My Perfect Valentine

“I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I’ve ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, every day we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours.”

It is early afternoon. The sun is still high in the sky. A light breeze blows in from the open window. A single rose sits in a vase as a centre piece. An assortment of chocolates, in different flavours and shapes, are scattered on the sofa. Soft music plays in the background, creating a romantic feel. I hold out my hand while whispering ‘Love me now’.

“Love is an action, never simply a feeling” – Bell Hooks

We all know what February 14th represents. Lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day by exchanging personalised cards with messages of love. A special day that urges them to express their affection by buying expensive things. Tables for two are booked in their favourite restaurant and surrounded by balloons, they spend hours gazing into each other’s eyes as if they are alone in the world. Love is their true destiny.

But Valentine’s Day is not only meant for those who are in love. It does not have to be a lonely and depressing day for singles. Everyone can celebrate this special day in their own way. In Finland they celebrate ‘Ystavanpaiva’, which means Friend’s Day and in Mexico, it is called ‘Dia del amor y la amistad’, meaning the day of love and friendship. The emphasis is not only on romantic love.  

We can all be inspired to acknowledge the important people in our lives. We do not need heart-shaped balloons and gifts. A simple card, a message via social media – anything to show our love and appreciation for families and friends without the usual overcommercialised frills.

This year as we are still in lockdown, shops and restaurants are closed. The ambiance is different. Romantic dinner is home cooked and low-key: no serenade from a live band and no pressure to buy a single red rose from the seller hanging over our table. For once, we can find more meaning in our relationship with each other.

“The most desired gift of love is not a diamond or roses or chocolates. It is focused attention.” – Richard Warren

A few years ago, I lost the excitement of celebrating Valentine’s Day. I felt there were too many expectations on how I should celebrate the day. It had become too much of a cliché. I realised I did not need expensive jewellery to be shown that I was loved and appreciated. 364 other days mattered too. So, I started a new trend: look after the person who has the most importance. Me. I learned to love myself and appreciate my worth, putting extra effort on those special days.

So, here I am, relaxing with a glass of Prosecco in hand. John Legend is expressing his love and words from the ‘Notebook’ are dancing in front of my eyes. I am alone and undisturbed. This is my choice.

I have a date with myself, my perfect Valentine.