. Of course, it’s not just the actions that matter but the sentiments behind the actions as well. 

In order to help people decipher the level of love and romance in their marriage, I’ve developed a quiz to help them gauge where they are on the Love - Romance Scale.

Answer the questions below, choosing the one answer that most closely matches your experience. Consult the score key and then add all seven scores together to get your final answer:

1. When the Valentine's Day hoopla starts (late January), you feel:
A. Excitement
B. Dread
C. Somewhere in between

2. Which of you acknowledges Valentine's Day?
A. Only I do
B. Only my spouse does
C. We both do
D. Neither of us cares about it

3. How much time & money do you spend looking for a card and gift for your spouse:
A. More than eight hours 
B. Less than eight hours 
C. No time whatsoever

4. How do you & your spouse celebrate Valentine's Day? 
A. We exchange gifts, go out on a date and/or make love 
B. We exchange gifts only 
C. We only go on a date (no gifts or cards, no making love) 
D. We only make love (no gifts or cards and no date) 
E. We don't do anything

5. If you give your spouse a card, how heartfelt is the card? 
A. I give more than one card and it's from the bottom of my heart 
B. I give one card and it is heartfelt 
C. I give one card but it is not heartfelt 
D. I don't give my spouse a card because I don't feel love or romance toward her/him

6. If you were to rate how much love and romance you felt toward your spouse, what would you rate it? 
A. Lots of love and romance
B. Lots of love, no romance
C. Lots of romance, no love
D. Some love and some romance
E. Some love or some romance
F. No love, no romance

7. If you were to rate how much love and romance you receive from your spouse, what would you rate it?
A. Lots of love and romance
B. Lots of love, no romance
C. Lots of romance, no love
D. Some love and some romance
E. Some love or some romance
F. No love, no romance

Answer key:
1. A = 2; B = 0; C = 1
2. A = 1; B = 1; C = 2; D = 0
3. A = 2; B = 1; C = 0
4. A = 3; B = 1; C = 1; D = 2; E = 0
5. A = 2; B = 1; C = 0
6. A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 2; E = 1; F = 0
7. A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 2; E = 1; F = 0

A score of:

13 - 20 means you have high levels of love and romance in your marriage
7 - 12 means you fall in the middle range (or perhaps high love/low romance or low love and high romance)
1 - 6 means you have low levels of love and/or romance
0 means you have absolutely no love or romance in your marriage

If your score is a surprise to you or you are unhappy with it, perhaps it's time to seek marital counseling.

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