Guest writer Orion Talmay, love and career coach from Orion’s Method, shares with us her 4 important things to remember this lockdown Valentine’s Day for couples and singletons alike.
February 14th is almost upon us, and some will be excitedly making plans, crafting the perfect way to celebrate this most unusual of Valentine’s Day (if at all).
And yet, just as many of us will be fretting over it. For singletons, Valentine’s Day is their least-favourite event on the calendar, bracing in anticipation of the flurry of incoming lovey-dovey social media posts, just as their January blues have dissipated.
Even those in relationships might be worrying, concerned that with pubs and restaurants shut, this year’s event will pale into comparison with last year.
No matter which camp you fall into, there are a few essential truths that we all need to remember this lockdown Valentine’s Day.
Don’t believe the hype
We’re all familiar with the yearly outpouring of love and affection we see on social media. Every Valentine’s Day is followed by reams of videos, photos, and Stories of happy couples doing typically romantic activities together.
Of course, in such an unusual year, it’s likely that some couples will go all-out: expensive restaurant meal kits, high-end wine, even transforming their garden into a candlelit grotto. You will definitely see photos of this and more on your Facebook and Instagram feeds this February 14th.
But what these photos don’t show are the bad bits of their day. There’s rarely such a thing as a perfect Valentine’s Day, and arguments don’t stop just because it’s February 14th. We’re just as likely to bicker on that day as any other day, so try not to dwell on your social feeds this Valentine’s Day.
While your online friends might make this Valentine’s Day seem like the best and most romantic day of their lives, that’s generally far from the truth.
Valentine’s Day is still just a day
It might seem trite to say, but it’s important to remember that Valentine’s Day is still just another day.
I get it, I’ve been there — watching your friends excitedly show off their Valentine’s Day card haul or post photos of expensive dates at expensive restaurants with expensive flowers, while you’re at home with a glass of wine and a box set.
Combined with the supermarket shelves being filled with chocolates, cards and other Valentine Day fare, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Valentine’s Day is essentially Christmas for couples.
But these are just the ephemera of a minor event that has been subject to years of commercialisation.
Over time, Valentine’s Day has been built up into something greater than what it is. We are excitedly asked: have you got anything planned for Valentine’s Day?
This creates a false sense of ceremony over February 14th. Valentine’s Day is just another day, no different from the day before or the day after it.
That’s not to say that couples shouldn’t celebrate their love this Valentine’s Day — far from it! But whether you’re single or not, it’s important to remember that February 14th is still just another day, and not worth breaking a sweat over.
This isn’t a usual Valentine’s Day
With a pandemic looming over us, lockdown restrictions in place, and our usual romantic haunts closed until further notice, this February 14th will be unusual to the extreme.
If you’re in a relationship, don’t fret if your plans don’t match the extravagance and variety of last year. It’s okay to settle down with a home-cooked meal and a film — there will be time for more exciting celebrations soon.
Likewise, if you’re single, don’t immediately think your lack of dates is a reflection on you. Despite what social media might tell you, this is the norm. Unfortunately, a national lockdown doesn’t make for a thriving dating scene, and virtual dates can only take you so far.
Consequently, it’s important not to obsess over whether or not you’re doing enough this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re spending this February 14th on a gruelling bike ride through the hills or just alone at home in front of the TV with a takeaway and a glass of wine, that’s okay — you do you.
In short, this is not your typical Valentine’s Day — don’t treat it as one.
Valentine’s Day is about love, and nothing else
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t forget what Valentine’s Day is actually about: love.
It might seem sentimental, but Valentine’s Day isn’t about flowers, chocolates, expensive restaurants and extravagant and overblown displays of affection plastered across social media.
In its purest form, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, of care and affection for someone special in your life.
And not just romantic love either! Love can exist from anyone: mothers, fathers, siblings, friends, even colleagues.
As such, you don’t necessarily need to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a partner. Why not crack open a bottle of bubbly with your best friend, your family, even your housemate — or yourself, for that matter?
On Orion’s Method, I emphasise the importance of self-love. It is at the core of my work, and it’s something we should all embrace this Valentine’s Day. Love is love, whether it’s for yourself, a partner, or anyone else.
We are living in unusual times. When the world is in chaos, it’s essential that we celebrate love in all its forms. This is what Valentine’s Day is truly, fundamentally, inextricably, about.