This year it’s finally clicked; Valentines is a load of rubbish.
Ok let me explain because that sounds harsh and I’ve shocked myself a bit with this revelation.
I love romance and the simplest form of it for me is time with my husband. Like intentional, top notch, focused, all in, quality time. Not sharing our time with phone notifications or zombie like in front of the telly stuffing crisps in our mouths…although…
I used to want the works on Valentines. A special meal out, flowers, cards and maybe a gift too. Surprise was the order of the day; ‘oh my, an expensive meal out and a £50 bouquet? You must love me THE MOST’. I’d hunt high and low for the best card for Mr G, sometimes buying two cards from me and one from Rupes because HOW DARLING.
Granted, my previous approach to Valentines says more about the old me than anything else. But this year as I scroll through Instagram and see countless lounges pristinely decorated for the occasion my toes have started to curl.
I really don’t mean to take away from the couples who are going to wholeheartedly indulge in the day, those getting wined and dined or those in fledgling relationships trying to show how much they really fancy one another by way of cooking up heart shaped fried eggs.
I definitely, definitely do not begrudge all the people plucking up the courage to send a card to someone who makes their pulse race. The ones putting their hearts on the line, taking a chance and showing their hand. They are the heroes.
So, I’m not trying to poop on anyone’s love parade because love is the drug. If you’re romancing, good on you. If it’s from a genuine place, yes yes. But let’s face it, it’s all become a bit…routine and showy hasn’t it? Like a keeping up with the Joneses number.
So this year hubs and I are letting each other off the hook for the most part. And that was my call.
As I’ve said, I love romance as much as the next…woman. Truly I do. But I hate to be told a specific date to be it or to expect it. Where’s the fun and reality in that? For a start it’s a Tuesday this year and by the time I get home from work after a day of meetings and powerpoint, after battling for a seat on Thameslink and finally in through the door looking like a sweaty toe, I’ve got a vague suspicion that I’m not going to feel mega romantic.
So this Valentines, hubs and I will exchange cards (mine to him isn’t even red or pink or personalised or in any way a valentines card) and we’ll cook dinner together, dance around the kitchen in our comfies and maybe watch a film or look up dream houses on Zoopla. If either of us choose to do something a bit more spesh for one another, I hope it takes a little effort and craft rather than a hastily bought online voucher thingy to just, well, tick a box. I’d take a cosy, candlelit evening in with no mobile phones over anything flashy. And a weekend walk together would be the icing on the cake.
It’s not about putting on a display and trying to prove something to a world of strangers. Bring on the spontaneous acts of thought and love throughout the year instead. Those are the moments that matter. Unprompted reminders of what you mean to one another and that you’re on eachothers mind.
In an era of social media comparison and judgement, I say we give ourselves a break from all this consumerism, conforming madness. An escape from the clutches of fake perfection and just. be. real.
If you are celebrating it, I vote for Valentines behind closed doors. Being completely present with one another rather than meticulously getting the shot you need to prove that you are so loved and in love and the world is all cartoon birds helping you get dressed as you sing out of the bedroom window.
And here’s a special mention for the single ladies who won’t get a card this year.
Go love yourself.
Don’t look at what you don’t have or didn’t get or fall victim to the pressure this mental day whisks up. It’s just a normal day where more people than not are feeling forced to show a feeling or an emotion by way of a physical shower of gifts in the absolute hope that they got it right. Or get laid. Take control of that shit and realise that you don’t need a card with two fluffy bunnies on it to prove you exist. Wait until the 15th or 16th of Feb and if you’re so inclined buy yourself a discounted bunch of flowers that escaped some guys hurried grasp on his panicked dash to M&S.