Roses are red, violets are blue… no need for me to come up with a rhyming line, but you’re more than welcome to… Damn, did it anyway! So, February. Shortest month of the year (especially since January lasts for exactly 5 years #facts) and the main focus of the month? Valentine’s Day. Say what you will, but it has evolved over the years. Yes, it’s still saturated with heart shaped pink and red everything, the ultimate Valentine’s Day clichés (looking at you Bella Italia, some people like to see their food without having to push heart shaped balloons out of their face and plate.)
Valentine’s Day has now spawned other holidays (gal-entine’s day anyone?) and more advertising this year has been encouraging another type of love, self-love. However, it’s still a day of clichés and as much as I’m not a fan, I do think a day that’s meant to celebrate love should be personalised to reflect yours. So, here are 4 Valentine’s Day clichés that could use a little twist…
Flowers (Roses to be exact)
Now, there is much to be said about ‘the classics’. A dozen roses on Valentine’s day is about as classic as you can get. However, as commercialised as the day is, it can get old pretty quick. Especially knowing you’re receiving the exact same thing as everyone else. If roses are your favourite, by all means, continue. However, the best thing about love is that it’s different for everyone. If you’re going to celebrate Valentine’s or any romantic holiday, it should be specific to your romance.
Fun fact. Did you know you can get donut bouquets? Epic! A bouquet that can be eaten?! Count. Me. In. Also, cut flowers are actually a weird gift when you get into it. Being given something pretty that’s already dying, so you can watch the final moments of its life? C’mon. Why? You could go with a flower pot with seeds, so they can watch it grow into something beautiful, like your relationship (hopefully.) You could also go for a flower shaped neon light. Something beautiful that can bring light constantly. Sometimes, even the classics need a little something extra to sparkle!
A Box of Chocolates
Honestly, I can’t fault chocolate. If you can, you scare me and I’m running from you now. However, heart shaped chocolates? You can do better! If you’re anything like me, then you’ve bought (and devoured) a whole lot of chocolate. Ever wondered why the good stuff is so expensive? Well, that would be because of all the work that goes into it. If you’ve ever seen someone temper chocolate or make caramel, it’s delicate, painstaking work.
My suggestion? A chocolate workshop. First off, you’re learning something new. You get to eat all the stuff you make. You can bond over the struggle of making chocolate together and it’s a shared experience. Part of a relationship is having shared experiences and milestones together. If that doesn’t take your fancy or seems like too much work, got another suggestion. 3 words. Edible. Chocolate. Paints. Make some tasty art 😉
“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” How many times have you heard that or an iteration of that? Firstly, jewellery is great, no disputing that. I wear a lot. My favourite ones are not necessarily the ones that shine brightest though. Usually it’s the ones with a story attached or that I’m not likely to see on anyone else. There’s a tendency to buy jewellery when you don’t know what else to get. Giving gifts is even one of the love languages. Same with guys and watches. Dads and socks. Time to think outside the box.
Think of something specific to get them. Get them something linked to their passions or interests. That may be jewellery. It can be anything though, it just has to be tailored to them. Maybe they’re into stars. It could be superheroes. It doesn’t have to be materialistic either. As I mentioned earlier, an experience shared is a gift. Bare that in mind and blow their mind with your thoughtfulness.
Sure, you could get a mass-produced card, the ultimate of the Valentine’s Day clichés. It’s the message inside that people should cherish the most, right? However, if you’re anything like me, then you keep a lot, if not all of the cards you get. One of the best cards I got was on my 21st birthday and my friend/flatmate cut out our friend group’s faces and stuck them over the cartoon faces on the card. Small gesture, but super meaningful. I went through a period of making cards, but I don’t always have time. I tend to go for more niche cards from less commercial shops and then use all available space inside to write essays (ask anyone who’s received a card from yours truly) and draw stuff.
Now, changing up a generic card is one way to put a twist on a classic. Niche cards are another way, there are some pretty jokes ones. However, it really is all about the message. The message completes it all. Depending on your relationship, you know which route to go down. Short and sweet. Long and heartfelt. Maybe you only have one word that speaks volumes for you both. However, I’m suggesting a love letter or a story. Seriously underrated, especially in light of modern tech. You could even share a memory. It’s a beautiful thing to see a shared memory from the other person’s perspective. Intimate on a whole new level. If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is 😉
Bonus Point: Valentine’s Day Plans Don’t Always Have To Fall On The Guy
Finally, a Valentine’s Day PSA for all. Just like your anniversary, if you choose to celebrate Valentine’s, it’s a celebration of your love which involves BOTH of you. It’s a ship that requires both of you to paddle. It doesn’t always have to fall on one person to arrange how to celebrate the milestones and special days. The amount of times I’ve heard girlfriends being upset that their guy hasn’t arranged something. I even suggested once to a friend that she could arrange the date, that suggestion was met with laughter. Look, romance knows no bounds. Anyone can make it happen. Anyone can show appreciation through it. Everyone wants to be loved. As much as we talk about gender roles and women making moves, this could be a move we make too, if we want. Flip the script, why not?!
For everyone who doesn’t have a Valentine this year. Whether you thought you’d have one or you didn’t care, but the build-up to the day has made you feel a bit down, remember this. It’s just a Thursday. This Thursday just happens to be love centric and love takes many forms. Romantic love isn’t the only kind. Even without a partner, we’re all surrounded by it. So, this Thursday, you can treat it like another day or you can choose to see the love around you and reciprocate. Maybe even show love to someone who you haven’t in awhile. As the Beatles said; “All you need it love.”