I’ve certainly been on both sides of the Valentine’s debate from year to year.
I know how it feels to walk into a supermarket in search of a humble sandwich and instead, to stagger inadvertently down the dreaded Valentine’s aisle. The chocolate covered hearts and beribboned teddy bears left me feeling annoyed and pressurised. Why should I have to suffer this assault on my senses in the middle of Sainsbury’s?
For the average sentimental singleton, it’s a day to be dreaded, and I can say with confidence that I understand why. The two remaining single girls in my house share have already made plans for a ‘girl date’, culminating in a cocktail filled night out, so that they don’t have to (and I quote) “sit at home feeling sorry for themselves”. But why does this day have to be such a negative occasion for those who aren’t currently dating?
One of the crowning arguments for Valentine’s cynics everywhere is their hatred of the commercialisation of the occasion. After doing some research I’ve found out a bit about the holiday’s origins and was shocked to find that Valentine’s greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages. You’ll no doubt hear a lot of phrases being thrown about such as “Hallmark holiday”, but hardly anyone even raises an eyebrow at the extortionate amount of cash they part with to buy their relatives’ Christmas presents. The religious significance of Christmas has been lost for most people, but this doesn’t seem to dull its charm. It is an undisputed necessity to exchange gifts at Christmas time. The commercialisation of little baby Jesus’ birthday has been entirely accepted and embraced.
Life on the other side of the love curtain is a much less offensive affair. For the second year running, I feel excited instead of harassed when I see the selection of skimpy red lingerie on offer and find myself counting down the days until an enjoyable meal. Have I gained a rational perspective on the joys that February 14th has to offer? Or have I simply been brainwashed by corporate advertising now that I am in a position to partake in the festivities?
Overall, I think not. The problem with Valentine’s Day is that it has lost its original loveliness. A day to celebrate the person you love makes as much sense as having a day to honour your Mother or your Father. It is at its heart a charming occasion, and exchanging tokens of love is a fitting way to celebrate. It all just needs to be taken as less of a personal insult.
Having seen things from both sides, if I am single on Valentine’s Days to come I know I will be able to look back and think: “Well, I enjoyed the day this year and next time I’m in a relationship I’m sure I will enjoy it then, so lets not worry about it now”. There are loads of ways to make the most of the 14th on your own with friends, so if you’re single and feeling a little down about it just make it about having fun.
I’m a teensy bit jealous I can’t go to any of the club nights I’ve seen advertised, but you can’t have it all. Ultimately, I would warn single people everywhere that you might find it a little hard to justify a romantic extravaganza with your new partner next year if you spend February 14th 2014 telling everyone how much you loathe the holiday for all its commercial bullshit.
I’d love to hear what you guys think about this so please comment below!