I love snow, always have. So the opportunity to run around in it like a little kid was one I could not pass up. After a few minutes, I turned around to survey the mess I had made of the pristine garden. I saw that somehow, one of my footprints had gone over a previous one, and made a perfect heart shape. I stood there for a moment, wondering what it could mean; whether it had some profound depth….and then stomped on it. It was just two footprints. Had I and my significant other made it together whilst running around the park fooling with the snow, perhaps it would have meant something. But let’s not get over-indulgent Phoenix. It was just something that happened.
In the winter people feel the loneliness of singlehood much more keenly. In the summer there is more possibility, the chance to meet someone and have something wonderful with them by Christmas. Autumn is the time when the fun of the summer starts to pass, change and evolve into something deeper and more meaningful – or not, as I and my friends have discovered to our regret. And as if winter were not bad enough with the cold weather, financial struggles in January (the longest month) and nothing to look forward to after the excesses of the festive season, along comes V-Day.
With Valentine’s Day looming the great divide between the haves and have-nots becomes palpable again. Both sides struggle with this holiday. Those involved wonder whether a gift is too big / too small / not expensive enough, and is it too soon to celebrate Valentine’s Day together? Will they get me anything? Will they be as romantic as I want? So many questions. This of course is juxtaposed with the have-nots, who either offer up a silent prayer that they don’t have to partake in this madness, or bemoan their Bridget Jones-style love lives to their friends.
So given the questions, comments and conversations I have been involved in recently, I am going to share my guide to Valentine’s day. Whilst my dating history has been a very interesting one, these questions to myself have got me through this event for the last 10 years when I have been involved with someone new.
How into me is he really? This can be broken down into sub-questions: Who instigates communication most? Are his texts / calls self-involved or real dialogue? How often do we meet up? Does he seem to be hiding something or pulling away? A large Valentine’s gift will pile on the pressure and probably make him run if he is already a flight risk. Has he said anything which makes me believe he wants this to be a relationship? Unfortunately Valentine’s Day is not a celebration for Friends with Benefits. All that said, if love has already been mentioned, it’s safe to assume a card (at the very least) is ok.
What does he expect from Valentines? Does he see it as the opportunity to treat his lady, or is it a fabricated event designed to line the pockets of chocolatiers and card-makers? Does he want to celebrate it, or just be quietly together? Does he have to work that night?
What income bracket is he on? I can’t expect something expensive if he earns less than me. Likewise if he is much more financially independent than I am, he should know not to expect anything ostentatious because I cannot afford it – and so soon after Christmas?!
And finally, remember – it’s not about how much he spends, it’s about the thought. Valentine’s Day, as much as it is a nice idea, should be had every day. Why have just one day a year where you celebrate your love and treat each other with respect, when you can do that every day. Personally speaking, I’d take a romantic walk in the park in the snow over a Valentine’s Day teddy, chocolates and card any day.