The Sunday Natter: Valentine’s Day – a celebration or an exploitation?

As a continual single lady who has zero luck with the male species, I guess you could say it’s cliché for me to be negative towards the general spirit of Valentine’s Day. I can’t help but feel it’s forced upon a human connection; the balloons, pretty red roses, overpriced chocolates, meal deals for two and anything else that the shops cheesily form together to make mega profit. On one hand, cupid is shooting his arrow to allow you to appreciate your lover and spend quality time together but on the other, he’s telling you there’s this certain day you need to go all out to impress when in reality, if you want to show your partner you love them, then treat them well and buy them surprise gifts any day of the year. Don’t wait until the world glorifies the 14th February. Am I right or am I wrong? (Or am I just seriously inexperienced in the relationship department that I don’t even know what I’m babbling on about anymore?). 

Valentine’s Day is an easy way to make people feel rubbish, even if it that isn’t intended. Having a build up of the commercialised aspect of love (along with the real life smut) shoved in your face wherever you turn is bound to make a single person feel lonely, pessimistic and down right miserable. Not that I’m particularly triggered by it, but it’d be nice to receive a bunch of beautiful flowers instead of just admiring them from afar, you know? Not only that, the present exchanging can become 0-10 ridiculous real quickly. I can’t help but come to that conclusion that it’s beginning to transform into some kind of competition for ‘who can buy the biggest and best without looking like I’m pointlessly behaving excessively’ – which leads on to further problems for those who can’t afford to do that. Alarm bells ring when I see people being bought cars, thousand pound watches and handbags. Like, seriously? Not only must you have more money than sense but why do you succumb to the stereotype. If that’s what you prefer to do, fair enough, but buying extravagant gifts for each other doesn’t define the strength of a relationship, nor does it show what’s behind that attachment. A random act of devotion and a small meaningful something is lovely; I’m not saying I’m against this gift giving but I do identify the unnecessary pressure and stress of pleasing your other half when really, they’ll probably be 100% happily satisfied with a hug and a planned date night (if the restaurants aren’t all booked up, that is).

The stocked shelves of the stores (boy, that’s a mouthful) can actually bring great joy to some and horror to others. Obviously the entire materialistic vs genuine situation is ambiguous and open to debate. I’m not gonna lie about cherishing the faultlessly created displays, the cutesy, heart-warming gestures, expressive emotions, soppy stories and the comical take on romance; I suppose we’re all able to embrace Valentine’s Day in our own way but I just think it’s starting to become a little OTT in parts. When those chocolates that were £2 last week go up to £5 on the weekend of Valentine’s Day, it sort of automatically shifts your attitude over to the ‘this is just a way to make money out of nonchalant people’. Personally, I’d go absolutely ballistic if my man paid £30 for a ready made bouquet of flowers and half his wage on a flipping three course meal out! There’s absolutely no need to take that extra step and just keep on going for one single day. I’d much rather have a fun day spent together without the gimmicks.

To shed some light on this matter; I hope whatever your status, whatever you may be doing or what you have done and whether you love it or hate it, that you’ve lavished Valentine’s Day suited to your tastes and that you remember, single or not, that you are loved. For me, I’m preparing to scroll down my Facebook and Instagram feed to be greeted with numerous Pandora charms and teddy bears. There’s absolutely no bitterness here, nope. Hey, it’s even an excuse for us singletons to raid the half price chocs and settle down with an emotional rom com whilst consuming the entire quantity of said chocs.

What do you think, celebration or exploitation?

Bridie  x

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