Valentine’s Day falls at an awkward time of year: it can be tough for couples to rustle up enthusiasm for another round of gift-giving only six weeks after Christmas. And if your anniversary or either of your birthdays falls between December and February, Valentine’s Day drops even lower down the holiday food chain.
Greetings card giant Clinton Cards went into administration last year, closing half of its branches across the UK in June. Could that be due to a lack of interest in the commercialisation of holidays like Valentine’s Day? In a recent survey conducted on behalf of top online retailer Littlewoods.com, a third of men bucked the stereotype and revealed that Valentine’s was actually quite important to them. With two thirds of women saying they feel the same way, it suggests that perhaps Brits care more for the holiday than they like to admit.
A common argument against celebrating Valentine’s Day is that successful relationships should be affirmed and celebrated every day of the year and therefore shouldn’t “need” a special day. Of course, 14th February shouldn’t be the only day of the entire year that you and your partner show each other how you feel, but there is a fun sense of occasion around Valentine’s Day that can brighten up a sometimes bleak month.
“In the larger picture, cultural rituals like Valentine’s Day structure opportunities to do good things that we could do any day, but usually do not,” explains Bill Doherty in Psychology Today. He compares it to Mother’s Day: “You can honour your mother 365 days a year, but it’s not so bad to have one day when we all remember to do something special for her.”
So while it certainly doesn’t hurt to spoil each other every so often, and spontaneity is certainly a great way to keep relationships running smoothly, there’s nothing wrong with embracing the day by exchanging Valentine’s Day presents, having a romantic dinner or arranging a special date.
And there’s no need to limit yourself to the evening of 14th February. If being packed into a crowded, noisy restaurant is your idea of Valentine’s hell, why not plan a day trip, organise a country picnic or rent a cottage for the weekend? It’s easy to let romance fall by the wayside when life gets busy, and Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to take some time out together.
This is a guest post by Elly, who has a passion for writing about Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle across the world. She also tweets regularly on the latest updates in the fashion and retail industry, which can be found here (@Russell_Elly).