An old song says that "love makes the world go around." If you watch Americans on Valentine's Day， you can believe it. The whole country breaks out with little red hearts. Love-struck people give cards， flowers and candy to their sweethearts. You might call it an annual celebration of love.
Americans are romantic all year long， but especially on February 14. Valentine's Day gives people an excuse to ask someone they admire to "be their valentine."
Conversation I 会话一
Stan： Hey， Angela！ I've been looking all over for you！
Angela： Well， hi， Stan！ Happy Valentine's Day！
Stan： Thanks！ Happy Valentine's Day to you， too！ Uh， Angela……
Stan： Well， I……uh……got you a little something for Valentine's Day. Would you be my valentine？
Angela： How sweet！ The flowers are beautiful！ And you know how much I love chocolate！ Sure， I'd be honored to.
Stan： Would you like to go to the school party with me this Saturday？
Angela： Yes， I would. I'll look forward to it.
The American concept of love and romance begins with dating. Young people date in several ways. At first they might have group dates with several boys and girls together. Later， they start going on single dates-just one boy and one girl. Sometimes a boy and a girl will go to a movie. Maybe they will go to a party at a friend's house. Or they might go out to eat.
When two couples go out together， we call it double dating. A friend might even arrange a blind date for you with someone you don't know. That doesn't mean you keep your eyes closed the whole evening！ You just don't know who your partner will be until the time for the date. If someone asks you for any kind of date， and you don't want to go， you may politely say， "No， thanks."
当有两对一起出去时，我们称之为「两对式约会」，甚至朋友也会安排你不认识的人帮你相亲。所谓相亲（blind date）并不是指让你整晚都把眼睛蒙起来，而是一直要等到约会那天你才知道对象是谁。如果有人以任何一种方式约你，但你不想去，你只管礼貌地说：「谢谢 你，我不去。」
Jeff： Hi， Tanya！ Boy， it's freezing today， isn't it？
Tanya： You're not kidding！ I'm glad I'm wearing a hat and gloves！
Jeff： Yeah， you look warm all bundled up like that. Say， I was wondering， would you like to go to the Valentine's banquet with me next week？
Tanya： Well， I really don't think I can. I have other plans. Thanks for asking， though.
Jeff： That's O.K. Maybe some other time.
Tanya： Yeah. Well， here comes my bus. See you later！
Americans view dating differently from people in other cultures. American young people see a date as a time just to have fun. They don't always have a romantic interest in mind. Someone may go out with one person this week， and another person the next. After a while， a boy and a girl may decide they want to "go steady." This means they think of each other as "boyfriend and girlfriend." It also means they don't want to date anyone else. Romance is beginning to bloom.
Romantic love is very much a part of American culture. Movies， TV shows and books in America all picture people falling in love. Americans know that no romance is perfect， but still they try to find the ideal person. Actually， love is a part of every culture， not just American culture. People all over the world search for happiness in a loving relationship.
Maybe love does make the world go around.