So it’s that time of year again. As soon as the Christmas stock was sold the Valentine stock came out. Just a little bit a first, just enough to permeate our consciousness, then as January progressed the stock increased and more and more shops and businesses came on board.
Now we are in February and in Valentine overload! Red hearts and sentimental phrases can be seen everywhere and on everything. There are cards for every relationship status possible – for married couples, couples in long term or short term relationships, people with a crush, for that person you secretly admire, cards for your children, even cards from your pet!
There are endless gift ideas too. Almost anything can be passed off as a Valentine gift unless it’s blatantly just practical and unimaginative – like a drill or something! Chocolates, cuddly toys, perfume and lingerie sales must go through the roof. Everyday foods are temporarily sold to us in heart shapes at inflated prices – from pizza to biscuits. It’s a florists dream concept, not only do they sell more flowers than at any other time of the year, I’m pretty sure the flowers are more expensive during the Valentine week too.
Then the businesses get on board – restaurants, theatres, hotels, clubs and even churches all offering a romantic date night experience or event. You have to book anything like this way in advance because everyone has the same idea and there are only so many romantic couples and romantic hopefuls that can be in the same place at the same time.
So, if you’re in a relationship the pressure is on. Lovebirds on their A-game get engaged or married on Valentines day – top that! For lesser mortals what can or should you do? You may be monitoring your partner to see what he or she does or doesn’t do, how much they spend and how much thought and effort they make. They may be doing the same to you. Will you be able to boast to your friends, family or work colleagues about what they bought or did for you? Will they be able to do the same, or does one person care more than the other?
Then again, are you both over it? How many years into a relationship do you keep up the Valentines day thing? Is it a forever ritual or, once you are established and you already know you love each other, can you do away with it?
Or you may have had a difficult year and so Valentines and all the stuff that goes with it is the last thing you need in your life. It can stir up mixed emotions for people in a toxic or unhappy relationship or for those who have had a relationship breakup or a loss.
If you are not in a relationship the pressure is also on. If you’re desperately looking for love, your Tinder account may have frozen due to the amount of swipes to the left and right. It feels like all your family, friends and colleagues have settled down and you are the last single person standing. No pressure then. No matter how many times you tell them you’re OK with being single, some one will always look at you with sad ‘ahh you’re still single’ eyes and try to match make you with anyone available that they know. It would be nice to change your relationship status from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ but Mr or Ms Right just does not seem to exist, where are they? You want it to happen organically, you don’t want anyone to set you up … or do you?
There might be someone out there that you like but how do you impress the object of your desire? Cupid needs you to do your bit. This might be your one chance to go for it big style and declare your feelings. Or, are you waiting to be approached? You know someone has a crush on you and you are waiting for them to make their move. But why? Is it because of traditional gender roles? Should a man always make the first move?
If you’re not in a relationship and are truly happy being single then the whole thing seems a bit pointless – a huge hype that gets people worked up and anxious to meet an unwritten standard that only people who are REALLY in love attain. Remember, all that glistens is not gold. Couples you may aspire to could be presenting an outward image that is not truly authentic (for a whole variety of reasons). Remember Brad and Angelina?
Ugh – we shouldn’t have to feel so pressured. We are fed a storyline from childhood about living happily ever after, after meeting ‘the one’ with fairy tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the like. Then we reach adulthood and we watch films and romantic comedies with the same storyline. On top of this we now have social media where we see the ongoing highlights of everyone else’s life and feel we are missing out if the same things aren’t happening for us. We can become in love with the idea of being in love.
So my Valentine’s day thoughts are:
- If you love someone, let them know. You don’t need Valentines day to validate your relationship or your feelings. Don’t assume that they know you love them, tell them – just for the record. Tomorrow is not promised.
- You can say I love you, or I like you, without being drawn into the frenzy. Don’t feel pressured into doing or buying something expensive – the best things in life are free. You can just spend quality time with the one you love and let them know they are loved, valued and appreciated Pay attention to them, spoil them and go the extra mile by doing something you know they will appreciate.
- If you have loved and lost remember each relationship teaches you something new. What you want, what you don’t, what you will or won’t accept. Value the lessons.
- If you have never loved before, enjoy this time, think about who and what you really want and be the type of person you want to attract. Also, you’ve also never had your heart broken – how lucky.
- If you don’t have a Valentine don’t be upset – it could be worse. Be thankful for all the other things you don’t have either! Embrace being single and invest in yourself. Pamper yourself, buy yourself a gift and have a great day.
- Remember, Valentines day is a man made construct – the origins of which are unclear. It has evolved into being a huge money making business that plays on people’s emotions. You don’t need to fall into the trap and get emotionally drawn into it.
So, whether you have a Valentine or not, my final thoughts are love yourself first. You will always be needy and unfulfilled if you need someone else’s love to make you feel whole. Your self worth does not need to be validated by a second party and is not found by comparing your life to someone else’s. YOU are ‘the one’ in your fairy tale – so be the love of your own life and you’ll live happily ever after. ♥
Let me know your thoughts on Valentine’s day. I’m intrigued …
© Elise – Cinnamon & Brown