Valentine’s day – love it or loath it, it comes around every year. So how did it actually come into being?
There are various legends but a particular favourite of mine dates back to 270 AD when the Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage, in an attempt to grow his army. He was of the belief that men with wives & children did not make good soldiers. At the time, a priest known as Valentine defied this and continued to marry couples in secret. He was caught and whilst waiting in jail to be executed, many young people would come and throw flowers and letters to display their appreciation of what he had done in the name of love. During this time, he also befriended and fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Before dying, he wrote her a love letter and signed it ‘From your Valentine’. From that day on, people marked this day in memory of Saint Valentine’s by sending notes to those they loved, signed ‘From your Valentine’. Fast forward to the 21st century – it’s still being celebrated.
Valentine’s Day sounds great when you have someone to send that special note too, but what about when you’re single? We decided to ask a few Tantric Club members for their opinions.
The female responses included:
“Great - if you have someone to share your love with. I know everyone says that you should be showing that you love someone everyday, rather than on one special day. However, with the busy lives that most people lead, it’s nice to remind that special person in your life how much they mean to you. But if you don’t have anyone, it’s depressing! It reminds you that you just do not have anyone to share the love with and that’s really not worth remembering!”
“Valentines Day – yes it’s commercialised, over rated and high expectations are placed on a so called perfect day. But at the same time, it’s just fabulous and butterfly inducing when you receive those cards, flowers and tokens of appreciation & love. But why just Valentines Day? Shouldn't it be everyday? Have people forgotten to be grateful for what they have on a daily basis?”
“I view Valentines Day, like I view, all the other days of the calendar that are dedicated to specific events/people such as Mothers or Fathers day. I actually think it's nice that a specific day is dedicated to special people as one takes time out specifically for that one individual. While, one can argue that this should be a way of life and we should be 'nice' all the time, it's never the case. So I think a day dedicated to 'lovers' as is the case for Valentines Day is a good thing and I have begun to appreciate it more as I have aged. I must admit though, I hated it a few yes ago, as I hated being single. Now that I am older and 'wiser' and accepting of my singlehood, I do view it differently.”
“I enjoy Valentine’s when I am with someone. Yes it’s a bit sad when I am single (like now) but it always makes me smile when I see people walking around with flowers… hopefully I’ve got a secret admirer this year!”
The male responses included:
“One word - depressing! Especially when buying your groceries in the supermarket leading up to the day.”
“V-day can be parallel with D-day for a boy. It’s a social pariah placed upon single men (and women) by greeting card companies to try and feel part of the masses that are apparently better off in a relationship (please note I did not use good whilst describing). It drives up the cost of things, without raising the quality. It brings up guilt, doubt and fear of your capability to love and be loved when you are single and when in a relationship. Don't get me wrong, I am totally sentimental. When it comes to birthdays, gifts for my mum, partner and female friends are always thoughtful and placed as high priority. As a foodie, I enjoy cooking special meals, or going to a top restaurant but believe that this should not only occur on (apparent) ‘special occasions’. When I am in a relationship, my partner gets that sort of treatment all year round. Anyway let's face it, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips doesn't go away because cupid's arrow shot me between the eyes. And more importantly, I do recognise that lingerie is not a gift for her but for me ;-)”
“I don't think much of Valentine's Day, regardless of whether I'm in a relationship or not. It's a pretty big farce, I think, and especially when you realize that you're essentially picking one day out of the year to tell someone you love... that you love them. Why not do something special for her on a random Tuesday in July? Take her to a fancy restaurant on Halloween, while you're both dressed up in funky attire? Bring her chocolates because it's the longest day of the year? If someone truly holds a special place in your heart, you ought to be going out of your way to express affection on any given day, not just February 14th.”
“It is a peculiar time of the year, doing injustice to single folk as the world seems to change and cater only for couples on that day”.
Not surprisingly, overall Valentine’s Day is viewed more favourably by women than men. At their core, most women enjoy the romantic notions surrounding Valentine’s Day. However, the general consensus between both genders is that it should not be the only day in the year to express your feelings to that special someone. At the same time, we celebrate days like Mothers & Fathers Day, so how is Valentine’s Day any different to that? Perhaps the intention to display love & affection all year round is there but with busy lifestyles people often neglect and struggle with this. So arguably, days like Valentine’s Day, prompts you take action to remedy this?
Personally, I believe that if Valentines Day is about showing someone how much you care for them, then expressing that affection should start from within. After all, if you don’t love yourself, no one else will. With that in mind, go on and spoil yourself guilt-free... Happy Valentines Day!