What I Wondered this Valentine’s Day

alleyway (50 of 98)Another Valentine’s has passed.

I pondered this passing and wondered of all the ‘days’, why is Valentine’s Day one of the most disregarded?

After all, we have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, birthdays, Christmas, and so on. On all these days we celebrate relationships and people, as we do on Valentine’s.

However, Valentine’s receives some of the most negative press: people comment, tweet and post on Facebook about the commercialism of this day, with so much criticism about selling out. But why this day more than the others?

Why do we have to comment and drag down this day so unfavourably, whether we have a loved one or not?

After all, there are those without mothers on Mother’s day, those who don’t celebrate Christmas, etc., and mostly during these other days the rumblings are quieter, the celebrations are more accepted, and people allow for those who wish to celebrate to just go be happy.

The other days seem to be more at ease with allowing celebration because what is really so wrong about celebrating a special person in your life, be it a mum on Mother’s Day or a partner on Valentine’s Day?

What really makes me wonder is that Valentine’s is, for most, the celebration of the closest relationship in our life: our partner. Shouldn’t celebrating the one person who is there for you every day, supports you, works with you, loves you, is choosing to spend their life with you be one of the celebrations we are more accepting of?

I know there is a commercial side to this day, but come on, it doesn’t outdo some of the others. And so what? Celebrating someone you love doesn’t have to cost you a cent. It is up to you, but it could be as simple as saying ‘thanks for being my partner in life. I adore all the beauty of you and look forward to another wonderful year by your side’. Isn’t that something good in this world we should be a little more okay with?

There is also the other side of Valentine’s, which is not just about a significant other: it extends to celebrating many other cherished relationships in life. It can take the form of schoolgirls giving flowers to each other in friendship. I even sent a bunch of flowers spontaneously to my mother one year, and last year a friend put up a photo on Instagram of chocolates his company had given each of its employees—how nice.

All too often our time and energy is spent on most of the things furthest away from our true selves, like work and trying to impress people that don’t really have a central place in our lives. This attention and time spent networking is often where we use up most of our time. The time spent with friends and family is even less, and time with our partner, often due to the daily contact we have with this person, receives even less quality one-on-one time, and then by the time we get to ourselves, our own needs and dreams are forgotten.

This really needs to be the other way around. We should be spending as much time as needed on ourselves, a considerable amount of time on partners, family and friends, and much less time on work.

So I see Valentine’s as a positive day, a day on which I will continue to wish friends and family a Happy Valentine’s, one where partners should make a gesture as they would for a birthday, Christmas or the like, to say ‘hey you, you are special to me in my life’.

So let’s be good to each other and see the good in any day, and how we can use that day and every other to be more present in our own selves and present for those amazing people around us.

Happy Valentine’s, you beautiful thing, you really are something special.



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Photo by Jorunn Lorenzen