Monday’s Are For Moaning – Valentine’s Day, Shmaletine’s Day

I had such plans for this evening. I was going to come home, get myself sorted and write this post as early as possible. Then my coworkers invited me out for a drink and the plan was to have one quick drink then back to the plan. Three drinks later, it’s nearly 9 and I’m finally at home. The last thing I want to do now is write a post. I just need to sleep. Still, it’s Monday and there’s moaning to do. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Valentine’s Day is a time that brings out my ever-present feminist leanings. That’s because it makes me sad to see plenty of intelligent young women turn to mush over a holiday that pushes a flawed idea of what love is.

To be honest, I blame the likes of The Beatles and Baz fucking Luhrmann for perpetuating the idea that “love is all you need”. It makes me feel sad for people who spend their lives desperate to find success in a romantic sense whilst giving less of a shit about anything else. I’m talking about people who define themselves by their relationships instead of by their personalities. A good friend of mine once told me that, upon meeting someone on her first day at a new school, got the measure of one of her classmates when she was asked “do you have a boyfriend” before anything else at all.

It’s the kind of thing that gives you the measure of someone. Who wants to be friends with a girl who only values your worth based on whether you’re romantically attached or not? It’s fucking insane. It’s quite possibly the fault of all those romantic-comedies and Disney films we watched growing up where a young girl’s main aim in the story was to find love: to bag the man of her dreams. I mean even Belle, my favourite Disney princess, appeared to give less of a shit about books as soon as she began falling in love with the Beast.

I’ve been thinking about this idea for a while now thanks to a friend of mine. She’s been with her boyfriend since they were teenagers and got engaged a few years ago. However, in the last year they’ve struggled to keep things together. They grew distant and she found herself drawn to someone else. Rather than discussing her problems, my friend went behind her boyfriends back and ended up in a shitty relationship with someone who no longer trusted her. Yet, neither are willing to confront their issues because they are too afraid of being alone. It’s so incredibly fucked up.

I’m not a completely heartless human being but I figure if something’s not working to the point that your in self-destruct mode then it’s not worth putting your time an energy into it. If both parties of a relationship are unhappy, lying to each other and going behind the other’s back then that’s not a relationship that should be saved. I understand trying to save something if it’s what you want but if the only thing keeping you together is not wanting to be alone then what’s the point? Not to bang on too much about my friend’s private business but she was willing to leave her boyfriend when she thought the other guy was ready to jump into something. Upon realising he only had something more casual in mind she decided he was a dick and that she’d made a huge mistake. What is this fear young women have to not being in a relationship?

I’m someone who has been single for a good chunk of her adult life and I’ve not really suffered for it. I think it’s important for people, especially when they’re young and still figuring things out, to have some time on their own. That’s what I’ve tried recommending to my friend but she’s deaf to my advice. Instead, she’s desperate to move back in with him and play house. Despite the fact she’s been bemoaning the fact she has to clear up after him and general take care of him. She’s in her early twenties but is happy to act like fifties housewife. She put loads of effort into helping set up his business whilst she was stuck in a dead-end-job with no real future. She was willing to play second-fiddle and is still desperate to get back to that lifestyle.

Now, I’m down on love. I’m all for people falling in love and being in relationships. If people want nothing more than to be someone’s wife then good for them. I just don’t understand this need to be with someone despite the fact that everything you feel is pushing you away from the relationship. We can’t be so dependent on the concept of love that we’re willing to be unhappy just to pretend we’ve found it. It’s sad that we’re still living in an age where women are encouraged to find a man and that any other state is somehow not worthwhile.

Now it’s too late in the day to be getting too deep into feminism but the whole idea of Valentine’s Day is just an out-date reminder that love, when it comes down to it, is about economics. Men splash the cash and women are expected to lovingly respond in kind. The whole concept of this day just reminds young women that they’re not living their life properly if they’re alone and not being treated to a cheap box of chocolates and a special meal deal. The idea that you’re willing to be alone isn’t the same as giving up on love. It’s not saying you want to be alone forever and don’t want to find a man. It just means you aren’t willing to settle for anything other than equality in love. And with that, my friends, it’s time for bed.

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