I don’t like valentine’s day. I don’t. I happen to despise that forsaken day with a certain passion. I know it is an unpopular opinion, one that I should keep to myself but as I grow older, my patience for tolerating annoying things runs thinner every second. I truly cannot stand valentine’s day. The weeks leading up to this unique day are full of raw or sometimes fake anticipation about what people will buy for their wife or girlfriend. I believe, that men don’t get as many gifts as women, so I will talk from a male perspective. I am sure google searches go up a million-fold as guys are looking for that killer idea, that gesture which could secure a lot of reciprocity later from their partner. Who could blame them?

It isn’t the business and money-making side of the day that bugs me. It isn’t the husbands and boyfriends who overwhelmingly run and jump over Olympic sized hurdles to buy chocolate and flowers, that bug me. It isn’t all the valentine’s decoration (they are quite lovely). It isn’t the symbolism of love that bugs me. It isn’t the posts that flood social media. It isn’t the love letters, playlists, lingerie, sex toys and special dates that bug me. It isn’t the somewhat hypocrisy around any special day set arbitrarily by us humans that bugs me. It isn’t the celebration of love that bugs me. Seriously, who hates love???????

The problem is within the day itself. My issue with celebrating that day is subtle, almost invisible yet it is there. I believe that by celebrating love (or any other event for that matter), on a specific day it subliminally implies that love could very well not be celebrated any other day of the year or not celebrated with the same energy. I understand people cannot have dates everyday or make love everyday or buy gifts to each other everyday or do the things you do on valentine’s day everyday. None of us have the time or resources to do those herculean tasks. I am fully aware of that.

I believe love shouldn’t be expressed that way and especially not on a pre-set day. Love should never be expressed ONLY with material things and on special occasions. We live in a material world and gifts are part of any relationship. Nevertheless, love is a feeling that is abstract and therefore linking it to concrete things is directly defeating its purpose. Whereas all those gestures seen on valentine’s day are noble and to be commended, I believe consistency in love and relationships to be the best way to express one’s love. The one-time gesture is pointless in my opinion. It implies that we are validating not to celebrate love all other days and that bugs me to my core. I believe that regularly expressing love and affection beats any diamonds, cars, houses, or any other material things you could ever receive.

Love should be expressed every day by talking to your partner, saying hello, kissing them, hugging them, sending them a random text asking how their day is going! Love should be expressed by venting to your partner about your awful day. You know what else is a profound sign of love? Listening to your partner’s awful day while choosing not to share your great day, to avoid any bragging or vanity or overshadowing their frustration with your joy. That is love. It is better to respect, listen, embrace, and care for your partner every day than just doing it on special occasions. How about a little “you look great baby”? I know that people fight and the last thing you want to say is “I love you” or be nice. We are humans and have our bad days. Yet, being nice, civil and respectful during those dark moments, that is the true expression of love, not fucking chocolate and flowers in February. How about offering flowers on a Tuesday after work, randomly?

There is another major thing that bugs the fuck out of me.  As with any society, writers, novelists, filmmakers set up certain standards about what romance is, what a romantic gesture should be, how one should love their partner, and so on. YOU didn’t set up the standards, other people did! Let that sink in for a moment! I ask you, respectfully: Who the fuck decided that flowers are romantic? And why roses? Why is chocolate so romantic? Oh I am sure if you go to Wikipedia, you will find the origin of those “romantic” gestures. Yet, the origin story doesn’t make flowers romantic! Why not a new phone instead? This is a dumb example, but I am sure you get my point. Rules and convention are there to tell us what to do and I get it. Every society has its own guidelines as it should otherwise, chaos will ensue. The basis is nearly the same all over the world: respect and love your partner! No physical or psychological abuse, please! Be a fucking decent and respectful human being! That is it.

Here is a crazy idea: how about you define your relationship how you and your partner see fit? How about you set your own rules? Perhaps it isn’t such a crazy idea after all. Every relationship needs its own blueprint to build the future and who better to draw the blueprint than the two people involved in the relationship. I believe setting your way of communicating and loving each other are a must for any relationship to flourish. We are all unique and to some, the rules set up by other cultures don’t apply. We might be a bit afraid of stepping out of the line but I am sure of one did, there wouldn’t be any major consequence. Find something that your partner likes and do it for them, but don’t do it on February 14th. Do it randomly, do not have a pre-set date, just do it because you know it would please them. I love comic books, I love writing so a fountain pen and a small notepad are more romantic than anything.

Ladies, what if you came home after a long and hard day at work, you are exhausted, slightly pissed off and you just want to relax and as you walk into your house, your partner has drawn a bath for you, just like that, randomly? Isn’t that shit more romantic than a bed filled with roses? What if you sat around in the living room and your partner had their head on your lap and you just talked? What if you were napping together at a park? I know one thing for a fact: every woman just LOVES walking down the street and feel her partner grab her hand and keep walking! That is worth more than all the chocolate produced on earth.

I ranted enough for today. Do not wait valentine’s day to celebrate love. Celebrate love as often as you can, everyday even. I know it sounds impossible but go ahead and do that. Moreover, find your own romantic things to do with your partner. Define your relationship with them. Talk to them. Do not fall for conventions invented by people years ago and that don’t necessarily apply to you. Be happy by being yourself. That is all I am saying.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile and go on with your day.

Freeman. B

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