As V-Day approaches and the shops become awash with heart shaped chocolates, teddy bears and cards, many of us find ourselves filled with dread.
There was a time when Valentines Day was pretty insignificant and celebrated by very few people. The greeting card industry decided to cash in and make it the big deal that it appears to be today.
When I was a child, growing up on the South West coast of England, Valentine cards were sent anonymously. So if you received one you had to try and figure out the identity of your secret admirer. Likewise, if you sent one to someone you liked, you did not sign it and made sure it was delivered anonymously.
This might include asking someone else to write in it so that your handwriting was not recognised and arranging for it to be posted from a location out of town so that it didn’t have a local postmark. People who were already in relationships had no need to send them! Now that most of us are online, the internet has blurred the individual customs between countries and what was once a small insignificant day for some of us has turned into a global celebration or nightmare depending on your current status.
The first time a female American friend wished me a ‘Happy Valentines Day’, I thought she may be a lesbian hitting on me and I thanked her but promptly informed her that I was straight. She found this hilarious because in her part of the world wishing someone a Happy Valentines Day is like wishing them a Happy New year. To this day, it makes no sense to me why another female would wish me a Happy Valentines Day but this is a sure sign of the power of advertising.
There is far more money to be made by getting everyone onboard and not just those of us who have a secret crush on someone. So if you ever find yourself feeling sad on February 14th dont blame your status, blame the advertising industry and remind yourself that this day is about ONE THING – MONEY.
The best and healthiest relationships are between two people who enjoy the journey, allow things to unfold naturally and have no attachment to the outcome. This is why people will often experience huge pressure and friction in relationships when there is a significant event looming on the horizon. No one enjoys being ‘expected’ to deliver. Its unnatural, manufactured and lacks sincerity.
More relationships break up during or around major events when things are ‘expected’ than at any other time. Christmas and New Year are probably the WORST times as the expectations are so immense. Who will you spend this time with? Where will you go? Do you have to spend the day with your significant other at the expense of what you REALLY want to be doing? How much money do you spend on them? Do you want to buy them a gift or do you feel that you have to because its EXPECTED?
The biggest issue, particularly in newer relationships is trying to figure out how you do what is expected without giving the wrong message. Women often expect proposals on Valentines Day and are devastated when this doesnt happen. Men often sense that the lady is question is expecting more than he is willing to give at this point and will often sabotage and detach to avoid the drama. Those of you who have dated a guy who vanishes over the holidays and reappears in January will know what I am talking about. All of this happens because people are often very uncomfortable at the prospect of conforming to an expectation purely because the advertising industry have made it a big deal.
Its ONE DAY! I know that is no consolation when you are conditioned to expect something, and the advertising industry are practically telling you that you are a failure if you get nothing, but this brings me to that ego of yours. You know what I am talking about. That part of you that needs to be validated, wanted, adored, pursued and favoured. That huge ego monster that will throw a pity party if none of those things are delivered. Your ego is an UGLY thing. Its the thing that people run from. So Valentines day reminds your ego of what it isn’t getting and your ego then sets about making you feel terrible for failing to deliver. Blame the advertising industry. Its not there to encourage you to buy the things you need. Its there to encourage you to buy the things you WANT. You have needs. You ego just WANTS.
So how do you get through the day? By being really good to yourself. If you are truly dreading it then do all you can to take yourself away from your daily routine. Arrange a day out, get your hair done, have a manicure. Do really nice things for yourself that dont depend on someone else delivering. Empower yourself. Take control of the day. Its 24 hours. When you wake up February 15th the chocolate will be half price…now THERE is a day to look forward to!
Like this article? Read my book Relationships, what YOU need to know!
By Fiona Beck
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