Despite promoting many causes I support, such as flowers and greetings cards and heavy consumption of marshmallows cut into heart shapes, I’m not a massive fan of the big 14/02. I like my love a bit more subtle, a lot less red, and in no way communal.
It’s harmless of course, but also pretty unnecessary. For those without a significant other who would like their situation to be different, it’s just a big pink helium filled reminder that it isn’t. And for those in relationships, it means forced entry into the annual Who’s More Romantic Than Who competition with the winning prize being nothing more than a few likes on Facebook and a credit card bill the size of Rome.
I have written before about how much I rate anniversaries because of the multiple excuses they give you to tell people that you like/love/can tolerate them happily for bi-annual dinner dates, and I stand by that heartfelt sentiment.
But what’s important is that what you hear from your beloved on these ‘special occasions’ is in keeping with the tone of the rest of your lives. In my opinion, you should apply the same rules to Valentine’s Day, and all its relatives, as you do to work-based appraisals – by which I mean that there shouldn’t be any surprises (with the following obvious gift related exceptions: mini-breaks, puppies, food and booze goods and spa related relaxery. It’s a word.)
What you hear on Valentine’s Day or any similar festival should be merely the highlights of a year filled with niceness, perhaps just said over champagne or whilst wearing something velour. Don’t wait for Clinton’s Cards to announce that it’s Official Romance Day to tell your girlfriend that you’re mighty glad you met her, or to mention to your husband that despite his apparent inability to replace an empty toilet roll, you think he’s the best person in the world. Say it now – right now – it’s always a good time to hear that.
In my opinion, life and love are both just too damn short for fannying about. If you’re holding out for a big marketing occasion to unveil that – SURPRISE – you are capable of expressing your feelings, then I can’t help but feel that you’re doing it wrong. It’s also just not a cost effective way to do romance. If you need to be in the presence of champagne and oysters every time you say ‘I love you’ then you’re going to need to take a long hard look at your finances before signing up to anything long term.
If you just see Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse to say the kind of lovely things you say every day in a slightly different font or with a velvet coated box of chocolates then why not, treat yourself. But if you’re holding out for Interflora to let you know that it’s the right moment to start letting your other half know that you care about them then let me save you some time – every moment is the right moment to do that, whether you’re standing in a heart shaped arch made of balloons or waiting for a bus in the rain.
Because the latter will probably happen more often, so why not put that time to good use.