Newest Review: ... or gifts, there is a lot of pressure to out-do what your partner may or may not be buying you, or with encouragement from friends, fami... more
Member Name: Holland1
Advantages: It keeps the card shops in business
Disadvantages: It's overhyped, overpriced, enforced romanticism
People might think from the title of this review, that I am of an unromantic nature. This is not the case. I am just not a fan of Valentine's Day, because I believe it's overhyped, commercialised, and makes single people feel more isolated than ever.
Throughout my adult life, whenever I have embarked upon a new relationship (not that I've had that many I hasten to add!), I have made it clear how I feel about Valentine's Day. I don't like it, I don't celebrate it, I'm not being miserable but don't go spending a fortune on overpriced rubbish to "prove" how you feel about me, just be nice to me throughout the year and that will do. Men look at you as if you're trying to lure them into some sort of trap: "Does she mean it, or will she go mad if I don't read between the lines and send twenty red roses to work". No, I really do mean it. I am a simple say-what-you-mean kind of girl, no tricks or mind games here.
Now, people may think that this rather grumpy-old-woman way of looking at things means I'm a bit miserable or unromantic. Not really. I'm not against romantic gestures or surprising your loved one from time to time, but lets be honest, being told you HAVE to be romantic on a particular day of the year is hardly spontaneous is it? I would much rather my partner bought me flowers on a random day during the year, just because. Likewise, I would rather treat my partner to breakfast in bed when I know he's been working hard and needs a rest, rather than because it's a certain day in February.
My partner has treated me with some grand gestures over the years. I remember him surprising me with a weekend away just after I started a new job, I'd had many interviews and knockbacks and he wanted to show me how proud he was that I'd kept trying. For my thirtieth he planned a surprise trip to Europe. He usually buys me flowers for birthdays, or if I'm in need of cheering up. He brought me flowers and breakfast in bed one morning because he'd got a new job, and wanted to thank me for supporting him throughout his previous employment which had caused much stress. He is perfectly capable of displaying how he feels without the need to conform to enforced romance.
Likewise, I am capable of the odd romantic gesture myself. I will bring little treats home for my other half, little things I see and know he likes. Although the money is a little tighter these days, we have to think of more thrifty ways of showing our affection. At Christmas, I made him a personalised advent calendar, which contained love notes, chocolates, IOU's (for massage, car wash etc), and so on. Actually, one day contained a toothbrush purely because I'd noticed he needed a new one and I was struggling for ideas for the 25 days, but still, the thought was there.
This brings me onto my next point. It seems to me that Valentine's Day is all about buying things to show you love someone. The number of times I've seen colleagues receive red roses in work on Valentine's Day, and thought to myself that's all well and good, but you spend the remaining 364 days of the year moaning about how badly they treat you. Spending £6 on a big oversized card does not prove you love someone. Treating them with respect and loyalty throughout the year, does.
As a singleton, I hated Valentine's Day because it was just a reminder that another year had passed without finding "Mr Right". Looking back, I don't know why I was so bothered, I was only young and had years ahead of me, but it does make people feel lonely and isolated, especially for those who have lost someone. I also used to know someone whose birthday was on Valentine's Day, and she used to end up celebrating the day after because she hated the dross they churn out in restaurants because they mass produce for big numbers.
I feel that Valentine's Day is also geared more towards men providing romantic gestures than women. The pressure is on for men, but women don't seem to have to worry about whether they get it right or not, probably because most men don't care about Valentine's Day. Surely romance works both ways?
The funniest Valentine's Day story I've heard of, is a friend's brother who was dating someone in Scotland. He had surprised her by travelling 200+ miles to go and see her, but unfortunately she had the same idea so she travelled the same distance to come and see him. They both ended up on their own on Valentine's night, although I'm sure the gesture was appreciated by both of them (and they can probably laugh about it now).
Finally, I'd just like to mention that buying things or making grand gestures doesn't by any means prove how you feel about someone. For me, the little things matter as much as the big things. My partner is always there when I need him, but he also does little things which could easily go unnoticed, and he does them because he loves me, not because he wants to score brownie points. For example, when we get back from the supermarket, we usually get a chocolate bar each to overcome the trauma of shopping, he always puts his in the fridge and mine on top because he knows I hate my chocolate rock hard. In the morning, he leaves for work before me, so he scrapes my car of ice if it needs it, and he'll get a cup ready with a teabag in and the kettle filled so I only have to flick the switch. I'll ask what flavour crisps he wants, and he'll say salt and vinegar because there's only one nice flavour left and he knows I hate salt and vinegar. He doesn't really want salt and vinegar, but the point is, he doesn't make a big deal of it. I would much rather live with someone like that, than someone who ignores you throughout the year then "surprises" you with a teddy saying "I love you" or some overpriced roses.
Summary: Just another day of the year for me