I think it must have been around a decade ago. A former boyfriend of mine and I had decided to go out for dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day at one of the island’s fancier hotels and what started out as a romantic evening ended up being a bit of an anthropological discussion.

We had both commented on the fact that there were far too many tables crammed in the room and that they were packed too closely together which effectively meant that everyone would be able to hear everyone else’s conversations.

However, it turned it out that our worries were largely unfounded albeit for the wrong reasons. I think we were on the third or fourth course, chattering away nine to a dozen, when it suddenly dawned on us that we were the only people talking to each other.

Never mind hearing a pin drop: the room sounded like a funeral home on a Tuesday night. When he got up to use the lavatory, it became even more evident how little most of the couples were interested in each other. Many were either staring around at other tables or eating with downcast eyes as if they had taken some forced vow of silence. We couldn’t understand why they had bothered to leave the house at all. Maybe they didn’t really want to be there.

One final word of advice: speak to each other; share your joys and burdens

 Many will argue that Valentine’s Day is just another money-making, commercial monster designed to squeeze even more money out of the average consumer and while it can be that, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use it as an opportunity to show our nearest and dearest a little extra love. It doesn’t have to be about big gestures either.

The dinner we had gone to was by no means cheap but at the time we felt that we wanted to push the boat out a bit and spoil each other. The people we were seated with had paid the same extortionate price as we, but clearly had no desire to be there and maybe they would have been a lot happier frying (or crying) into a steak at home.

 Instead of spending a lot of money on things which we are not sure will give us or our loved ones much joy, we should use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to show the people we care about the most that we recognise the unique things that make them happy.

For some it might be a bunch of hand-picked flowers and for others it might be their favourite bottle of wine. If all else fails, it would do good to remember than diamonds are always a girl’s best friend.

One final word of advice: speak to each other; share your joys and burdens. As cliched as it may sound, it is only by communicating that a real relationship can ever flourish, or indeed survive the tries of life.


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