Dear Shannon, I feel I must apologise for pulling the wool over your eyes. When I told you that I make love like Vin Diesel’s hit movies, I’m not sure “Dull and Repetitive” is quite what you had in mind. I realise that I can be quite vague when we communicate. I’ll often tell you that something is “nice”. Dinner was nice. Your hair looks nice. Oh, she’s just an old friend, but she’s really nice. I’m guilty of being nondescript at the best of times, when language is such a beautiful thing. The same words inherit endless meanings that are left to be interpreted in peculiar and often unintentional ways. “Nice” is lazy, it’s ugly, yet it’s thrown around these days like dollar bills at a highly respectable gentleman’s club. The same goes for Love.

Love has become a four letter word so overused that it’s meaning has been diluted. It’s been stripped away of everything that made it special and sold to the world for commercial gain. Reboots, spin-offs, sequels. Love has been abused by Hollywood and left as a shadow of itself. So, how do I express my feelings for you when the perfect word is no longer adequate? I thought about this long and hard the other day between watching all the Lego Batman trailers and searching for memes on the Internet, and I figured that the best way to explain is to redefine the very word itself.

To me, love is a commitment to shower more than once a week. It’s making doctor’s appointments for your husband because he has an irrational fear of receptionists. Love is taking a bullet grazed knee to protect the one that you care about. It’s rooting for your husband’s team, regardless of the dreamboat wearing number 7. Love is sharing all the things that make you the person you are. It’s a gentle pat on the back from a safe distance when you’re feeling unwell. Love is laughing hysterically together, without having to speak a single word. It’s looking at the other person and seeing everything that makes you happy.

Love is all of these things, but above all else, it is a feeling of unconditional warmth and affection. Ignoring the broader sense of the word, this is what I mean each time I put those three syllables together. I love you. Having said all that, I did share the marital bed with a beautiful slice of chocolate gateaux. I want you to rest assured that it was the briefest moment of weakness that only happened the once a handful of times, just believe me that I thought about you the entire night.

A four letter word to some, to me, love speaks a thousand. I’m glad to have found someone to share such an honest feeling with. Valentine’s day splits opinions each year like the infamous white and gold dress. Some people saw white and gold and the rest were wrong… yet, for many reasons, we all have different feelings towards the holiday. Love it or hate it, we’re all perfectly entitled to feel the way we do.

What I believe we can all agree on is that love is something worth shouting about, and today is the day that we shout the loudest. I love you, Shannon. Let this always be a reminder of exactly what that means.