Alternative Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is edging closer and I’ve been thinking about some alternative “gifts” for this problem holiday. Why do we need to change Valentines Day, what’s wrong with it in the first place you might be wondering ?

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Well I have a few problems with Valentines Day

Which are as follows:

1.People are encouraged to spend over-inflated prices on stuff. None of it particularly eco-friendly.  In case anyone hadn’t noticed roses are definitely not in season in the UK at the moment.

2. It can put some people in relationships under pressure to be romantic on that particular day. For whatever reason it might just not turn out as planned. Much like the pressure people put on themselves to have a perfect Christmas.

3. It reminds all the people who aren’t in relationships that they are by themselves.  This can potentially exacerbate any feelings of loneliness and generally make them feel left out.

I’m not saying that people in relationships shouldn’t celebrate their relationship, but really that should be a year round thing. Not just a one day a year thing. I think Valentines Day could be more inclusive and not leave a whole load of people feeling lonely.

However, I don’t think Valentines Day is about to get forgotten any time soon.

So if I was in charge I would re-frame Valentine’s Day in the following way:

With my giving hat on, I think Valentines Day could be a great day to help lonely people. By directing a little of the love their way. There are some interesting statistics about loneliness in the UK here. Although there is a lot of emphasis on older people, apparently the rise and rise of social networking is causing us all to interact with each other less in real life. This is contributing to feelings of isolation (read more in this interesting article here).  Ideas of how you can spread the love around and make those lonely people feel slightly less lonely include:

Give your elderly relatives that live alone or in care homes a call or better still a visit. You can take a gift, but your presence will be the best present. Beyond that, if you haven’t got a close relationship with your elderly relatives, why not start to build one now? They have a lifetime of knowledge and experiences to share. You may find out things you never knew about your own family history by spending time getting to know them.  I love this poem by Hollie McNish about her Grandma’s, which is well worth a listen.

Ask the people in your life that you think might be lonely, what can you do to help. (Although tread carefully, people don’t always like to admit to being lonely)…

I have mentioned this before, but here goes again. Rather than feeling under pressure on Valentine’s Day it could be treated as a of “new year” of relationships. You could discuss how things are going. Set some goals and resolutions for the year ahead for the relationship together.  

Examples for resolutions include

(I’m thinking of for long term relationships here):

Set aside one evening a week to spend time together. No distractions (i.e. no TV, smartphone, no computer, no kids, no phone calls, no other interruptions)

Plan an activity once a month you will both enjoy together. Eg. see a show or go to karaoke, or going fishing or whatever it is that floats your boat…

Instead of arguing over who does the cleaning you might decide to split the jobs. If neither of you are into cleaning you might decide that employing a cleaner is money well spent.

You might want to talk about longer term goals. E.g financial, career, or personal. Whatever it is, spending time sharing these thoughts and planning together could lead to a whole lot more romance throughout the year. Working as a team to achieve your goals and aims together.

So, in my world Valentines Day = make relationship resolutions. As well, what I can do for someone in my life who may feel a little lonely day.

Catchy isn’t it : )