Mandy Kloppers

Valentine’s Day

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.
Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Happy Valentine’s Day. Happy every other day too for that matter. Why should one particular day be singled out for love and happiness? Valentine’s day highlights love for the day…the one you love, the one who loves you. It also highlights when love is wrong. Valentine’s day can cause anxiety for those in unhappy relationships as they are reminded of happy loved up couples. This highlights the lack of love and goodwill in their own lives. Many declare that they do not like Valentine’s Day and try to minimise the meaning and significance of the day, all the while secretly hoping that their partner really will make an effort and send them flowers, chocolates and/or a cheesy romantic card.
Those who don’t have a partner are forced to remember that they are alone and for many this can trigger a sense of failure. A feeling that they are somehow unworthy of love. Why can’t they find anyone? What’s wrong with them?
So, do I think Valentine’s Day is a good thing? Not on your nellie. I think it is overhyped and over commercialized. A good reason for the shops to make more money. Love is an all year round thing and the concept of having to show love on a specific day plus the implications and assumptions that remain around behaviour on this day is ludicrous in my eyes.
Of course, I do see the fun side – the light hearted side. I don’t want to come across as an old cynic. A celebration of any kind is a good thing but when it lends itself to creating anguish for those without and the emotions associated with feeling ‘on the outside’ looking in, I wonder about it’s general message.
In fact, the irony is that I have seen many people break up as a result of Valentine’s Day. One partner perceives a lack of effort from their other half and decides that they can’t really be loved at all if this is all their partner is willing to do to express their love. I have also witnessed couples split up because one person has been triggered by Valentine’s Day into analysing the state of their relationship. Having given it some thought, they have decided that they should be feeling that gushy infatuation they first felt at the start of the relationship. They come to the conclusion that the relationship has therefore run its course and promptly start racing for greener pastures.
I have seen more negative outcomes from Valentine’s Day than positive ones. The truly happy couples tend to show consistent love and give as much as they take out of the relationship. When the love is there, days like today don’t really have that much meaning. It is a natural state of being.
Mandy X