Choose Your Chocolate Wisely

Author: Michael Babienco

February 2023

What level of chocolate do you give out on Valentine’s Day? If you are a female in Japan, the social rules for giving chocolate can say a lot about how you view your relationship with another person. (As men do not typically give gifts on Valentine’s, but a month later on a different holiday, these rules do not apply to them.)

Imagine you feel you must give a gift on this special holiday but do not want to imply any romantic involvement. How about 義理チョコ, or giri (obligatory) chocolate? It is perfect for friends, coworkers and family. Whoever receives this inexpensive gift will certainly not confuse you with someone romantically interested in them.

What about that good friend of yours that you really appreciate? You are not romantically interested, but obligatory chocolate does not meet the mark either. 友チョコ, or tomo (friend) chocolate, is just what you need. Of course, whether or not you spend extra money or personalize this sweet treat is up to you.

For that special friend of yours — yes, that one who comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day — your goal is to purchase or, preferably, make 本命チョコ, or honmei (favorite or true feeling) chocolate. Take some extra time making this chocolate special and give it to the person who you want to be your sweetheart.

Regardless of whether you give or receive gifts this Valentine’s Day, always remember that your heavenly Father loved you first (1 John 4:19), so much so that He gave His Son that you might have eternal life (John 3:16). Why not make it your goal to share His love with someone else today?