Today is Valentine’s day, when couples around the world will be exchanging gifts, cards and piling pressure on themselves to make this evening special and magical.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those whining “It’s a con made by card companies” rants from a bitter singleton or a “I love being single, and it totally doesn’t bother me” thing, this is just me rambling on about V-day.
Here’s the thing, I’m not going to lie, like most single folks I wouldn’t mind having someone to spend Valentine’s with and also, like most single folks, the holiday does bug me a little.
Just a little, in the way it bugs me when there’s a Bank Holiday and I have to work, that sense that most people are enjoying something that I’m not a part of. So the adverts and mentions of it irk me a little, but it’s not like I’m sitting grumbling into a glass of Scotch or going to the park to throw rocks at old couples.
Most of the time being single is just a low level bother in the background, like having a minor cold or needing a haircut. You can probably sort it out if you made the effort, but you can get by as it stands. All Valentine’s day does is put this problem front and centre for a couple of days, I say a couple of days because you’re also bombarded with pre-V day ads and e-mails offering you romantic deals.
The thing that stops me from being a bitter singleton is that I’m a soft git and I quite like seeing slushy romantic stuff. I find couples who have the guts to engage in PDA rather sweet (to a point) and I like seeing people being happy. I also like to think that all that stuff is still going to be part of my future.
My love life may have stalled, and I’m somewhat guilty of not putting in much effort (my resolution to socialize more is really not working out, although I do have a few things coming up) and my online dating isn’t really working out. I’m never going to have a picture that stops people and makes them instantly swoon, but I think it’s about time I got a new one, because my old one, where I have longer hair and am a little heavier clearly isn’t working.
Seriously, the other day I got messaged by this girl who’d clicked she wanted to meet me, but her first question was whether I was a guy or a girl. Yeah, that one hurt.
I mean, there are advantages to being single. For example, I get to save some cash. Apparently women buy more cards, but men spend more. It does seem as though V-day is mainly focused on the bloke treating his special lady, which I’ve always felt was a tad unfair, and was probably why some people invented “Steak and Blow Job Day” to redress the balance in March.
It’s easier for one thing and it means I don’t have to worry about things like keeping my room tidy or making my plans around anyone else’s timetable.
Although I would happily sacrifice these minor, almost insignificant perks if I met a girl I liked.
Which brings me to the one aspect of V-day that bugged me the most this year. It made me feel old, and isolated. I blame David Mitchell for this.
In his book Mitchell mentions that in his 20s part of the reason he didn’t date much was that you don’t really have as many crushes as an adult. And this is kind of true, I’ve met girls I’ve liked, had a few mini crushes but I’ve not had a massive crush since uni really.
I think this is because I’m getting old and have other stuff to think about, and my hormones aren’t as out of control as they were.
It’s kind of a drag though, I had crushes throughout school and uni, usually just one at a time, and while they weren’t without problems (unrequited love/lust is a bitch, as is being incredibly awkward around someone every time you see them) they felt like you maybe had a chance because you were focused on winning one person over. Ironically, the only proper girlfriend I’ve ever had was someone I had a crush on but when we finally got together I was actually pursuing someone else, in my own cack-handed extremely unsuccessful way.
But part of me worries that the dearth of proper crushes is actually a sign that on some level I’ve given up.
Although for all we know this could be one of those “when you least expect it” stories.
Ah, well, que sera, sera.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.