Oh, I'm not bitter, honestly I'm not!
For the first time since about 2013, I actually have a partner this Valentine's. In fact, I consider myself VERY lucky to have met my current partner, he's a legit catch! (Sorry for the PDA but it's true and I'm not ashamed to say it! Haters gonna' hate and all that.) What I do disagree with however is what our beloved 'V-day' represents.
Like most days of significance in the Western calendar, companies have used these days of tradition to exploit sales of their particular product, in this case: chocolate, flowers and jewellery. (Disclaimer alert: I've actually spent most of my adult life working in the fields of Marketing and Advertising, so this is not an anti-establishment, 'stick it to the man' post by any means! Sorry if you wanted that - not my vibe.) I'm relatively cool with materialism, as Madonna said, 'we live in a material world' - we work hard, we deserve nice things, fine. What I'm not cool with is the way we're made to feel about ourselves around Valentine's day.
We live in a society that celebrates unity and frowns upon divorce, separation and even singleton-hood. We feel immense pressure to meet someone, and when we do sadly go through break ups we're told ' Plenty more fish in the sea' and not 'You're ace the way you are, focus on you.' For me, the problem with Valentine's day is that it fuels this feeling of inadequacy the, 'you can only celebrate the joy of this day if you have someone' and not 'wake up and be grateful to be alive, to have achieved amazing things by yourself'.
Self love is a personal thing and a thing I think we should all aim to achieve. It's not easy, it takes time, reflection and acceptance, but it can totally be done!
My challenge to you this Valentine's day, with or without a partner, is to find something about yourself that you love and truly appreciate. Write it down. Send yourself a damn card if you feel like it! Being the best version of yourself is not only a benefit to you, but to everyone around you, so cerebrate that, no matter what your situation. And, if you can't do that, if you're not in the right place for that this year, remember this: Roses die, chocolate rots your teeth and jewellery falls down the plug hole when you're drunk.