Ignoring the first sixteen Valentine’s Days I spent without a partner, for obvious reasons, this year will be my first as a singleton. Am I dreading it? Not particularly. Will I feel the urge to go get stupidly drunk and drown away my sorrows? I doubt it. Will I be sobbing uncontrollably into my pillow? No way.
That being said, this article certainly is not going to be glittered with bitter, tongue-in-cheek references stating that Cupid’s big ol’ day is a huge rip off supported by huge corporations hoping to rinse the dough-eyed individuals out there… Even if it is true.
I think we all have that one ‘black hearted’ friend who despises Valentine’s Day and repeats on more than one occasion that they are “perfectly fine by myself thank you.” If you don’t, you are probably that friend. Sorry.
They may be right to an extent, and the holiday itself can get a bit too much, but the only thing worse than Valentine ’s Day is someone who hates Valentine’s Day.
Let’s face it. They are right. Realistically, Valentine’s Day is a capitalists dream. It is a known fact that restaurants whack up their prices for the night and you end up paying three times as much for something that is three times smaller than its usual size.
Last year, my then boyfriend took me to a lovely little Italian restaurant. We got crammed in to the upper floor like cattle and I had to choose from an extremely limited menu. But it’s okay, because that included a glass of Sangria each, so it made up for the fact we were practically being robbed. Or not. Seriously though, who even drinks that stuff?
Also, I don’t think it matters whether you are a singleton or half of a loved-up couple. It boils down to personal taste too. Last year I was in a relationship, this year I am not. Having to basically re-mortgage your home in order to pay for a three course meal at a slightly fancier restaurant is absolutely absurd, whether it is in mid-February or the end of September. Did it seem like a feasible idea back then? No. Does it now? You guessed it, no.
I think the concept behind the day though is really great. It is about two people who love each other making the time and effort to demonstrate this to their loved one. In a world where we are constantly busy – or procrastinating on our smart phones, we sometimes forget that it is important to make time for the most important people in our lives. We can take them for granted and get caught up in the busy hustle that is life. It is refreshing to a relationship to take a step back from it all and focus on each other.
Once the honeymoon phase has passed, relationships can become a little stale. The butterflies that once erupted in your stomach at the sight of your beau died a long time ago and routine has probably set in by now.
Here is a simple test. Women: Do you still shave your legs at least 70% of the time you see him? Have those lovely matching undies gradually made their way to the bottom of your drawer, replaced by those comfortable ones you wear practically all the time but should have thrown out years ago? Men: Do you still hold in your farts around her because you don’t want to give her the death stink? Do you wear the same socks two days running? If you answered yes to any of these, you are well and truly out of the honeymoon phase. Well done on surviving the transition.
You are settled and comfortable and you do not need to be on your best behaviour all the time. That’s great. However on Valentine’s Day, you need to buck up your ideas and show your partner exactly why they fell in love with you in the first place.
I am not suggesting booking a restaurant with jaw dropping prices, unless you want to of course. You do not need to buy her fifty roses and a diamond necklace. Ladies, you don’t have to get an overdraft to go buy that ludicrously priced piece of string from Ann Summers for him either.
Go back to basics. Be the person you were when you first met, the person your partner fell in love with. Perhaps take a trip down memory lane and revisit all the places you visited on those awkward, nail biting dates. Bake a cake. Make a scrapbook together – it doesn’t have to be the soppy type! Make it fun or even plan a future adventure together.
Finally, the single pringles out there. Well, at least your wallet or purse isn’t going to feel ten stone lighter by the end of the day. From an economical point of view, it is a good time to remain single. If you do fancy splurging out a little, treat your Mum or Nan to some flowers? Girls, go get your Dad or Granddad some chocolates or a new back scratcher. Who cares? It is supposed to be a day of happiness and one to share with others. So go do that. Alternatively, go visit your nearest supermarket and share it with two very special men. I am sure Ben and Jerry will happily accompany you for the night.