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Why Valentine's Day is just another day for me and for many single people

Updated on February 10, 2016

How many Valentine cards did you get?

Valentine's Day is supposed to be a day on which people celebrate their love, on which people who are in love let those they love know. Many people send Valentine cards and enjoy receiving them. Many people may ask others how many Valentines they got?

In my case I can only remember two and that was many many years ago. One was a huge rabbit and the other was a more traditional red heart design.

Interestingly both Valentines were from young women named Jill, and naturally I have wondered why this was? I would have been about 19 then. That means that in most of my adult life I have never received a Valentine card.

I actually went out for a short time with one of the Jills and she also gave me a silver heart pendant inscribed with my name. She said she couldn't live without me but then she went off with a friend of mine. But before that she had sent me one of the two Valentines I ever received.

I kept the cards for many years but eventually threw them out.

Valentine's Day on Amazon

A red rose for Valentine's Day

A single red rose
A single red rose

Lonely people on Valentine's Day

Of course I am pleased to know that people do enjoy this time of the year and enjoy celebrating their love, but at the same time I am well aware that for many single people and for many lonely people it can make them only too aware of the fact that they are on their own. For these people it can be a very depressing day and not a happy one.

For me personally, Valentine's Day long ago became just another day, a day that meant nothing to me apart from showing me how unsuccessful I have been for most of my life when it came to relationships and attracting lovers. I am sure for many other people it is the same.

Of course over the years, I have had Valentine messages posted online at sites like Myspace and I have no doubt posted messages and sent email replies wishing people a Happy Valentine's Day, however, this is very different from receiving a card through the mail. It is very different to having a partner in your life with whom you can celebrate your love together on that day.

When I was a young man I used to send Valentines and send flowers to girlfriends but those days are long gone.

I had a friend called Phil, who was a singer-songwriter like me, and he wrote a song he used to perform with the lines: "One, two, three times, I tempted her with roses, but it didn't work out, no, no, no, no, try and try again but is it all in vain, like trying to sell sunshine in a drought?"

Phil never had much success in his love life or with his songs, which was a great shame because he was a very talented writer and singer. He became a depressive and an alcoholic and I don't know what he is doing now but I use him as an example of what loneliness can do.

I once wrote the lyrics to a Valentine's Day Blues but I didn't even bother doing anything with it as a song or keeping it safe and can't remember the words.

Of course, just like Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, etc I am well aware that Valentine's Day has become a huge commercial operation. It is a time when card manufacturers and shops can count on doing well, it is a time when florists can sell plenty of roses and other flowers, it is a time when venues can host Valentine's Day parties and couples can enjoy romantic candlelit meals at restaurants.

It just seems a great shame that people have just one day in a year that is the day for celebrating love. Surely every day should be a day for this?

Heart-shaped box

Yesterday I was in the supermarket here and saw a really depressing sight. On sale there were transparent plastic heart-shaped boxes full of those massive tasteless and probably genetically-engineered strawberries that have been grown using herbicides, pesticides and artificial fertiliser.

It reminded me of a line from an old Bob Dylan song It's alright, Ma, (I'm only bleeding), where he sings: " Flesh-coloured Christs that glow in the dark, it's easy to see without looking too far, not much is really sacred."

Is this what Valentine's day has come to?

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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your comments, Lynda!

    • profile image

      Lynda Nash 

      5 years ago

      "To hell with Valentine's day! To hell with this worldly way of celebrating Christmas too.

      I don't need no special day to tell my loved one I love her. Like you said, it's just a load of commercial tripe anyway."

      My sentiments exactly! What other old traditions can we commercialise and trivialise...? Oh there's none left - there's now a card for everything! A few years ago my husband bought me a £30 bunch of beautiful red roses from Asda - they cost him about £2.00 on the 15th of Feb!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Claire!

    • profile image

      Claire 

      6 years ago

      Really appreciate this hub Steve, it provides a balance to the other stuff on Valentines day.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for posting!

    • profile image

      Teresa 

      6 years ago

      I do agree to what you have stated I too have not received many valentines day cards and seem to feel to myself in the lonely stage but what is funny I have someone in my life and tend to feel like I don't on this day there is always something else that needs to be done or just not even acknowledged it is even like that on my birthday. Its sad that I shed many tears on theses days and no one even notices.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for the agreement!

    • profile image

      veronicang 

      7 years ago

      i also agree with you

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Teresa, thank you for this brilliant response which is worthy of being the basics for a hub of your own! I agree with you on all the points you've made!

    • teresa8go profile image

      teresa8go 

      7 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Well since this is Valentines Day 2011 I decided to read this hub today and comment on it. I've never really gotten into the Valentines Day thing. Why in the world do we have a special day to show those people we love that we love them? Shouldn't we be doing that every day?

