Having just got back from having dinner with friends in central London (every restaurant rammed with 2 per table and ending up in some cool gastro-pub where a group of trendy mature studenty types and professionals were hanging out), I am only finising this blog now – so unfortunately it is now a day late! As it is, all the hearts will have come out of the restaurant and shop windows, roses will be sold on the sreets no more, and life can, for the most part until Easter – remain somewhat normal.
Ok so I have had Valentines while single, and I’ve had them while in relationships. I do not like this day. Many people do, and to be honest, I guess that’s their prerogative.
Here are my reasons why I dislike it:
- You see couples everywhere, hence reminding you that you are alone for the foreseeable. (having just had a Christmas and a New Year alone, you thought you were out of the holiday lovey dovey stuff, but apparently not!) This has got even worse now with Facebook and Twitter, today I have seen around 20 odd people on Facebook declaring their love to their partners on Valentines. ‘XXX is the best boyfriend ever!’ etc (Now – normally I like seeing things like this on Facebook, it is sweet, and they are my friends, it’s nice they are loved.) However, this does nothing for the single people who are reading status after status of this and feeling pretty damn left out.
- You can never make plans with friends who are in relationships on Valentines! I need to stay somewhere in London tonight, and out of the 4 people I asked, only one was single, and lo and behold, she was the only one who said yes as the others were all doing something for Valentines. Single people – stick to single people for the night, nobody else will be around!
When in a relationship:
- In the past, every Valentines day I have been in a relationship for has had all my female friends asking me ‘so – what did he do for Valentines then?!’ My response ‘Nothing. I asked him not to.’ Now – I am as soppy as the next person, I love declarations of love, nice dinners and compliments etc, however – if a guy does all of that spontaneously, it shows he truly cares and wants to show me that he cares. In comparison, if he is doing it because it is Valentines Day, for me, this cheapens a lovely act into something only done because ‘its Valentines’, not ‘Just because I love you’.
- I have, once, been out for dinner on a Valentines day as part of a couple ‘Let me show you what it’s like, then you can make up your mind whether you like Valentines or not’ – so I humored him. This was one of the most embarrassingly amusing evenings of my life! To start, the only people in the restaurant were couples. Couples who were either arguing, smooching, or looking uncomfortable – you can distinguish these into married, honeymoon period of relationship, and awkward first date or so. Either way it was a little uncomfortable to be sat amongst them with my other half at the time. Secondly, there were heart shaped balloons on every table….HEART SHAPED BALLOONS! And they were, inevitaby, pink. It kept wafting over and hitting me in the face. Next, the waiter would come over all gooey and looking like we were loves great dream, saying things like ‘ah, you treating your lovely lady tonight then sir’ (Italian waiter). This did even more to make me feel uncomfortable. The couple next to us were quite obviously itching to get the bill and go home, there was plenty of under the table canoodling going on – again, me feeling somewhat awkward to be next to it! This all led to an experiece where I found myself looking around me at everything, perplexed as to why so many people enjoy this kind of thing (and by people, I mostly mean girls – see below) and not eager to do it again any time soon. In the future, I’d rather chill out at home, with a curry or pizza and a movie, followed by ice cream, and leave it at that. And please – no cards (I don’t even do Xmas cards, let alone Valentines!)
The expectations and pressure on Men
Why does it always seem to be the guy who should something for the girl? I hear people ask ‘what did he do for Valentines for you’, never ‘did you do anything for him?’ being asked. I feel this is very one sided, and, woe betide any poor sod who doesn’t do anything for his girl – he will be vilified by her friends for being such a ‘bad boyfriend’. I have actually been a part of a conversation where a group of girls asked their female friend if her boyfriend did anything or got her anything for Valentines day, to which she replied ‘no – all he did was get me a card, he didn’t even take the evening off to take me out for dinner’. All of the other girls made noises of disappointment and said things like ‘aw babe, what a bastard’, ‘ I can’t believe he would do that’ etc. This DISGUSTED me. I asked the question ‘So did you do anything for him then?’ and got an indignant ‘no – why should she? He should be spoiling her!’ by the best friend.
WHY on God’s green earth should this poor schmuck be so vilified for only buying his girlfriend a card on Valentines? He had work – he didn’t take the day off, big deal! At least he made a small effort for her with a card – showing he felt he should really do something. Yet all he gets is disapproval and disappointment, not just from her, but by her friends as well! Not only this, but the very idea of a girl doing something for her man on Valentines seemed positively outrageous.
While watching BBC news today, my colleague at work noticed and mentioned to me that there was a section where a female news reader was discussing the mad rush on buying flowers, and stated ‘that’s a hint, lads’. Again fuelling tis idea that men should ‘spoil’ the women.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the true meaning of Valentines to show anyone you love how much you love them? This shold not be a one – sided thing!
I firmly believe in loving someone and of celebrating that love, but my opinion, for what it is worth, is that love should be expressed often, to those you care about, and freely. I would much rather someone said they loved me because they genuinely felt they wanted to tell me this and share it, rather than telling me they love me because the feel they should. And this is how I feel about Valentines day.
People, love each other, tell them often, your partner, your brother, sister, parents, best friend, hell – even tell your goldfish if you want. But not just because it is Valentines day and you feel you should. If you want a day to make someone feel special – pick any random day, and it will become special for you and them. (Or pick a birthday, Christmas, or anniversary – something meaningful to both of you)
Contrary to what many of my friends would tell you, I actually don’t begrudge couples who are really into Valentines day, if it is special to them, then fair enough, but I stick by what I said before, show people you care, but not becuase you feel you have to.