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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
When I was young, a long, long time ago, Valentine's Day was just about letting someone know via a card that you were interested in them (aka fancied the pants off them!). Oh the excitement when you heard the rattle of the letterbox on February 14th, the anticipation had felt almost unbearable, the wait excruciatingly long, but now there it was, lying there on the mat, the long awaited and much wanted envelope. Lying within its depths was in all probability an inexpensive card displaying a very cheesy verse with a question mark scribed underneath it - the admirer couldn't possibly reveal their identity, but that just added to the mystique and excitement of the whole experience. It really didn't matter you see how much the card cost or that the sender remained anonymous, it was all about receiving a card, it was romantic and somehow validated your desirability. Being a woman I can't say for certain but I guess the male ego would have enjoyed the attention equally as much but maybe wouldn't have quite so readily have admitted it!
Back to the present - now it seems it all has to be about the grand gesture and expectations can be huge. No longer is it about the romance of having a 'secret admirer', it's now all about spending potentially quite a lot of money on your partner so they know how much you love, value and appreciate them. I have spoken to quite a few people, women in the main, who feel really offended if they don't get spoilt on Valentine's Day, for them it has become a right not just a hope.
So what about the other 364 days of the year? Do we all just need to get better at appreciating each other on a regular basis? Do long term partners actually know how their other half likes to be spoilt, they may have quite different needs in that regard. For some it may well be an extravagant night out but for others it could be a takeaway with a bottle of wine or a day out in the countryside. Maybe if we all dedicated a little more time to our partner on a daily basis rather than planning a grand gesture two or three times per year, relationships might be in a healthier state.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not such a curmudgeonly, grumpy old women that I believe Valentine's Day should be completely ignored, I just think we could all 'spread the love' a little more and not reserve the red rose(s) or breakfast in bed for just one day of the year!
If you would like any advice please contact our Family team.