This is the time of year when all writers, bloggers and television presenters will begin every sentence with ‘this is the time of year… “When describing what time of year it is before either launching in a hearty attempt to promote the idea of celebrating the day or go at a complete tangent by going Joan Rivers style on the day ripping it apart sadistically and robbing It of any form of positivity and dignity left of it. However I’m not a participant in either circus preferring to sing my own solo tune rather than join in either one of these already overcrowded choirs ( to put it mildly).

In an attempt to put together a well-researched article that is more factual than imaginative, I created a Whatsapp group in which the participants were friends and acquaintances of mine who came from different walks of life and had in actual fact never met or spoken to each other prior to the formation of the Whatsapp group. Coincidentally or not however before we’d even gone far with our group chat, there was a clear demarcation between the group members, with girls seemingly agreeing with the same train of thought whilst the boys agreed with a conflicting train of thought.

Faced with my question is Valentine’s Day still relevant? The ladies argued that Valentine’s Day was indeed still relevant and an essential part of any healthy relationship whilst the gentlemen begged to differ by saying that Valentines was just another one of the capitalists attempt at making an easy buck at the expense of hardworking people by manipulating the vain emotions of the weaker sex. Though I disagree with both parties, they both correct although they are wrong as well. The ladies caught up in their fight for appreciation look forward to Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to reap the harvest of their effort in the relationship through tangible gifts and tokens. Their menfolk on the other hand react so as to sabotage the end goal of the ladies which is to receive their materialistic gifts hence they opt out of celebrating the day. But in this tug of war none of the parties has thought to consider what in actuality they are celebrating and what their war is really about?
I believe that nowadays it’s more about the day and not the thought behind the day at all. The meaning and symbolism behind the day has over the years been lost as human beings have done what they do best: defile the pure and innocent and manipulate it for their own selfish desires.

In the beginning of February fourteen, way back when there were no gadgets and social media that cluttered and complicated one’s life, a young man’s life was sacrificed for love and someone decided that his death would not be a death in vain but a death in which those gifted with life could have love that survived – love that lived. Back then I believe it wasn’t about the materialistic gifts but about the gift of chance, of opportunity to love and be with the one you love, whenever and wherever you wanted to be. It was about the very little things that touched the heart far more than the seemingly bigger things.

So this Valentine’s Day let’s travel back in time and go back to that time when love had no demands and pressures. When love was just but the simplicity of the gestures that came from the heart. Gentleman I challenge you to block all negative thoughts with regards to the day. Brush away any pressure to out doo her ex or that guy who is vying with you for her attention because doing so would rob all your efforts of any meaning whatsoever. Instead focus on her. No not her genius mind which mimics the FAZAK or OK shops teller machines and can quickly evaluate the material worth of her gift and accurately total up its value, but her heart. That part of her which has no ability to reason or think… that parts of her which is sweet and cuddly and mushy and which feels.

Instead of digging deep within your pockets to take her out to dinner, why not call her best friend or sister up, arrange to meet in town, do a little grocery shopping and then dash back home to prepare her favourite meal whilst the love of your life is being kept busy doing some fun activity that you have arranged for her? And then after surprising her with that beautifully prepared meal, take her outside under the stars… maybe put on some slow old school songs on the radio, then draw her close and dance with her like you never want the song to end. And then as the stars look on in envy look in her eyes and tell her exactly what she means to you before kissing her like tomorrow will never ever dawn. Whatever you do let it be from your heart. Something that she knows you did purely and entirely for her.

Do something different, out of your comfort zone, which you don’t normally do. Something like watching Telemundo with her or plain old PDA or surprising her with a picnic in the park or sending her a bouquet of flowers at work/home accompanied by a bottle of wine, her favourite chocolates and a card signed off by a “secret admirer”. Do something that she knows took effort and sacrifice. It might be something that she knows you don’t like but in the end it would be worth it because the thought that you put aside your own interests just so as to make her day will make your effort so much more worthwhile.

And ladies… this year let’s celebrate our love with our men. Let’s not leave our menfolk to celebrate our love alone. Let us be involved in the celebration. After all it takes two to tango. Love wouldn’t be love if it existed to one person and not the other. Imagine if the roles were turned and soon after a girl accepted the boys proposal, he was allowed to go MIA for four years whilst the girl slaved away to make the relationship work and only made an appearance or an effort in the fourth year? How would that feel? Imagine that for a moment and then read on. What emotions were evoked within you? You felt – dreadful, hurtful, lonely, used, unappreciated right? This is how most guys feel.

So this year ladies I dare you to break free of a selfish culture that says men and women have equal rights on any other day besides the fourteenth of February. I dare you to let go of social norms that make it al-right for only one half of a couple to celebrate the love shared between two people. I dare you to stop belittling the value of your love to being equated to meaningless trinkets. I dare you to stop undervaluing your better half’s by valuing gifts more than the person. I dare you to stop being selfish. I dare you to show the men in your life that they need not wait a for four years to pass in order to be celebrated but that they will be appreciated and loved each and every single year.

This year ladies surprise your husbands and boyfriends with a little something- something that makes them feel you care. That makes them feel you are there. That puts a smile on their face and says without saying anything at all: I am not the only one deserving to be treated with special care on this day, you do too because your heart matters to me. It doesn’t have to be very big or very extravagant but let it come from the heart.

Ladies and gentleman this Valentine’s day let us go back to the basics, borrow the cliché which says it’s the thought that really counts and bring heart and soul back to the day. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!