Some thoughts on Valentine Day

And so the past weekend was the all too (in)famous Valentine Day. To the aliens reading this post, Valentine Day is simply a date (14 Feb of every year) designated by florists, gift shops and the jewellers for all the 'lovers' (a.k.a guys) to express their love to their girls in the most expensive ways possible. On this day, prices of flowers, gifts, and food at expensive restaurants will go up inexplicably while demand goes up inexplicably as well.
Nothing a Hello Kitty can't fix on a Valentine Day
Beyond buying a Hello Kitty with open mouth or a Chuck with guns and roses, I was just thinking about this supposedly very special day. Why does it seem 'so special'? Or would it even be special without all the commercialisation? Many girls act as if this is the only day their lovers express their love to them, and hence, the demand for more than extravagant celebration. I beg to defer from all this. Most of the times, guys express their love in the best way that they know how but they do face many challenges in communicating at the same frequency as their other half. One very classic example is what he expects vs what she expects. Almost all the relationships that I have come across in other people's experience, the women will normally expect the guys to become Professor X (a walking and non-balding one) and know what they want without them asking or telling them. On the other hands, guys, most of us being woodhead, can only process what is being directly communicated to us. Hints, at times, don't really work unless you are a Sherlock Holmes incarnation.

I have digressed though. My main thoughts for this article stem at how we can escape the commercialisation of love and be able to celebrate love on a regular basis. I have a few thoughts here.

1. Write love letters

And deliver them in the old-fashion snail mail method. Why would I even suggest such method when there's the modern form of email and text messages? I once read an article on the co-relationship between frequent texting and the meet ups between couples. The research found that constant texting has the potential of creating a situation where the couples feel no need to meet up as frequently as our parents' generation do. This inadvertently can have a cost in the quality of a relationship. Make no mistake though, in this age of smartphone, I am not saying that we should not text at all as texting is a very good way of maintaining a constant stream of communication. But texting is not meant to replace face-to-face interactions.

Also, I think email makes very insincere form of communication for a couple if you want to flame up the passion. I cring myself at the prospect of communicating my feelings through emails... it's like sending out a submission for approval. That's why I am an advocate of an old fashion courtship method, which is writing love letters on pieces of paper, and mail them out (or hand them personally).

In my own relationship, I have found this method working for me. Firstly, it forced me to sit down and think through what I want to say (so that what I don't ruin the paper by constant cancellations). Secondly, it allows me to exercise some form of creativity in my writing. Thirdly, there seems to be some kind of magic for reading a handwritten card or letter that helps to foster connection. Fourthly, well... I'm just an old-fashion guy I guess.

2. Flowers are not just for Valentine Day

At a practical level, flowers on Valentine Day are simply just too expensive. One can get the same flower or bouquet for cost much lesser on any given day. For the amount of money you spend on Valentine bouquet, you can easily buy the same bouquet twice during peacetime. I once watched a video by a marriage expert by the name of Mark Gungor and using John Gray's theory on man and woman, he exposited the difference in how man and woman 'keep score.' More central to our topic here is that man receives the point from the woman whether he gives one stalk of rose or a bouquet of twelve roses each time, which means that it makes more romantic sense for the man to buy a stalk of rose twelve times for the woman rather than buy her a bouquet of twelve one time.

The advantage of this system is this: that you tell and assure the girl that your love, as it is being expressed, is not only for that one special day but it is for all the other times of the year as well. Note that my point is saying that you need to dilute your love but my point is that if you truly love, you do not need a special occasion to express that love. In fact, I believe that your girl will appreciate the gesture.

3. This is not a day for singles to feel discriminated

This is a very subtle one, but on a day when everybody is celebrating their love, it is not difficult for your singleness to be accentuated, even when you are not being isolated from your couple friends. Couples out there holding flowers and roses are just too aplenty and it gets worse if you are a Facebook addict and start seeing all the ads from florists and ads on their Valentine Day outings from your friends.

This is inevitable but we can help to mitigate it by seeing how we can hang out with our single friends in a group settings so that they won't feel isolated or discriminated that much. One way that I do is to refrain from posting anything on Facebook (not that I am so free to do it) and to ensure that I spend more time in a group setting. Take

As of now, these are some brief thoughts on Valentine Day, but you may feel free to comment if you have other to add on or disagree with some of my points.

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