Tuesday 14th February 2023

When I first found myself single after 13 years of marriage I hated Valentine’s Day. It felt like salt in the wounds, whilst all those loved up folks filled their social media pages with sickening mush I was left contemplating loneliness, solitude and whether I was loveable.

But, the fuss around this commercialised celebration is far more to do with romance than love. They really aren’t the same thing. My Facebook memories regularly remind me how “romantic” my ex-husband was, because every grand gesture came with an insistence that I announce it to the world; regular bunches of flowers (never my favourite) designer dresses (a size too small) Poetry (full of bullshit now I look back at it) even a trip to Paris (sans children, who were babies at the time and I missed dreadfully)

None of that was love. None of it was even for my benefit. It was for show, for him, for everyone else, and one thing it never came with was respect or consideration for what I actually wanted.

I couldn’t fill my house with my favourite flowers because it was already full of whichever ones he’d chosen. I couldn’t buy myself clothes I actually liked because all our money had been spent on things that weren’t my style and didn’t fit anyway, none of it made me happy. I missed it though, because it was what I believed was a sign of love.

Over the years I learned that I don’t need a Prince Charming to have either romance or love. I can romance and love myself. And if I romance myself it’s the romance of my choosing. The chocolates I bought myself this morning are the ones I thought looked the tastiest, the meal I cook myself will be my favourite food, my house will have flowers in it when I feel like having flowers in it, and they will be gerberas. I don’t need a man for those things, I can do them myself. In fact, now I do have a partner I specifically tell him not to spend money just for the sake of it on Valentine’s Day, I don’t need that stuff.

I am a firm believer that women should be able to do three things:
1. Buy themselves flowers (and chocolates)
2. D.I.Y
3. The other kind of D.I.Y
Then, if at some future time we meet a lovely chap who can do one or all of those things for us it’s a bonus. A bonus but not a necessity, because we’ll always be fine on our own.