Oh, Valentine’s Day. It is that time of year again when love is in the air where couples of all orientations express their undying affection for one another through PDA’s (Public Displays of Affection) and a showering of lavish gifts in the unmistakable colour of RED.
As with a flip of a coin, there’s another side to this day. For each love struck romantic looking to put their love on the line, there is the cringe faced eye-rolling cynic denouncing the holiday as a gimmick. It is individuals such as these whom Valentine’s Day equates to nothing more than Hallmark, Clinton’s and other cards sellers racking in a handsome share of profits from the sale of cards and other related products. And, let’s face it, those of us who have been unlucky enough to have been stung by rejection or have found ourselves surrounded by friends searching for opportunities to lip lock have most certainly felt the wrenching sensation whenever Valentine’s Day creeps up.
So how should you deal with Valentine’s Day?
Well, if you’re single, avoid feeling pressured to conform to societies norms of being romantically involved with another. It’s just 14th Feb, another day in the year which just so happens to be the day when many around you have made plans to shower undying love on their significant other. If this bothers you then make plans of your own; go watch a movie, cook something special for yourself or even treat yourself to something expensive. Although it is much more socially acceptable to be single in society, we find Valentine’s Day a struggle in a society of fixed ideas; just take a browse around the high street shops. The soft toys, cards and other tokens of undying affection are reserved primarily for the girlfriend, boyfriend, wife and husband. Might I remind the profiteering card companies of the many bloodline relatives in existence; parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and extended family. Buy your parents and grandparents flowers because everyone seems to forget that old people get lonely easily, especially around the holidays and they need to be reminded that they’re loved too.
As for those of you who are in the early stages of a new relationship, no Valentine’s Day this year folks. We all know that its hard enough getting to know another person without the added burden of having to deal with international love day. Take the opportunity to find activities which do not involve Valentine’s Day; volunteer at a day centre for the elderly or with children, take up a course or spend it with your single friends.
Now, for those of you seeing someone you actually like or in the early stages of a real relationship: make a real effort. Gentleman, make an effort!! Ladies, show some affection too!! Guys, at least purchase a card for your sweetheart and say nice things to her about your feelings towards her and make her feel special and pampered. Although, ideally we should all be expressing such affections daily but today make an effort, go the extra mile. Offer to prepare a meal but avoid the bare minimum sustenance meals which you would ordinarily only prepare for yourself. Ensure to set the table, use a clean table-cloth and importantly buy some flowers and good quality chocolate. I cannot stress the next point enough: TURN OFF YOUR MOBILES, LAPTOPS AND TVs!!! Today is about your sweetheart and you no matter how long or short your relationship has been. Also, try to avoid clichés today unless your sweetheart is into such things. Demonstrate that you pay attention to your partner’s particular interests and desires by planning something that is geared for your partner’s particular tastes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how far the smallest display of genuine effort and affection can stretch to. And if you are not sure, it maybe a good idea to discuss and plan the celebration you might like together; a night out or a nice intimate time or an adventurous day. This will take the pressure off the day by removing judgements and avoid disappointments through expectations.
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day whatever you do and remember to love yourself because that’s the most important.
I love you!!