Hand in hand St Valentine and Cupid (great image) contribute to this multi-million pound industry without even signing off on it. The names of a Saint and a God used to line the pockets of the fat cats, would they approve do you think?
At a time of year when we’re still vacuuming up the pine needles; the next onslaught of commercialised, materialistic, ‘invented’ celebration rears its ugly head. St. Valentine’s Day. Another 24 hours for the singletons to feel like social outcasts; or for those who choose to be on their own to keep justifying why they aren’t ‘looking’ for Mr/Mrs Right just now, if ever.
Again the shops are adorned with the trappings of expectation; as well as luring some in they serve as a reminder to others that an evening of ‘aloneness’ looms. For some this involves eating ice-cream straight from the tub; polishing off the last of the Baileys; weeping over Pride & Prejudice and dreaming of meeting our own Mr Darcy. Memories of my past. Nowadays I’d probably be joining an online chat for singles who laugh in the face of Valentine’s day (whilst eating ice-cream and drinking Baileys).
For others St Valentine’s Day is filled with the excitement of a possible proposal of marriage. I got engaged on Valentine’s Day when I was 23. Well, we chose to announce it on that Day having decided earlier to commit to each other; my boyfriend wanted to move back to London. Ok, I decided we had to be engaged if I was going to move away with him as I never wanted to move to London. Very romantic. It was an amazing day though, a dozen red roses (maybe it was 2, I don’t remember, I’m 50 now) sent to my place of work, balloons filled my car, so much fuss and attention bestowed on me. Lots of oooo’s and ahhhh’s as I showed off my £130 Ratners engagement ring.
There was a time when I bought into it all. When love was measured by the size of the card and flowers. I cried as girls at school clutched their wads of cards and spat the numbers at you asking “How many did you get?” In that mean, schoolgirl kind of way. And there was always one girl that you just knew had written cards to herself. I never stooped so low.
But now I am older, wiser, and a parent. I’m older and a parent anyway. I’m not bitter or resentful, I do have a boyfriend (the engagement at 23 never got as far as a wedding) who will buy me a card, and something really obscure that after a couple of drinks I will question him over (one year it was Scratch Art?!!). I don’t mind if he doesn’t, probably would rather he didn’t. An article, posted 13th February 2015, in Psychology Today stresses the importance of ‘all year round’ love; as the expectations, comparisons and magnifications actually contribute to couples breaking up in the weeks before and after Valentine’s day. Expecting great romantic gestures; comparing what others have done, especially on Social Media; and the magnification of flaws in your existing relationship.
If you are in a relationship and all, or some, of the above apply to you here is how you can avoid the pitfalls:
- Don’t let one silly day of the year put your relationship under a magnifying glass. Work on it as much as you can all year round.
- Read the article in Psychology Today for some tips on reigniting the passion you once felt for each other.
- Be realistic. Life gets in the way of love sometimes. It can’t be hearts and flowers every day.
- Don’t believe everything you see and read on Social Media.
If you are single and Valentine’s Day makes you feel lonely; it doesn’t matter which day of the year you fall in love or go on a date. You are not a social outcast, you just haven’t found anyone good enough for you yet. Learn to love yourself first and the rest will come to you.
Happy Every Day, For The Rest Of Your Life