Confessions of a Valentine’s Scrooge

Sandy Rushton 14 February 2014

Pink hearts, posh chocolates and fluffy teddy bears line the shelves and fill shop windows. All this soppy merchandise is enough to make some people’s hearts melt. Personally, it makes me see red.

I don’t dislike Valentine’s Day because I’m lonely. I am incredibly lucky to have a wonderful boyfriend and lovely friends to keep me company. I don’t dislike it because of the excessive commercialism, or because I am afraid of the colour pink, or because I have a deep rooted hatred of chocolate – on the contrary, I adore it. I don’t dislike Valentine’s Day because of any of these reasons: I dislike it because I am a romantic.

To me, so much of romance is about spontaneity. An unexpected love letter in the post would get my heart racing much more than a predictably pink, mawkish card on 14 February. Romance is about smaller things than spending shedloads on jewellery and roses and chocolates. It is about surprising your other half by cooking up their favourite meal, or getting your hands on two tickets to that film they couldn’t wait to see.

A romantic gesture need not follow the Valentine’s script. Sure, sending your girlfriend flowers is lovely, and taking your boyfriend to a nice restaurant is something that anybody would enjoy, but wouldn’t you rather do these things just because? Just because you feel like making their day, whatever day that might be.

It seems to me that having this one day where people are expected to put in a bit more amorous effort makes even the sweetest sentiment feel a bit insincere. For me, the magic is diluted when an expression of affection is pencilled into the holiday calendar. So this Valentine’s Day if you have somebody to say “I love you” to, maybe don’t say it because it’s 14 February. Say it just because.