Valentines is an Ugly Word

I’ve been in a relationship for the past 4 years of my life, and like everyone who gets into a new relationship, I found myself getting wound up in the world of valentine’s day. Whether it be the presents, the feeling of excitement of actually for once being in a relationship brought excitement and fun in ways I never thought it would. Or maybe it was because it was the first time I’d got into a proper relationship and I’d been surrounded by such negativity, that valentine’s day felt romantic, sexy and fun.

4 years down the line, almost 5 and maybe it’s the pandemic and not being able to dive into a restaurant and eat an extortionately expensive meal, but this year it just doesn’t feel that special. Or maybe it’s because valentines doesn’t feel like a special day between two people.

This morning I woke up to a text from my friends, wishing me a happy valentines, telling me about their dreams and it brought a smile to my face. And where I turned to social media with a million people wishing their partners happy valentines, with different messages, on every platform, it felt like a divide. Singletons Vs Relationships. Scattered amongst the intense messages of devotion to their partners, came the satirical galantines, love yourself and the humble messages of love away from their partners.

And where I am meant to follow the path and share my relationship for the world, I found myself sympathising with those who are single. But in my heart, I knew it didn’t have to be this way, it didn’t have to be a us vs them situation.

And maybe its not about a relationship holiday, even if that’s the way society tells you it should be. But its about celebrating love, the love of both that you may share with your partner, but also your family friends and the ones you care about so deeply. Maybe instead of treating valentines as a holiday for just you and your partner to spend together, treat it as a celebration of love for all, and you’ll see the world smiles just as much.

I remember as a child, no matter how much my parents infused the idea that valentine’s day was a commercialised capitalist agenda to waste your money, I still went out to the shop and picked my mum up a singular rose. To this day, I still can see the smile and love shared when I gave her the rose, even if it was just one, it brought warmth to the day in ways I could never have imagined it.

And it doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate with your spouse, it just means your celebrating the love you have for everyone, rather than the love you have for that one person. It means everyone gets a hit at happiness and everyone gets their love shared.

I personally think valentines has bad connotations, because its made to make couples feel entitled for a day, and honestly I think it makes people who are single feel more alone than ever, and now during this pandemic, people don’t deserve to be feeling anymore lonely then they already are.

So buy your friend a box of chocolates, buy your mum a rose, buy yourself a new sweater, make your partner a gift infused with memories, buy your gran a bottle of wine and share the love this valentines, because everyone needs a little extra boost this year to feel good about themselves.

Published by Heather Dalgleish

21-year-old journalism student. Author and illustrator for In Full Bloom Magazine

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