Valentine’s Day. Does anybody really bother with this? And how does it make those not “loved up” feel? I bought up my eldest daughter alone. Although I am married now I would certainly say that I am not one of those smug married types, I hate the term “date night” – in fact I hate forced fun nearly as much as I hate all these americanisms sneaking into our language (no offence to all my American readers, I love you really, but I’m sure you will understand that I want to preserve the Queen’s English). Forced fun. Yeah, but no. I don’t want to sit in silence over a set menu “trying” not to talk about the kids because that’s “the rule” on “date night”. In my opinion you shouldn’t need a ‘day’ you should know you are loved all year round.
And how does Valentine’s Day make people feel who are not in a relationship? I had fourteen years on my own bringing up my eldest daughter and honestly? I was happy and contented most of the time. I had my career and that was demanding and all consuming, and my daughter and I were very happy, just the two of us. It was like me and her against the world and I loved nothing more then to snuggle up on the sofa together and watch something funny on telly on a Saturday evening, I didn’t need anybody else in my life. I won’t pretend that it didn’t have its tough bits; there was many a time when she did something amazing and I just wished I had someone to share that with, or if something went wrong then there was no one to turn to. But for a lot of women their men are not all that either. And I have met many women who are lonely in their marriage and feel unsupported in many ways, be that around the house, financially or emotionally. The perfect relationship is hard to come by. If you are in one, then great, I am genuinely pleased for you!
When I was on my own I did feel like an outsider and was ostracised by many women (never men). I think they thought I was after their husbands when actually I valued my independence and trust me, those husbands were safe around me, all I ever wanted was to be included; not for myself so much, but for my daughter who wanted to spend time with her friends and not to be left out.
So this Valentine’s Day if you are alone, don’t worry about it, most married people probably envy you and if you are in a state of blissful union could you just take a moment to consider any of your mates who may not be so loved up as you and maybe do something for them? e.g. Suggest a trip out for a meal, cinema or a few drinks round at yours, call them and let them know how much you care about them and why, ask them how they are and listen to how they feel. Or you could give them a special gift, it doesn’t have to be extravagant, a favourite book with short message personal to them in or a card letting them know you think a lot of them and that they are doing a great job!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all those great lone parents out there who are truly amazing. I hope you know how much you are loved and valued.
This post is for you,