      When you recieve a special card and/or gift on Valentines Day what does it really mean? To me it means that the giver and reciever is programmed/trained/brainwashed to follow this occasion. It's an occasion that trains us to do what is expected of us, to conform to the dictates of society. People are trained to give to the person they love and recieve something from the person they love. They do so so they don't hurt the feelings of the one they love and so they don't feel guilty by not doing it.

      It would mean so much more if the giver would buy an "I Love You" card and or gift and give it to the person they love when it would be a total suprise and not on a day when you're expected to. Unfortunately, too often, that never happens.

      And if somebody is not in a relationship on Valentines Day they tend to feel lonely. Maybe more lonely than they normally do. It's like this day rubs it in their face that they have no "Special Someone" in their life. But, that's not the fault of the occasion. That's the fault of society and how we are trained.

      We are trained from a very young age that we are "less" if we don't have a "Special Someone", we're not whole, not complete. Sometimes we even get penalized for being single. Media is filled with this idea that you have to have a "Special Someone" to be happy and not feel lonely.

      When are we going to find a way to teach everyone to be alone and not feel lonely. It's perfectly fine to not have a "Special Someone" in your life. I haven't had a "Special Someone" in a long time. It doesn't bother me. I can look at people in love and think "How Wonderful."

      I don't feel lonely. I don't feel left out. I have to admit though that I'm not really wanting a "Special Someone" in my life right now. Maybe if I was wanting a "Special Someone" I would feel differently.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks, Ethel! I had an OK day and didn't realise it was a Sunday until I read your comment! lol

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      We tend to forget this on occasions such as Valentines and Christmas. Hope you had a great Sunday anyway.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Myownworld!

    • myownworld profile image

      myownworld 

      8 years ago from uk

      Great hub...and I love how honestly you've shared your personal experiences about Valentine's day (and relationships in general). Just another one of those overstated concepts in life, I guess. Thank you for sharing all this...was nodding all along! :)

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your feedback, Aya!

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      8 years ago from The Ozarks

      Bard of Ely, I agree with the sentiments that you have expressed. I'm not too crazy about Valentine's Day, either. When I was little, it seemed to be about who is most popular in your class, even though all students were REQUIRED to give cards to all others. Later, it was about who had boyfriends and suitors and who didn't.

      However, now that I have kids, it is about my love for them. Today I presented Sword and Bow each with a stuffed animal bearing a sewn on heart. Sword kept hers. Bow tore his apart within the first thirty minutes. But it's important not to play favorites.

      Every official holiday can be about whatever we make of it.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for your posts, UW, GL and Mkcoy!

      Mkcoy, I feel the same about Xmas as you do, and for me it has often been just another day too!

    • Mkcoy profile image

      Mkcoy 

      8 years ago from London

      Great stuff Ely. Very poignant. Very true as well. This is why for me Christmas sucks too! There are too many lonely people at these times. The world sucks!! We go about celebrating this and celebrating that. Sure it's great when you're doing it. Got to be greatful for those blessings. But there are too many people in the world that never get to experience this. And the ones that do don't realise how lucky they are!

      It's like Christmas. I hate Christmas! It sucks! I can't help thinking about people who have nothing. No one or no where to go. All alone on there own yet we continue to offer glittering prizes to those with stout hearts and sharp swords.

      To hell with Valentine's day! To hell with this worldly way of celebrating Christmas too.

      I don't need no special day to tell my loved one I love her. Like you said, it's just a load of commercial tripe anyway.

      PS. I feel for your story. Maybe no one was good enough for you though.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I have a loving husband and for that I celebrate Valentine's Day with him everyday. I really enjoyed your hub Bard and realize not all are in such a convenient predicament. For me it's more a day of gratitude. Commercialism aside, it's a day to simply express love to our friends, so thanks for sharing your thoughts, love and happiness to you.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Well said. It's just another day to me also.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Bonny2010!

    • bonny2010 profile image

      bonetta hartig 

      8 years ago from outback queensland

      Your last paragraph is similar to a point I made about Valentines Day with my son - I lost of course as I hadto concede to his explanation that Valentines Day was the day to celebrate all of those other days of loving someone...such a strange quote from a confirmed batchelor... anyway I enjoyed your hub and will continue to read some more - so thank youfor a good read

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Cindy and Adele, for what must be the quickest replies I have ever had to a hub I have written!

    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile image

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      8 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      Absolutely - love is for every day of every year, and love can't be measured by how much a person spends on chocolates and bits of printed paper or similar junk. Besides, if a present is given mostly out of a sense of obligation then it's not much of a present at all, I think.

      I don't think I've had very many Valentine's cards sent to me either... I had a sarcastic one once, when in high school. Hubby gives me little presents all year round, as he thinks this means more anyway.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Excellent Hub Steve, and you make all very valid points about how commercial Valentines has become, and how it can make single people feel even lonelier than ever.

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