It is the time of the year that the colour red dominates the aisles of your local supermarket, covered with love heart-shaped chocolates, teddy bears, cards, red roses and Champagne bottles telling you that spending money on your valentine is the way to show that you care.
As much as you try to ignore it, February 14 is in your face, like a commercial wet dream for Card Factory, Clintons and Hallmarks to cash-in following their post-Christmas slumber.You are bombarded with adverts everywhere, from the newspaper ad telling you about Starbucks’ new Valentine’s special trio of Molten Chocolate beverages to the TV programs and the BBC’s A Brief History of Valentine’s Cards.
Despite this year not having a Valentine’s Day blockbuster of the sex-themed Fifty Shades of Grey and the inspired lingerie and whips flooding the market of last year, the love industry still means money.
Just imagine 9,225 trips to space via Virgin Galactic or 73m Uber rides from Kingston to Mayfair. In other words, it is predicted that we will spend £1.6bn in the UK on Valentine’s Day and the romance related goods, according to the British Retail Consertum.
So when your partner tells you they don’t care about celebrating Valentine’s Day, they’re lying. Expectations are high, regardless of what your girlfriend/boyfriend tells you. Their surroundings are full of red roses and romantic clichés, and they cannot avoid it.
The truth is, you are lying too. It’s just not cool to jump on the Valentine’s Day bandwagon, so you protest and say: “I don’t need a designated day to show someone how much I love them.”
Your affection shouldn’t be measured by how much money you spend. That much is true. However, you need to put in an effort, especially if you are in a relationship and you don’t want to come off as tight-fisted.
You might have been busy with your studies and barely got time to do anything with your partner. You are just another broke student and you can’t really decide what to do or get, but you better find solutions other than excuses.
Sentimental value is not the cardboard cliché from Card Factory, so be imaginative. And don’t think paying £6.99 for Netflix and chill will be enough. Make an amazing dinner, that is if you can follow recipes, or plan something fun. Then arrange a date the following week to keep your anti-Valentine’s Day ego intact.
Maybe you don’t want to be part of the commercial wet dream, but don’t pretend you don’t care either. Whether you like it or not, Valentine’s Day will always be there. Embrace it.