Post Valentine’s Blues


With Valentine's Day been and gone, the flowers now wilting and only the unwanted coffee chocolates remaining, reality might be setting in for some couples. Valentine’s is always a great way to show your partner you care through superficial gifts and tokens of affection. However, Valentine’s Day for many couples is accompanied by the inherent disappointment of reality not quite measuring up to our expectations of the gushy day.

For many people, Valentine's Day may often feel like some kind of competition where there are winners with huge bouquets, and losers with a single rose or no flowers at all. Now that we live our lives glued to our phones with the capacity to see what our cousins’ sister’s friend’s boyfriend bought his girlfriend for valentine’s, the grandeur of the presents you received may seem a little meagre. Maybe someone you know got taken away for the weekend to a fancy european city break with row boats, fantastic views and candle lit dinners, and maybe you only got a takeaway or an M&S meal for two if you’re lucky. Maybe you were expecting a really thoughtful gift, something written from the heart or some amazing surprise that would cost an arm and a leg for your partner to prove how much you mean to them. However, as much as your digital friends may make grand gestures look like a regular occurrence in their lives, this is often very far from the case.

If this is the case and these feelings of disappointment emerge after a less than glamorous Valentine’s, it is important to consider that not only are all relationships different but that none of them are like what we see in the cinema. We might feel unimportant if our partner hasn’t treated us to a fancy meal or an extravagant gift, but most stable relationships will not prioritise this kind of thing. Maybe someone you know got 100 roses and you didn’t even get 1, but maybe they’ve never been told “I love you” by their partner and you’ve heard it 100 times, maybe they’ve never even been on a real date and you've been on 100 with your partner. For all you know, they didn’t even know their partner existed 100 days ago. To put it plainly, what we see in the media is always carefully crafted, whether it be in unrealistic movies which purposely create enviable but unrealistic relationships or from acquaintances who have wanted to brag about how much they received on Valentine's Day. In healthy relationships, we should not put so much pressure on our partners to impress. Of course it is nice to feel loved and wanted, but this can be achieved with small gestures rather than what we see in the films. If a love from in the movies is what you expect then you are bound to be disappointed; Richard Gere isn’t going to climb a fire escape with a bunch of flowers for you, Julia Roberts isn’t going to wonder into your book shop armed with the “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy” speech, and Heath Ledger definitely isn’t going to serenade you during PE with a rendition of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.’

Maintaining a healthy relationship is all about genuinity, being real and honest with your partner, being kind and considerate, understanding that there will be imperfections and disagreements. So maybe your Valentine’s day lacked lustre, but a present one day a year does not define the quality of your relationship. So, if you felt disappointed this Valentine’s Day, consider what your relationship is like for the other 364 days of the year. And remember, they’re only chocolates and flowers.