Some argue that Valentine’s Day is an overrated holiday and an expensive way to woo their partner. They scoff in disbelief at the way people are duped into buying overpriced roses, oversized soft toys and other expensive gifts, which is just another way for the business community to squeeze more money out of us. They may have a point.
These naysayers cannot resist the urge to deride the sentimental fools that swallow the commercial bait, hook, line and sinker. But deep down, everyone yearns for affection, and it’s safe to bet that each one of them, even the most stony-hearted, would secretly admit to feeling a tweak at their heartstrings, if ever a little billet-doux had to come fluttering through their letter box on Valentine’s Day.
The primary myth of the advertising hype surrounding this honey trap for sweethearts is that we can only show how strong our feelings are by, for example, buying expensive jewellery items or dining at exclusive restaurants. On top of that, the latest trend is booking a romantic overnight stay at a boutique hotel. And if we can slip away by going abroad on a short break à deux, so much the better!
In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, we are incessantly bombarded by this kind of advertising that would have us believe that this is what makes our heart sing, and yes, that this is the life! Why not? There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be living it up every now and then. Life is too short!
The upshot is, however, that we are no longer enjoying the simple pleasures of life and we may be searching for true happiness with the misguided idea that we have found our soulmate when we receive an extravagant gift. Gone are the days of homemade Valentine cards, love poems, chocolates wrapped in their own love messages, and cosy candlelit dinners at home, followed by a romantic movie, ideally snuggled up in front of a real fire.
Sooner or later, we begin to understand that love is more than the occasional dalliance with a valentine who may be nothing more than a passing fancy. It is more than verses on cards and romance in the movies. It is loving our valentine every other day of the year.
True love is about reaching out to our very significant other and being there for them after a stressful day at work or during personal trials and tribulations. It’s about spending quality time together and actively creating more opportunities to bond with each other, preferably putting away mobile phones and other distractions. It’s about making our interactions meaningful with small gestures like giving hugs and holding hands, being thoughtful and considerate, and even helping with the daily chores.
But for all that, getting struck by Cupid’s arrow on Valentine’s Day may still take our breath away, and no one is entirely immune. The question is, will that magic moment fade away as quickly as it came, or will my valentine still love me tomorrow?