You may think Valentine’s day is simply a Hallmark holiday, good for nothing but the hawking of overpriced chocolates and roses. And you are entitled to your opinion, but you’re wrong.
Do not be deceived, I have just as much reason to dislike the day as the next person. I am perpetually single, have previously had my heart broken in a very unconscious uncoupling and my mum tells anyone that will listen that I was actually conceived on the 14th of February, which can tend to dredge up intrusive thoughts about exactly how I came to be a fertilised egg. Despite this, it continues to be my favourite holiday of all time. And I’ll tell you why:
In England, early 20th Century legend has it that Valentine’s Day originated when a man named Jack Valentine crept around the neighbourhood leaving candy on back doorsteps for children. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe Jack should be allowed within 100 metres of playgrounds. In much sweeter sentiment, Columbian’s celebrate Dia de Amor y Amistad which translates to Love and Friendship Day, an interpretation that I believe we should adopt. There is something so special about not just telling someone you love them, but showing them, regardless of whether they are your romantic partner or simply a special person in your life. Nobody asks what you want to receive for Valentine’s Day. There are no practical purchases of socks or fresh windscreen wipers. There is something so special about a sweet surprise, a day just to celebrate and make time for the people we love. Should we be doing this regularly? Of course. But the reminder certainly helps.
Here are some suggestions of what to do this Valentine’s Day, for every relationship status:
If You’re Loved Up
If you can’t bring yourself to splash out for a bouquet of roses that cost more than your first car, there are plenty of original things you can do for your partner. My three most romantic experiences haven’t involved a degustation dinner or a room full of helium balloons with my face on them. They were, in no particular order; a three course home-made picnic with wine matches, a bag full of bath treats with a selection of plugs (bath not butt, mine had gone missing) and breakfast in bed pancakes that met all of my dietary requirements.
Honourable mention to the person that gifted me a silicone mould of their genitals. Creativity is sexy and effort is attractive, especially when it comes in the form of a takeaway version of someone’s private parts.
If You’ve Just Started Seeing Someone
Waiting to see who is going to bring up the Valentines elephant in the room is no fun for anyone. If you would like to see someone you are dating on February 14th, just ask. If they are claim they are busy that night walking the dog or washing their hair, you have time to make alternate plans that don’t involve a threesome with Ben & Jerry.
If the thought of seeing that person on Love Day makes you cringe harder than a Trump tweet, dispel any potential awkwardness by casually mentioning some existing plans. Look at you, nailing the navigation of this dating thing.
If You’ve Just Been Through A Breakup
I suggest finding a support person and going for a walk to get some endorphins going. Attempt not to dry retch at any public displays of affection you may encounter. Try to see the beauty in the fact that love still exists, and therefore you will likely find it again. Once you’ve given this a good crack, I give you permission to go home and watch serial killer shows on Netflix.
Do your very best to avoid drinking a bottle of prosecco and completing a full CSI investigation of your ex’s social media to determine their engagements for the evening. Try even harder not to aggressively message said ex after realising they have blocked you on these platforms. They’ve probably blocked your messages too.
If You’re Very, Very Single
It is no stretch to turn Valentine’s Day into Galentine’s Day, celebrating the wonderful women that make your world go round. For me, this is my favourite way to spend the holiday. You can attend a comedy show, an awkward singles event, a male revue. Heck, whatever tickles your fancy.
I’ll be spending the evening wining and dining with some special friends, and you better believe my mum will be receiving flowers and a card that reads ‘Eternally grateful for you having banged Dad 27 years ago.’ What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic.