Loving You, But Not In That Way Brian Unger proposes a way to include those you love -- but "not in that way" -- in Valentine's Day.

Loving You, But Not In That Way

Loving You, But Not In That Way

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Brian Unger proposes a way to include those you love — but "not in that way" — in Valentine's Day.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

Now today's Unger Report. The Valentine's Day clock is ticking down, friends. Supplies of roses and chocolate hearts and restaurant reservations, all these are dwindling. And here to help with none of it is Brian Unger.

BRIAN UNGER reporting:

Tomorrow is the one day of the year in which couples in love are required by Hallmark to say to one another, Yes, it's true, I actually do love you. Here's a card, some flowers. Let's go eat a steak in the shape of a heart.

This simple restorative ritual suspends for just one day the fear that we've wound up with the completely wrong person. But for far too long boyfriends, girlfriends and married people have had a stranglehold on Valentine's Day. It's as if Hallmark's high holiday has been reserved for only the in-love, a day of consummation, not communion. Because if you're not sharing a bed, you're not welcome.

In 2006, isn't it time to allow everyone to participate in the Valentine tradition? To say, Hey, I love you, but not in that way? Because for many, best friends are spouses, family, our most cherished loved ones. And yet for best friends, there is no holiday celebrating their partnership, and how deeply they care for each other. Non-bed-sharers make tomorrow your day to tell someone you don't love in that way that you love them. Here's how to say it without them freaking out.

Guys, you can't give your best friend chocolates or flowers. Instead, for Valentines Day, get his car detailed. You know how he likes it. Or give him a card that says, Hey, I love your tie. But add somewhere, hope my girlfriend gets me one just like it. Men can also give a buddy at the office a Valentine greeting he'll never hear from his girlfriend or wife: I love your work, Happy Valentine's Day. As a more daring gesture, gentlemen, a bit of the Bard goes a long way. Roses are red, violets are blue, hey, I'm not gay, but dude, I love you.

Ladies, there's always putting pen to paper with those three little words every woman loves to hear: your shoes rock. Or still, even more affectionate without any sexual overtones: Oh my God, I love your hair. On Valentine's Day, tell her something she'll never hear from a guy, like: Hey, let's get a map. Or: You were right. Send your boss a Valentine. Send your letter carrier a Valentine. Or a soldier. Heck, send the President a Valentine that says, I love you, sir, for not eavesdropping on me.

This Valentine's Day, let your voice be heard. Even if you have no Valentine, no friends, let alone a spouse, aim cupid's arrow at anyone. It might feel strange, but it will hurt less than a chest full of birdshot.

And that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger. I love you, Alex.

CHADWICK: Brian Unger's reports are one of many NPR features now available as podcasts. Hey, how do you get those things? Well, just go to our Web site NPR.org and we will guide you through it. More Brian available.

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