"I think these plans epitomise the more relaxed attitude I’ve recently taken up. I’m just really not that fussed..."INSTAGRAM/GEORGIAMAYDESIGNS

Obligatory – I’m not in a relationship this Valentine’s. Thank God. My ideal vision of the day has changed tenfold over the past few years, but my thoughts when writing this article kept coming back to one simple fact: I don’t have to worry about getting a gift. This easy ambivalence that I now have towards Valentine’s Day, though, has been hard won. I’ve gone through all the stages of grief. From realising that there’s a chance I’ll never again have a Valentine, to denouncing the day as a holiday in honour of all things cishet and capitalist, to fervently hoping someone might somehow know my address and send me a card – believe me, I’ve done it all.

“I won’t go into the problematic myriad of stereotypes surrounding the spectrum of sexuality. Safe to say I’ve dealt with my fair share of hang-ups.”

Once upon a time, I was always assured of a Valentine’s gift. Back in primary school, I would exchange cards and some chocolate with one of my classmates, the son of my mum’s friend. This petered out after a few years, when I realised that I was not involved in the greatest love story of all time. This was and remains my sole experience of receiving a Valentine’s gift (we gloss over the year in Sixth Form when my mum coordinated a pity card for me from the family…), so I have no real wisdom to offer here on that front.

What struck me this year was that I haven’t been at home for Valentine’s Day in a while. Last year, I had my RAG blind date and cycled back to college through Storm Dennis, to have a takeaway and watch Mamma Mia with a flatmate. The year before I was au pairing in France, and was probably up to my knees in snow shovelling the front drive for half of the day. Back when I was at home on the 14th of February, the day itself would usually be marked by my sister (younger) appearing with a gift, or ten, from boys at school. One brave soul in year 6 even ventured to our front door, where he handed over chocolate for my sister and his best wishes to our dad. This year, then, our plans are really quite simple in comparison: Pride and Prejudice, choice excerpts from The Vampire Diaries, and a Domino’s.

"It’s these simple things that have comprised my entire lockdown experience..."INSTAGRAM/GEORGIAMAYDESIGNS

I think these plans epitomise the more relaxed attitude I’ve recently taken up. I’m just really not that fussed. My sister claims she isn’t either, but there’s time yet for a distanced drop-off of some chocolates or other at our front door. Our experience of the day at home will be focused around our parents. My dad will no doubt buy flowers for my mum; they’ll probably order a takeaway together. They’ll watch The X-Files (my mum’s currently on season 6, and has long lost any leg to stand on when she criticises us for binge-watching a series). It’s these simple things that have comprised my entire lockdown experience, and will continue to.

The fact that I remain rather nonplussed about the whole affair stems from my changing understanding of my ideal partner over the past few years. I now face this day geared up to couples with less animosity; gone are the days when I would watch Miranda and lament along with her, hoping that “St Valentine died alone, surrounded by couples.” This uncertainty and, potentially, fear of being left behind used to concern me, but I’ve managed to work through this. I won’t go into the problematic myriad of stereotypes surrounding the spectrum of sexuality, as to even mention them is to perpetuate it. One person’s experiences will never match another’s, and that’s the beauty of it all. Safe to say I’ve dealt with my fair share of hang-ups. This is far from any kind of relationship trauma, though – you’re speaking to the CEO of short-lived, oft-regretted talking stages – as this was a highly personal process, that sees me on the other side, happy to be single while everyone else is taken, still working on my highly changeable plans for the future.


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While far from a universal suggestion, I’d argue that being in a relationship should be your last concern. I won’t deny that I don’t watch Mamma Mia and wish for even a tiny little bit of what either Sky or Sophie have – after all, I’m only human. However, I believe that there is so much more to life than simply ending up with someone. This constant shift of attraction, of what I want to do with my life and my time, and how I dress for my Zoom classes in order to garner the most Queerbridges, depends on nothing but me – for once, I’m happy with that.

In short, Valentine’s is by far from the most important day of the year for me. Not least because I’m not in a relationship – but because I don’t put much stock by the hike in prices in chocolate and roses around the week comprising the 14th. Work smarter, not harder, and at least get a Valentine’s gift (for yourself? Why not?) the week later, when the chocolate’s all half-price.