I hate Valentine’s day. With a passion.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have long reaching memories stretching back to primary school days when everyone was handing out cards to everyone but me. Or so it seemed.
I could kinda of handle it in my childhood, but as the years flew by, teenage years never offered me anything different.
I wasn’t really one for boyfriends, well nothing serious anyway. I maybe dated someone for a week or two, which really just consisted of saying we were boyfriend and girlfriend, but not speaking to one another in school, let alone out of it.
So, the chances of receiving a card were drastically reduced. As, we all know, our odds of receiving a Valentine are raised slightly if you are in some kind of commitment, even if there’s no commitment at all (other than having the title of being someone’s girlfriend.)
So, with no boyfriend and clearly no admirers willing to make a claim, Valentine’s Day for me was a no show.
Still, I would always check the letterbox just in case.
Receiving no Valentine’s cards seemed to ring out loud and clear—no one loves me. Or even likes me. Well, at least not enough to make, buy or scribble on a card to let me know.
By the time I reached the end of my teenage years, I was done with Valentine’s Day.
We were over.
And I decided there would be no reconciliation. I’m all for forgiving and forgetting, but this wound had been stabbed at one too many times.
When I did finally get to the stage of having a serious boyfriend the roles were suddenly massively reversed.
Now, I would be getting a card—for a fact! Because, if I didn’t, surely it would mean once again I wasn’t worthy of being loved!? So they have to, absolutely have to. Otherwise, it would all be over! I would tell myself.
Realistically, it wouldn’t have been over, I just knew that there was so much pressure to purchase each other tacky love heart cards and maybe even flowers and chocolates to prove how much we cared, that it was a done deal.
We might have even felt forced to book a meal out when we weren’t even in the mood for eating out. Hey, at least we’d be surrounded by others also declaring undying love, when really they were probably just compelled to do the same.
Now, I know I sound a little bitter, resentful even and maybe wholly unromantic. The truth is, I am a realist. I’m very aware that the purpose of Valentine’s Day is to remind us to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us.
But, my point is this.
Do I really need a date to tell me what to do? Can I not send cards, love notes, make a special effort, clear my schedule, buy cute gifts and make wild and crazy love any day of the year I choose?
Why do I need to do it in unison with everyone else?
I refuse to buy into the whole “let’s all shout out our love on the same day as the rest of the world.”
So yes, maybe bitter, but maybe the bitterness just twisted its way around to make me realize—don’t need this. I don’t need to be told what, when and where to do something. I will do it as and when I please.
Nowadays, there will be no Valentine’s cards, no gifts, no special dinner together, no spending the whole day thinking about how we’ll be getting naked at the end of it and proving we do actually love each other.
Or maybe there will, maybe there will be all of that and more, however, it won’t happen just because it’s the day when “it should” happen.
So, for those of us who may feel a little lonely or unloved this Valentine’s Day, just know that we’re not alone. It is a waste of disappointment’s time.
Instead of thinking of all those loved up couples smooching their way through the day (and I’m sure there are plenty who genuinely love and enjoy that day together) use the day instead to pour all the love on yourself and be grateful that you haven’t been caught up in the commercialism that makes companies billions by encouraging them to whisper sweet nothings while handing over a card that’s the same card as probably thousands of others have sent.
I have a million romantic bones in my body, but not one for cupid and his god damn Valentine.
Author: Alex Sandra Myles
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock