Valentine’s Day!

If Valentine’s Day is the most romantic time of the year why does it create so much pressure? For many single people the pressure of knowing they won’t receive a card or invitation often highlights their need for love and companionship making it a disheartening time. For men who are in a relationship there is the pressure of having to live up to their girlfriend’s or wife’s expectations with the right card, gift or invitation to show how much they love them. Expectations are so high and most men feel they can’t produce the right romantic display knowing that women tend to compare notes with their girlfriends and feel upset if they discover they received less.

If we women care enough about our loved ones surely we should be the ones to take the pressure off our men folk. Do we really need a new cuddly bear, a very expensive bunch of red roses, chocolates which will make us fat, dinner at the most expensive restaurant in town or the largest mushiest card that money can buy? In my opinion not only are men freaked out by Valentine’s Day, they dread it so be kind to them and take the stress of shopping for the perfect gift away from them. What is much more important than an ostentatious show on one day is a partner who shows his loving and caring feelings towards us in so many little ways all the year round. If you feel you have to impress your other half then maybe something is amiss between the two of you.

Wouldn’t it be good if your boyfriend or husband made an effort to come home early from work so you could spend time together and just enjoy each other’s company? By all means exchange simple cards with heartfelt words written inside and a single red rose never goes amiss; but you could still dress up for the evening, crack open your favourite tipple, enjoy your favourite food with mood music by candlelight and then snuggle up on the settee to watch a romantic film on TV. No stress, just a lovely time together.

If you still want to give or receive a gift how about making up an inexpensive photo album documenting your relationship together or maybe a simple framed photo of the two of you.

If you truly fancy going out why not toast each other on a splendid breakfast date instead? Put a love note inside your man’s briefcase or coat that he discovers at work and meet up later for a simple romantic celebration in one of your favourite haunts. Whatever you do try to compliment your partner; tell them how special they are and how much you appreciate them.

If you are single remember that the most important person you need to love you is yourself! Write down all your plus points and give yourself a pat on the back. If you can be happy with your own company and happy with your lot in life you won’t be on your own for long.

Plan ahead to meet up with other single friends on Valentine’s Day; why not throw a Valentine’s dinner party with a difference – no couples allowed!

Go on a shopping spree and buy yourself a treat such as a new bottle of perfume. Book a massage or beauty treatment and indulge yourself.

Be a special Valentine: visit a relative or old friend on their own or even volunteer to help out at a charity that day and make others happy.

Keep busy and remember it is just another commercial excuse and not an important day.

We have a house in France and one year it needed some repairs so my husband asked a friend of his to go with him to help. What he hadn’t realised was that Valentine’s Day fell in the middle of that week. He found out when, after a hard days work, he and his friend went out to a restaurant that evening, were presented with a red rose each by the waiter and found themselves surrounded by loving couples. I could visualise his red face when he phoned me to aplogise the next morning! However I had had a splendid evening out with my daughter on one of her rare visits home from America, so I was happy.

 A final thought to ponder: a book lover never goes to bed alone!