Valentine’s day sucks because it is profoundly depressing. Adults buying other adults cuddly toys and heart-shaped tat is depressing. Making a half-arsed effort to tell the person who puts up with your crap and loves you all year long that you love them, in someone else’s words, on this one day, because you walked past a Clintons and found a fiver in your pocket, is depressing. Booking a table at the last minute because your mum said she’d put the kids to bed so you and your partner to could ‘pop out for some romance’ and finding yourselves munching cold bruschetta from a set menu at a packed-to-the-rafters chain restaurant, eavesdropping on other couples’ forced jollity and clenched teeth arguments and basically wishing you were at home drinking wine together in your sweatpants; that is depressing, but that, my friends, is Valentines Day Bollocks at large.
What ruins the romance is the expectation. The competition. The inevitable failure of one, other or both partners to Do Valentine’s Right. It doesn’t seem to matter to some if their partner gets it right at other times, if they balls up on Valentine’s, they are consigned to the cold shoulder of no nookie until they’ve learned the error of their ways. And god help you if you’re single, if you’re the only girl in the office who does not take delivery of an ostentatiously expensive bouquet of flowers to get in the way of your monitor all day, or the guy on the tube on his way home with a microwave pasta meal for one. For the recently dumped, the divorced, the unmarried, the day is basically an exercise in pretending you don’t mind the faux-sympathetic glances of people convinced that you give a crap.
By all means, you should tell the person you love that you love them on Valentines Day. But tell them all the time, and tell them why, properly, wince-worthily unbritish though it may be. If that’s too hard, spell it out in fridge magnets on a murky Wednesday morning. Whisper it at bedtime, shout it embarrassingly when you’ve drunk too much. Don’t just wait until the money-machine reminds you to dump some sad, soulless teddy into the love bank. Lose the Valentine’s pressure. You’ll feel better for it.