This week: Lots of LoveEdited by: Kittiara
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Valentine's Day is near, but that does not fill everyone with joy...
This week's Drama Newsletter is all about helping you have a pleasant holiday, whether you're in a relationship or single.
Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day and that means love and romance... or not. As with most holidays, some people enjoy it, some loathe it, and some feel meh about it. Valentine’s isn’t much fun when you’re single and don’t receive any cards from secret admirers. It also isn’t much fun when you’re in a relationship that isn’t going too well. Or if your loved one has passed on. There are plenty of reasons to not enjoy the holiday, but in this newsletter I am going to share some tips on how to (hopefully) have a decent time, even if you are on your own.
I was an awkward teenage girl who had a crush or two, but didn’t know what to do about them. I had zero fashion sense, no clue about make-up or anything, and I was exceedingly shy. Valentine’s Day, then, didn’t exactly fill me with excitement.
I did once send a card to my crush. Signed “secret admirer”, of course, because there was no way I could face the sheer embarrassment of what would no doubt have been a rejection and, worse, the guy having a good laugh about it with his friends. The guy in question was one of the two most popular guys in school and whilst I was not unpopular as such, I knew he didn’t fancy me. He barely knew I existed.
Imagine my surprise and joy when, one year, I received a Valentine’s card in the mail. From a secret admirer. That day, I walked on clouds, wondering who had sent it. Every smile, every glance my way I analysed with my friends. I felt that my life was about to change, because surely the guy would gather his courage and step forward one day. That hope for a better future crumbled the moment my mom confessed that she was the one to send the card, because she’d worried I wouldn’t receive any yet again. Thanks, mom...
At that point in my life I felt as though I would never, ever have a boyfriend. That nobody would ever love me. A bit dramatic, perhaps, considering my age, but teenagers can feel intensely and it was a genuine concern at the time. Thankfully, I turned out to be wrong, but some of my boyfriends didn’t have a romantic bone in their body.
My first boyfriend, for instance, thought it was a great gift to place his old stereo equipment in my room so that he could listen to music at the quality level he was accustomed to. He also thought that a good date was for me to sit and watch while he cleaned his motorbike. To be fair, I did like the fact that he owned a motorbike, but it wasn’t my idea of a date to watch him mess around with it.
The most romantic thing anyone’s ever done for me was a treasure hunt around the house consisting of sweet little notes and little gifts that led to the main gift. They weren’t expensive gifts. They didn’t need to be. They were items I liked – pens, pencils, stationary – and the whole idea was so cute and creative that it warmed my heart. He knew what I loved, and he’d placed time and effort into making me happy. Who can ask for more than that?
That leads to my first tip: Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be expensive. Many people complain about it being commercialised, but it doesn’t have to be. You could write a poem, or a story with your loved one as the hero/heroine. You could do a treasure hunt, as mentioned above. You could make favour-cards that they can cash in throughout the year.
You could cook them their favourite meal, or decide that neither of you needs to cook and order a take-out. Sometimes being able to put your feet up is the best gift. Whatever you do, keep in mind my second tip:
Put some thought into it. There’s nothing wrong as such about a card and a box of chocolate, or a plush toy, or some roses, but a gift is worth so much more if you choose something or make something that says, “I know you. I know what you like.”
In line with that I recommend you don’t buy your partner a vacuum cleaner, or iron, or any other household equipment unless they specifically ask for it. Stuff to clean the house with is not romantic. It really just isn’t. It’s also not a gift for that person, but for the household in general. So yeah, don’t do it.
A gym membership is dangerous territory. I know a guy who bought that for his girlfriend for Valentine’s Day and it didn’t go down as well as he’d hoped for. He thought he was being encouraging because she’d complained a few times about being out of shape. She saw it as a “see, he thinks I’m fat and unattractive”. Again, I’d stay clear unless it’s something specifically asked for.
The best kind of Valentine’s Day if you’re a couple is one where you spend time together, whether you decide to go out or put your feet up. To have a chat, a laugh, and to build good memories. It doesn’t take much, just love and companionship.
If you are on your own this year, why not make it a day to show love to yourself? We often don’t take enough time to be kind to ourselves. Indeed, loving ourselves can be more difficult than loving others... We all need some “me-time”, time dedicated to what we love. Have your favourite meal, practice a hobby or, again, put your feet up, relax, and watch a movie or put on your favourite music. Whatever makes you feel good.
I’ve had years when I thought that doing such things just highlighted my sad, unloved status but why would it? Our worth as people doesn’t depend on our relationship status. There’s nothing wrong with being single. There’s nothing wrong with showing yourself kindness. You have value. You matter.
Whatever you end up doing, I hope that you have a pleasant day.
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