DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 1/2 years, living together for two. He says Valentine's Day is a made-up holiday to get people to spend money. I told him every holiday is geared toward people spending money.
I find myself feeling angry and hurt that I'm not receiving anything for Valentine's Day. He never buys cards or flowers for me. How do I communicate to him that this is important to me without making things worse? -- CRAVING A LITTLE ROMANCE
DEAR CRAVING: Your boyfriend may be cheap, but he also has a point. According to a report on npr.org, the celebration of Valentine's Day started in ancient Rome and contains elements of both Christian and pre-Christian religions. In the third century A.D., two men named Valentine were executed by the emperor Claudius II in different years on Feb. 14, and a few hundred years later, a pope (Gelasius I) combined St. Valentine's Day with Lupercalia -- a fertility feast -- to replace the pagan ritual. (Research this online if you wish, because I found it fascinating.) The holiday didn't become romanticized until the Renaissance.
That said, allow me to point out that there are few things more unpleasant than feeling forced to give someone a gift. If you have already discussed this with your boyfriend and he's still resistant, then instead of focusing on what you're not getting out of this relationship, try focusing on what you are getting. It may help you to feel less deprived.