So Valentine’s Day is only four days away and while many people get excited over this day of love, I’ve been feeling a bit “ugh” *eyeroll* about the whole thing for the past few years. Call me negative but I just don’t really understand why we’ve created ANOTHER day in the year to feed our egos and materialistic desires, show it off on social media, and make other people feel a bit shit as a result, without meaning to.
Now, any of you who knows me, I know what you’re thinking – “but Chloe, you have a boyfriend, you have someone to get presents from and do nice things with on Valentine’s day. What do you know about how rubbish it is being single on Valentine’s day and having no one?” Well, the truth is, I don’t know what it’s like, because the last time I was single I was 14 years old. Now I’m not trying to brag, so before you singletons get sassy with me, hear me out..
On our first Valentine’s day together he gave me a red rose, and a cute card with cute stuff written in it. I went round to his house and he had made me a romantic candle-lit dinner of chicken nuggets and chips (don’t laugh! We were 15 and he made it all from scratch!). It was classic Valentine’s day romance, mixed with hormonal, teenage, cringey-but-at-the-time-super-cute first love. It was sickening. But at the time I felt like a princess, and it was as if all my (realistic) Valentine’s day dreams had come true. Fast forward three, four, seven (!?) years, and February the 14th is a completely different ball game! There’s a lot of inner conflict going on in your head during the lead up to the day: “Do we still “do” Valentine’s day?”, “will bae get offended if I don’t buy him anything?”, “does he really give a shit about Valentine’s day?”, “does ANY guy really give a shit about Valentine’s day?!”,“Should I ask him if we’re doing anything for Valentine’s day?”, “no because it’ll make it sound like I want presents (..but I kinda do)”, “we could go out for dinner?” “no because everywhere gets booked up like a month in advance”. Also, what TF you even get a guy for Valentine’s day?! Seriously, what do you actually buy the stereotypically less emotional and romantic gender for the most romantic and emotional day of the year?! It’s not such a nice and romantic day now is it!
So this all started in third year (no not uni, third year of me and bae being together!). In the end, after all the self-questioning over the degree of romance that will take place on Feb 14th between me and bae (sorry to anyone who hates the word bae!), I opted for a lovingly chosen and relevant card (it had a chemistry reference and he studies chemical engineering. Cute eh). It was a nice, gentle, not too over the top way of “expressing my undying love for him” (eww), and I went on over to his flat to present him with this token of love I had carefully selected, hoping that he would have one for me in return. He didn’t. Turns out we don’t do Valentine’s day anymore. He didn’t really see the point and didn’t think it was a thing we did anymore. As you can imagine, I was absolutely gutted and a little bit irritated; I had been thoughtful and got sweet FA in return. It also confirmed the classic fears of being in a long term relationship; “oh my god, we’ve lost “the spark”, we don’t do cute things anymore, we’re not “in love” anymore”, “oh god this it it, we’re an old married couple and we’re not even 25/30 years old yet! – or in my case, TWENTY years old!” *shivers*
But he had a point (don’t trap yourself a smart guy, you’ll never win an argument), and it made me think. Why do we have to have one set day in the year to show our love for someone? Why do we have to do it through buying eachother things? Why does it have to be about girlfriends and boyfriends and exclude other kinds of love, like friendship? I started to realize that Valentine’s day is very illogical and makes no sense. So we sort of decided, without actually saying it out loud, that maybe we’ll do something like go for a few drinks, cook dinner together, or maybe even go out for dinner if we’re feeling particularly organised and loved up, but Valentine’s day is not a card/present giving occasion, we’ve got enough of those to worry about.
And I’m totally fine with this arrangement, really, I am. This is what we’re going to do, it’s logical and it makes sense. But what about what everyone else is doing!? Every damn year, as Valentine’s day hits social media with all it’s #couplegoals, photos of red roses, cute cards, “I love you” teddies and chocolate, bottles of champagne, maybe even the odd Tiffany/Pandora/expensive jewellery item scattered in amongst sappy statuses of couples professing their undying love to eachother for everyone to see, all logic goes out the window. Because I, on the other hand, am so balls deep in an LTR that V day hasn’t even been mentioned, and I haven’t even thought to make plans with bae because of the logical reasons which I’m now questioning, all because of what other people might be doing. Jealousy is a bitch, and Instagram has a way of giving you major FOMO. If everyone else is doing it, it’s sometimes hard to resist the feeling that you should be too. if someone posts a loved up pic of all the presents they got from their other half, that means they’re in love, and if you don’t do that then you’re not in love, even though you know that you are. Stupid, but I bet I’m not the only one feeling the social pressures of Valentine’s Day. This is the harsh “reality” of the gram, and February the 14th is one of those days where it gets more intense and a tad overwhelming.
So, to overcome my own jealousy and the icky, annoying, and overhyped extravaganza that Valentine’s day has become, I am encouraging you lovely people to join me in doing something nice for someone you love non-romantically. Send cute cards to your girl squad, buy your bff some chocolates, or have a mate date, all in the name of Galentine’s day (sorry, can’t think of a male equivalent). Because after all, some of the greatest loves we have are with the friends we can share everything with and be totally ourselves around. Or better yet, and perhaps even more importantly, do something for you! Buy yourself a present, do something you enjoy, look after yourself, and acknowledge your love for yourself. Or at least find it somewhere, because as the greatest drag queen of all has said; “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gon’ love somebody else?” Amen to that Ru Paul! Us girls gotta stick together and be kind to each other, and ourselves, more often.
Have a lovely Valentine’s/Galentine’s day when it comes around, I’d love to hear what you’re doing to celebrate it, even if you’re going down the traditional route of cards and a romantic dinner with bae! As always, I’d also love to hear what you think of this post or if you’re, dare I say, “inspired”, by my ramblings!