Written by Tayla Hawkes
Valentine’s Day can sometimes feel like it’s more effort and expense than necessary, turning what is supposed to a heartfelt day into a somewhat heartless experience. The restaurants are always booked a month in advance and when you do manage to snag a table for 2 at Bella Italia, the prices are always inflated so slightly you don’t always realise. Everything comes with a complimentary glass of champagne or prosecco in the hopes you continue to order the same bottle for £30 a go. The bouquets of flowers in Tesco have now risen from £5 to £15 and the array of red and pink boxed chocolate is too much for one person to choose from.
For so long, Valentine’s Day has been steeped in commercialisation. Aided by the need to plaster everything over social media in the hopes that your 200 followers think you’re madly in love because your boyfriend bought you a stuffed teddy bear, it has caused a lot of people to turn sour over a day that is supposed to be about letting people know that you care. But this year, things have started to change.
I Love You… Want to FaceTime?
The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused many shifts in our daily routines as well as changes to our attitudes. Self-care is at an all-time high, we’re reading more, working out more, taking care of ourselves and those around us more. The ways in which we show the people around us that we care have grown considerably. We text people more, FaceTime, call and make an effort to meet up for socially distanced walks. As for Valentine’s Day, it seems many people are taking it back to basics. From home-cooked meals to movie nights in, the allure of an expensive Valentine’s Day is starting to wear off.
To Be or Not to Be
A survey conducted by The Conversation found that around 50% of French men and women aged between 18-30 spoke to their families and friends more during the first lockdown. As a society, we are starting to see the importance in keeping connected, as well as putting ourselves first. While most people have been calling their Nan and Grandad’s twice a day, a study conducted by Aviva found that adults aged between 24-34 who wished to end their relationship actually tripled from 2% to in December 2019 to 7% in May 2020.
If the multiple lockdown’s have taught us anything, it’s to take the time for the people you love. And that’s why this year has probably been the first Valentine’s Day I haven’t wanted to go all Jessica Beale on a ‘I Hate Valentine’s Day’ pinata with a glass of wine in my hand. Because, let’s face it, it’s not the day itself we have grown to loathe, it’s the over-excessive and commercialised stuff we’re bombarded with that makes us a tiny bit more cynical every year. Being forced to take Valentine’s Day back to the basics has ignited a tiny cupid in all of us.