Does Valentine’s only serve to remind those of us without partners of our singledom? Or is it a day that can genuinely serve as a reminder to love ourselves? Or are in fact both options simply a commercial ploy to increase business for florists, chocolatiers, hotels, restaurants, spas, sex toys, jewellers, alcohol, [insert your preferred method of love / self love here]?
Love should be celebrated. I fully believe that, still… despite everything. But does it have to be so prescribed to us? I’d rather people took a moment to reflect on the incredible relationships and people they have in their lives on any other day of the year. There is something to be said for the fact that we so often take it for granted, ordinarily not stopping to acknowledge the wealth of love we all have in our lives, in some form or another.
Despite my enduring love for love, there are definitely moments during the 14th of February when a little bit of vom will come back up on me and I have to suppress an eye roll as I scroll past yet another gushing Instagram post. But I also love seeing people making an effort, furrowed brows agonising over the choice of flowers, increased google searches for “how to cook the perfect steak”, colleagues leaving work early to be on time for their evening of romance.
My ex-husband and I always celebrated Valentine’s Day, but we were also fans of random date nights, flowers for no reason, and surprise gifts. I know mine offered for genuinely no reason other than love, though I now wonder how many of his were from guilt.
Nowadays, I prescribe much more to the Galentine’s / self love thread of Valentine’s. I love my girlfriends, I love myself, so what’s not to love – as it were.
Ultimately, any occasion that celebrates togetherness and connection has the capacity to make you feel incredibly alone and excluded when you don’t have that “someone special” in your life, especially if you are in a place where you’re ready for and open to it. But my belief remains that this isn’t where I’m going to be forever, it’s obviously just where I’m meant to be for now.
Can I get on board with spending Valentine’s night by myself, going for a workout, then eating ice cream before crawling into bed, surrounded by nothing but my own peace? 100%. Would it also be nice to receive a little something from Tiffany? Sure. But you can’t have everything and if it’s a choice between the sweat sesh and dairy indulgence on my own or a gift from someone I was ultimately betrayed by, I’ll take the former every time.
Much like it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees, sometimes we can’t see the gratitude for the ridiculously over-priced roses, but when the 15th of February rolls around and you get to take advantage of the discounted chocolate, knowing at least one of the couples you saw gazing into each other’s eyes yesterday will have for sure had an argument before bedtime, you know it ultimately doesn’t matter, it’s a day and it’ll pass like every other.
Just like today has.