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Are you Anti valentines day

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February 14, the traditional feast day of St Valentine, has been associated with romantic love since the middle ages, and marked by the giving of gifts for more than 300 years. The origins and intentions of the day remain fine – an opportunity to profess so-far-undeclared passion, or to confirm undying love. But there’s a tipping point at which innocent romance in need of a little prompting becomes unbridled commercialism, peer pressure and enforced PDAs (that’s public displays of affection to the uninitiated).  And it seems that tipping point is so far in the past as to render Valentine’s Day, well, unromantic in this day and age.

Quite apart from the ridiculous inflation of prices for a few days in February, there are plenty of other reasons why Valentine’s Day might not work for you and your partner.

You can’t schedule romance

If a show of affection from your loved one is scheduled on a calendar, does it seem as romantic as a spontaneous gift or gesture? Your candle-lit meal for two might just lose a bit of its shine when if you’re crammed in alongside countless other couples doing exactly the same thing. Can you properly savour your own precious moment when you’re distracted by the single stem rose to your left, the bottle of bubbly behind you and the bent knee and ring to your right?

Romantic cliches

We don’t all ‘do’ our relationships that way, anyway. The Clinton’s-clichés of ‘romance’ – red roses, chocolates, fluffy teddies bearing satin hearts (*shudders*) – are pretty far from what many of our hearts desire, let’s face it. My partner was once berated by a colleague for buying me a bread-maker (the protest was laudable for its feminist intent, for which thanks) but was promptly told ‘you don’t know her. You have no idea how much she loves bread.’ I’ll take that over a big card and a bunch of forecourt-flowers any day!

It’s the thought that counts

anti valentineWhat counts as a romantic gesture can be so many things that are far more personal to you and your loved one. It needn’t be a tangible gift. What might be more thoughtful and better appreciated is a gift of time or effort.  Billy Bragg had it right when he said ‘no amount of poetry can mend a broken heart, but you can put the Hoover round if you want to make a start’!

Breakfast in bed; a weekend off from cheering small sportspeople from the rain-sodden sidelines; the shopping miraculously done for you; bath-time and bedtime taken care of while you sit sipping champagne. Little changes from your routine that make you feel special and loved can mean more than the ‘treats’ we’re told we should want or give. (Although, for the record, I would never actually turn away chocolate or champagne; I just like them more on other days of the year!)

Stay ‘off the shelf’

So if you’re going to mark Valentine’s Day – because you want to not because you feel you should – then at least be thoughtful and choose something that doesn’t feel ‘off the shelf’. If ever there was an occasion for bespoke gift-giving, then it’s to tell someone how much you love them. Whatever day of the year you choose to do it.

 

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About Alison McKay

About Alison McKay

Alison McKay is a charity PR professional with over 15 years' experience in full-time, part-time and jobshare roles. Since being made redundant while on maternity leave, she has divided her time between working for a local museum, freelance and volunteer writing, and being chief wrangler to a two-year-old mud-magnet and an almost-seven-year-old wannabe dog-care worker with a penchant for hair accessories. Alison's hobbies include yoga, reading cookery books and putting away just enough clean laundry to keep the pile below 3ft tall.

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