A penny for your romantic thoughts

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Can you put a price on romance, asks Aasma Day ... no ... but a little splurge does help ...

So the day tagged as the “most romantic of the year” has been and gone.

Has it left you feeling blissfully loved up or a bit miffed at being short-changed on the love front after being let down by your cheapskate partner?

I understand Valentine’s Day can be viewed as a terrible day by those who are single as it is a disappointing reminder that they don’t have that “special someone” in their life.

And for those who have just been through a painful breakup or messy divorce, shops full of floral displays, cuddly toys and heart shaped balloons probably isn’t what you want thrust before you.

If you’re single, you can resolutely choose to ignore Valentine’s Day completely and treat it like any other day.

But if you’re in a relationship, ignoring Valentine’s Day might lead to your other half thoroughly nettled even if they say they’re not bothered.

What I don’t understand is why would you not make a little effort to show the person you care about how special they are? Unless of course you’re part of those annoyingly smug couples who decry they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because it’s “too commercial.”

Yes, Valentine’s Day is commercial in the sense that businesses make a ton of cash and there’s no doubt florists and gift shops use it as a money-making ploy. And I have to admit, there is something a bit contrived about going out for a meal on February 14 and finding yourself surrounded by hordes of couples who are all out for the same reason. As for those shops who hike up their prices and charge a small fortune for a bouquet of flowers or a set meal only for the cost to come tumbling down again the day after, I’m not a fan.

However, to censure Valentine’s Day completely and declare Grinch style “I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day” really is taking things to an extreme. Personally, I suspect those people who poo- poo Valentine’s are secretly a bit put out that their partner hasn’t given them a card of some token of affection and their defence mechanism is to criticise it all.

I agree wholeheartedly with those who say you should be loving and romantic 365 days a year instead of saving it all for a dictated day.

But where’s the harm in buying a card, trinket or a small bunch of flowers or sharing a romantic meal and spoiling your partner just a tiny bit more than usual?

Yes, love should be a year-round thing, but it’s a feeble excuse to not even acknowledge Valentine’s Day on the grounds it’s “expensive nonsense”.

I’m also not a fan of over-the-top displays of affection such as feeling the need to whisk your partner away on an impromptu surprise weekend in Paris (although if Hubby is reading this, I would definitely not be averse to it!)

As for those boyfriends and husbands who send huge bouquets to their partner’s place of work, yuk! What a show-offy thing to do.

However, for those men – and women – who totally reject Valentine’s and won’t even part with a few quid to put a smile on their partner’s face, rather like their attitude to romantic cards and gifts, I’m just not buying it.

My belief is that a lot of the cynicism stems from men who are so devoid of romance and imagination, they feel it’s easier to slam Valentine’s Day as being “too commercial” than to make a bit of effort.

Luckily for me, Hubby is quite a romantic soul.

Again, it’s not the grand gestures that mean the most, but the little things.

In our early dating days, he bought me a single rose from one of those annoying sellers who hound you in pubs. I think the poor bloke felt obliged to say yes when the seller asked him for fear of looking tight.

However, it was such a sweet thing to do, I cherished that rose and kept it in a vase of water for far longer than it lasted. About a week or so later, the man who was later to become Hubby picked me up from my Saturday job clutching a bunch of flowers.

When I thanked him and asked him what they were for, he sheepishly said: “Just for being you.” Awww.

In reality, I think he just wanted me to bin that manky mouldy single rose.

Nowadays, unlike the years BC (Before Children), lack of babysitting means we rarely go out on Valentine’s Day anymore. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still make the effort, even if it is just exchanging cards and small gifts and enjoying a home-cooked meal and a bottle of something together.

Valentine’s Day is a beacon of light in a relatively dull month, so why begrudge those who choose to enjoy it.

A gift or gesture that comes truly from the heart means far more than a £100 bouquet of roses.

Just making the effort to spend quality time together makes all the difference.

If someone can’t be bothered to make the teensiest bit of effort, you’re bound to feel a bit peeved.

If your partner tells you they don’t celebrate Valentine’s “on principle”, the principle being that you don’t need a particular day or present to show how much you love someone, they are correct in theory. But in reality, they’re probably just a tightwad.