Dating advice: How to deal with Valentine's Day

Every year on 14 February, chocolates, flowers, gifts and cards are exchanged between loved ones around the world, all in the name of St. Valentine. But do any of us even know who St. Valentine is anymore or have we just got caught up in another 21st Century ‘Hallmark holiday’?

The legend of St. Valentine is, to this day, surrounded in mystery and there remain at least three different accounts dating back to the third century, of individuals with the same name. One of these legends is that of Bishop Valentine. After being jailed for holding illegal marriage ceremonies despite the Emperor's law that no Roman soldier could marry, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and began sending her letters and love notes. On the night of his execution he wrote a farewell letter to her signing it ‘From your Valentine.’ Come on, it doesn’t get more romantic than that, surely?

Since Valentine's death, lovers far and wide have honoured the day and carried on his legacy by sending cards to their loved ones on the date of his death. It’s certainly no secret that the day is laced with history but as with most things in this day and age we seem to have forgotten these true meanings. In fact over the years the holiday has become somewhat ‘generic’ in itself and a lot of people merely see it as an excuse to get presents and, well let’s be honest, brag about how well their significant others did. What was supposed to be a celebration of love and togetherness has simply become another way for our mad capitalist society to cash in and make some money.

St. Valentine’s Day used to involve people sending an anonymous card or two. Then presents got involved. Now trips to Paris, expensive jewellery and lavish gifts seem to have upstaged the modest little love letter so much so, that for some people actually receiving one wouldn’t be enough.

Call me an old romantic but surely we shouldn't need presents and mass produced cards to express such important sentiment to our loved ones. Love should be spontaneous; it shouldn’t be forced because we are being bombarded with reminders and messages everywhere which way we look. We could learn a lot from old fashioned romance values, such as actually spending time letting others know how much they mean to us, not just when we’re reminded, but daily.

I’m not saying don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at all, now where’s the fun in that? Just that this year, whether you’re in a relationship or you’re single, remember the tradition of the day. Celebrate by sending a simple love letter, cooking a meal at home or best yet, sending something anonymous. Ignore the big, expensive, shiny gestures the shops are screaming about and do it the way it suits you.

We’d love to hear your views on Valentine’s Day. Has it gone a bit mad or does Cupid get you every year?

For those of you that are interested in celebrating love all year round, why not sign up to Independent Singles?

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain