Is Valentine’s Day Separating Us Instead Of Bringing Us Together?

Could the flowers, the cards and the roses be deluding us into believing Valentine’s Day is only about love?  When in fact it may be about the media taking control of us by making those who are single feel separate from those who are in relationships?

This is a slightly different slant on Valentine’s Day, and I intend for it to be thought-provoking.

A day for something special

Those who are in relationships feel the need to do something special even if they do nothing else for the other 364 days left in the year.  Those who are unhappily single feel worse because everyone around them seems to be loved up.  But my question is, who’s really orchestrating this?  Could it be that the commercials, signs in the windows and love-themed restaurant menus exclude those who are alone for a deeper reason?

No doubt about it; there is some form of separation going on during this day that perhaps not everyone thinks about.

A different version of events

It has long been known that the media likes to portray a certain slant on events to make people feel small and fearful.  The news, for example.  Without going into anything obvious here, long story short: it focuses on the negative.

Now, thinking about Valentine’s Day.  It is assumed by the adverts on television and radio that all the people listening are in the same situation.  It suggests that if you are not in a partnership, you have to be left out.

You’re alone? You don’t get to be included. You’re in love? Great! You’re going to have the most romantic day of your life.  It perpetuates the contrast between the blissfully happy couples and the lonely.

A little manipulation…

What if this day was just another form of control used by the media?  If so, is it really any different from separating the employed from the unemployed?  Any different from separating the rich from the poor?  The hungry versus the fed?  The healthy versus the overweight?

No, that can’t be true, you might think.  After all, nobody wants to believe they’re being manipulated or deceived.

But the subtle forms of control are obscure and difficult to see.  Those doing the manipulating don’t want you to figure out what they’re really doing.  That’s the whole thing with control: it’s all about wanting the power to make others feel inferior.

People are manipulated into spending twice as much money as they normally would at a restaurant because they went on a particular day. A day when everyone else is doing it.

Singles might feel twice as lonely or at the other extreme, determined to prove they are happy being single, that they don’t need love.  This is a deep denial of the truth, because we all need love.

Excited or not?

There are many who feel more pressure and stress than excitement on this day.  If there’s any emotion that should be encouraged, it should be joy – not sadness, loneliness or worthlessness.  Those negative emotions are the very feelings that make people feel powerless and excluded.  Out goes the motivation to change, and the cycle continues on.

Why not take that power back?

Here’s to a Valentine’s Day that includes everyone, and all forms of love.


How To Say “No” And Be Loved

Saying “no” can be difficult if fear or guilt comes up at the thought of saying it. It can be a fear of not being liked anymore by the other person. Or it could be fears that they will think you don’t like them. But saying yes to something that you do not want can create a drop in self-esteem, because you are not honouring your own needs. But you can say “no” and still love yourself and be loved.

Tell the truth.  Making up excuses for why you are saying “no” just leads to deceit, and most likely, the other person will be able to tell that you are not being completely truthful.  For example, if someone you are not very close to asks you to babysit for her over the weekend but you don’t want to because you planned to have a quiet weekend in, it might not be a good idea to say you’ll be away for the weekend. They might ask you how the trip went, and realise that you were untruthful. Even if you get away with it, it might set a habit of deceit in the future or make you feel guilty. Instead, it is better to tell the truth in a loving way, perhaps such as: “I’ve actually made plans this weekend, I’m afraid.” Or something similar you can think of that fits your situation. You don’t have to go into detail; the key is to be assertive and truthful.

An alternative you might want to use instead is “I would love to help, but I’m not available at that time.” You do not owe anyone an explanation – you have the right to decide how you spend your time. People respect those who occasionally say “no”, because someone who always says yes can sometimes come across as a bit of a pushover.

If you want to say “no” but you are available, and are finding it difficult to let the other person down, a simple way to answer is “I can’t help at the moment, I’m sorry.”  It’s important to be firm when saying this, otherwise you may be asked again to see if you will give in.

By saying “no” when you need to, you are saying “yes” to yourself. You are giving yourself love. You are honouring your needs first, which in the long run will be much more helpful to others, because you will be rejuvenated after you take the time to look after yourself. Doing things out of obligation leads to resentment, which will grow if you continue to ignore your needs.

Be discerning about when to say “no” – if your intuition is clearly telling you to, listen to it. Notice the feelings in your body as you contemplate your options. Follow what feels good to you.