V is for Very Hungry

V is for Very Hungry

An Ode to Valentine’s Day: What’s the big deal?


The first week of February has come back to greet us once more, and the wake of the annual Valentine’s Day celebrations begin. Thank you to the supermarkets and coffee shops for supplying such commercial dating paraphernalia, elongating the already lifelong month that was January, with the reality that the next few weeks are indeed going to be just as lengthy. 


This year-round will be the Holiday of Love’s rise from the turbulence of the pandemic. So brace yourselves; for some, it’s going to be a big one. With the government's announcement that the Omicron variant is under control, the laws on mandatory masks soon to be lifted, and the cogs of the world’s social life slowly but surely regaining motion, February 14th will be a day in full swing.


As the great Nat King Cole once said: “V, is for, very, very, extraordinary.” And given the ramifications of Covid-19 causing a spike in breakups and divorces, with lockdown triggering a surge in couple-splits, we are definitely in extraordinary times, are we not?

So, if you’re single this year; dating, in a relationship, or just not in the mood, you are allowed to cancel Valentine’s Day altogether, you know. V can stand for very hungry, or indicate a very, very tight deadline. Repeat after me. It’s just a day, not a deal breaker. And us busy women, we’re professionals, and we’ve got stuff to do! 


For men, it's becoming a little more understandable as to why they’d rather skip this day altogether. Over a number of years in the 3rd century (A.D), on February 14th, Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine. So, it's slightly easier to comprehend why the male species aren't typically too thrilled celebrating the death of their own kind.


However, it’s natural for the female sex to feel a little melancholy around this time, or even feel slightly solemn that the focal point of the month’s 28 days is based around relationships. But, the show must go on whether you’re single or not. Don’t go down the slippery slope of allowing the social media facades to fool you, though. And if you even want to be a little cynical, just for fun, a survey shows that 7% of breakups (in the US) typically happen on the day, with 6% occurring after the social holiday. But true love never fades. Right?


Psychology has its part to play amid the Godiva boxes and bouquets of red roses. Remember not to feel warped into thinking this day is the be-all and end-all of importance. Society teaches us to act as if we should feel sorry for ourselves for not having romantic plans, or even worse, that we “need to get a date for Valentine's” (trust us, we’ve heard it all).


Valentine’s Day is specifically designed for excessive attention, and if you’re actively dating then it can be an exciting occasion to look forward to, indeed. It’s especially apt this year where hibernation has deepened the romance in some relationships and strengthened the bond between partners. So, to some, this year is a testament to a relationship overcoming two years of closer proximity than the norms, working from home, and slightly more bickering than usual, and we applaud that.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone likes being made a fuss of. But if you aren’t in a relationship, it’s not the epitome of life if you don’t do anything for those four hours after work. So, instead of allowing your thoughts to deter you; If you’re single, use this day to let them help you. Sit in your own skin, embrace the good in your life, go out for supper with friends, send your niece a thoughtful card, or even take this step into joining a professional matchmaking agency.


Spread love to yourself and to others, for the ones in your life are the ones that matter, not the one’s who aren’t.

Written by Isabella Aslam for Berkeley International