When driving or walking on a street and all you see are nicely dressed or most of the time tackily dressed mannequins in blood red or shades of red, it confirms two things:
1. You are most likely in Lagos, Nigeria (if not, does this happen where you are?).
2. Its February and Valentine’s Day is around the corner.
I commend stores that actually make an effort to style a mannequin properly (it is usually a beautiful sight and almost a determinant to go into the store) but then there are some that make your eyes bleed from all the red you are forced to see. Apparently, Red is the colour of love and love ‘must’/’should’ be celebrated on valentine’s day. At least, this is the thought of an average person on the street.
If you attended a secondary school like mine (Hi Feddy Owr.!!!), you will definitely agree that celebrating valentine’s day was/is a ‘big deal’. From knowing who your valentine is, to picking the perfect or not so perfect gift, to finding out who got the best gift on the block, the chocolates, bottles of wine, the single rose flower (rolls eye)….. I actually did get the knack for picking gifts from high school. It is amazing how we were innocently exposed to all that valentine’s day display from a really young age?
Years later, we may have continued to celebrate valentine’s day as a big deal or we may have found an alternative distraction. I know that everyone does not look forward to celebrating valentine’s day (for one reason or the other) and this was also the case back in high school as not everyone had a ‘valentine’ to exchange gifts with. If this happens, you spend your evening most likely sitting outside your hostel watching gifts being delivered or doing whatever it is that makes you happy. And now?…. it is easy to say those who have no activity spend their time on instagram checking out other people’s gift or sulking at how bad their day is going. What about doing something that makes you happy?
Through all this, I have learnt that before or after valentine’s day, you do not stop being affectionate or sending nice notes across to your ‘valentine’(someone you care about).
While growing, I am sure I never saw anyone crying in a corner because there was no one to exchange gifts with. So why is it different now? what is the fuss about celebrating valentine’s day alone?
Is it the excitement?
I understand that we (the paired ones) make it difficult for valentine’s day to go unnoticed (love is really a beautiful thing) but if you are not ‘paired’ is it really worth you being sad? If you can be excited about the thought of buying a new pair of shoe on a random day, why can’t you be excited for the same reason on valentine’s day? If this is any consolation, not all the ‘paired ones’ look forward to valentine’s day *wink.
Is it the exchange of gift?
The feeling you get after receiving gifts from a friend or partner is amazing but what really is the point if it comes only on valentine’s day. You should receive and give gifts ‘just because’. This helps to build the relationship than waiting for a particular day. You know what they say about the little things?
If you are not paired, here is something that can help; randomly rewarding yourself when you have accomplished a task. This might not be related to valentine’s day but I have this tradition where I wear new outfits throughout my birthday week. So even if I do not have the time to plan a party or hang out, I feel happy while working or engaged in other activities. Basically, gifts are therapeutic. If you are not receiving gifts or celebrating , buy something for yourself or better still give to someone in need.
Is it the need for company?
It is certain that ‘all’ women (and some men) love attention. As a significant other, You possibly can’t wait until only valentine’s day to reaffirm your affection towards your partner (Hi hopeless romantics!!!).
However, this does not change the fact that valentine’s day is popularly used to reaffirm your love or appreciation to someone you care about. This could be your partner, friend, family and to take it a step further, the less privileged. The idea is to give love in anyway possible so if your reality is not ‘a candle lit dinner on a table in a five star restaurant’ or ‘netflix and chill/steamy night’ then extend that love to your friend or family member whom you probably have not seen in a while or visit the less privileged bearing gifts. The blessings you will receive surpasses the sadness you may feel after ‘bae’ decides he wants to move on.
The problem is, society has created an illusion around valentine’s day, we accept these misconceptions and use it as a criteria to compare relationships with our partner, friends and family.
Already a couple, we think it is okay to bother our partner because he/she failed to plan a dinner date on valentine’s day. What about the other dates you have had together? As a couple, find what works in your relationship. If there is a valentine’s day tradition already, keep at it. If you want one in your relationship, talk about it and introduce it.
If we are not paired, we beat up ourselves and forget there is more to giving and receiving love than the perfect picture of boy and girl walking barefoot on the beach (that is a beautiful sight by the way). What better time to watch a chick flick, facetime or skype a childhood friend, Go out!!!!!! You might find the one *wink
As a sucker for all things love and self-love, I totally support the display of love and affection before, on and after valentine’s day.
Every girl dreams to get proposed to on valentine’s day while the ace guys make it happen and plan the best proposals for the evening. If you do not get proposed to on valentine’s day, does it make the proposal invalid?
It is truely divine to have that someone to celebrate love and life (hi hubby!!!!) with but if you are not paired yet, here is basically how to survive:
Avoid the misconceptions around valentine’s day, no sulking, create your definition and let it be centered around showing affection to yourself, your partner(if you have) and to the people around you whether there is a ‘Before Anyone Else’ or not.
Click here to read about self-love
What does valentine’s day mean to you? Should you celebrate love everyday or stick to February 14🤔🤔