IT WAS initially a struggle to come up with an idea for my annual Valentine’s Day column because I am a fairly newly single woman. I didn’t want to come across as a bitter singleton and have previously written a lot about self-love on Valentine’s Day. Later, I was sent an article detailing how Valentine’s Day is toxic.
In the beginning, I thought this couldn’t be right because it is supposed to be a day full of love. I then took to social media and asked my followers whether they thought the day was toxic or not and surprisingly, 74 per cent agreed it was. One Instagram user, who is married, said: “I hate this pressurised manufactured holiday, where people have to overspend and show off on social media.”
The toxicity of it increasingly dawned on me, the more I thought about it.
If you’re single, it’s perhaps the worst. Seeing people celebrate their love on social media (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that) can trigger anxiety in others, especially, if you have recently broken up with someone. Seeing social media posts can make you feel very low and depressed, when all you really want to do is meet someone. It might even force a single to go on a date with someone they’re not particularly interested in, when they could just have a fun evening with friends.
If you are in a relationship, it can create unrealistic expectations. You might not be able to afford 50 red roses, expensive perfume and a costly meal, but because of what other people show-off about, you’re forced to do it. Unfortunately, equality goes out of the window and men are forced to conform to gift-buying standards of others.
Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating love in its truest form. The love you have for your parents, family, friends, life and pets. It is not just about showing off great gifts you have bought or received. This year, especially with relationships experiencing many difficulties, take a moment to consider those who may get negatively triggered by such holidays.
Mother’s and Father’s Day could also be an extra trigger this year, with so many losses being experienced in the world. We’re probably going to be stuck at home this Valentine’s Day, so if you’re single show love to those who mean so much to you, but also treat yourself to a nice gift, go hard on your skincare routine and get your bum in a lovely bubble bath. The person you love the most, should be you.
If you do have a love story, send it to me, whether it’s romantic, happy, emotional or sad; whether it’s about a friend or family member. I will be sharing the best ones. Submit your 100-500 word love stories to me (you can be anonymous) at [email protected] or message to get more information.
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