Why Valentines Day F**ks Up Your Love Life

There’s a lot I don’t like about Valentines day. It makes people in relationships feel pressured, and it makes single people feel inadequate.

The former group have to go out and find something to do so as not to look like they don’t care about each other. They pay astronomical prices in an overcrowded restaurant for the same wine and pasta that cost a third of the price the week before, and buy some plastic crap with hearts and clichéd teddy bears on it. It becomes a day of merchandise and extortion for those who feel coerced into doing something for their partner.

Then there are the latter group, the singletons, thrust into a feeling of lacking as every business promotion, television ad, and shop window is full of images of what they don’t have. Consequently they either become depressed about not having someone, they rebel against the idea of having someone altogether, or they throw themselves into a fit of action fuelled by the panic that time is running out.


The truth is I very much like holidays. They force us to celebrate, create memories, and express how we feel about each other at least once a year. But I can’t help but think that this is where the tragedy lies for many relationships. Valentines, like many other holidays, becomes a rushed effort to make up for what we haven’t done in the other 364 days of the year.

It’s seen in the case of the workaholic man who after ignoring his spouse’s needs for the last six months buys her a Cartier bracelet in an effort to pay off all of his emotional debt. Or the woman who decides she’s going to wear or do something really sexy in the bedroom which she could have excited him with year round!

Unfortunately, nothing we do on one day will even out what we haven’t done the rest of the year. A day is just a day – no matter how romantic the restaurant or how expensive the jewellery – our relationships are the measure of our averages, not the intensity of one day.

Wonderful one off acts are a little like a sugar rush – massive highs which quickly disappear once normality sets back in.

This notion both takes the pressure off of Valentines day (you don’t need to perform a miracle, it won’t improve your relationship long term anyway) and puts the pressure on for the whole of the rest of the time, but in a more manageable way.

So why am I saying this? Is the purpose of this article merely to deflate the guy or girl who just booked a romantic experience for this evening? Should you now take back the jewellery and save your money if it’s not going to work anyway?

The answer of course is no. Enjoy the romance, enjoy the experience, and have fun watching that amazing reaction we all love when someone appreciates a beautiful gift.

But I’d like to offer a different perspective on this day than the one created by companies who want to make you believe that you’re not enough without getting their product as a gift for your partner. It goes like this:

What if Valentines day was like New Years day, but for your love life?

Let’s think about New Years day for a moment. It’s a time when we like to hit the reset button on our lives. We make resolutions, we think about goals we want to reach, and if we’re really proactive, we make a plan on how we are going to get there.

Well what about creating ‘Love life Resolutions’…

I want you to imagine that this year’s Valentines day is a ‘Love Life Reset’. It’s a time for you to make resolutions in your love life. If you’re a in a relationship it might be a resolution about the way you are going to treat your partner. It might be a new standard for how much you listen; or for your level of empathy. It might revolve around the amount of time you give to this person on a daily or weekly basis. It might be a decision to become more invested in their interests, goals and ambitions. Maybe it’s putting all of the important dates – anniversaries, birthdays etc – in your calendar now so that you’re ready for them when they come around.

What could be more romantic than a genuine commitment to your partner about what you are going to do and be for them over the next 12 months? This is how we can really show we care.

By the way, you may choose to tell them this resolution, or you may choose to just let your actions speak for you over the weeks and months. Either way, I want you to look back in three months time at how much your relationship has improved with this focused attention.

Now if you’re single, your resolution will be a commitment to yourself. Instead of letting Valentines panic or frustrate you, use it as a time to plan some really positive changes.

Your resolutions may involve a commitment to going out and meeting new people a certain number of times a week. It might be a commitment to taking more risks with the people you are attracted to when you see them. It might be a commitment to working on areas of your confidence that aren’t strong right now.

Looking at the situation this way will allow you to make genuine progress over the coming weeks, instead of feeling powerless.

With this in mind here are three quick tips in creating your new ‘love life resolutions’:

1) Start small

Just like any goal, your love life resolutions should start small. Trying to improve every part of your love life in one go will lead to overwhelm and you’ll end up doing nothing. Achieving these resolutions is paramount to moving things to the next level.

2) Target your weak areas

Be honest about where you suck right now. If you’re a bad listener, be honest about it and look to fix it. If you don’t show enough interest in your partner’s passions, build your resolution around that. It’s not enough just to build on areas where you are already strong – they will give you the least payoff.

3) Start today

In whatever small way you can, show your intent by beginning your love life resolution today – if you do you are likely to see some immediate small pay-offs in the next 7 days which will reinforce the behaviour.

So there it is. A new approach to Valentines day.

What if this became a day we look forward to because of all the positive changes we make when it comes about? It could actually become something really meaningful. I would promote it non-stop.

The bottom line is this. The little things we all do in our love lives over the next twelve months are going to determine how we feel by the time next Valentines day comes around.

If we are in a relationship one year from now, we should be able to laugh at Valentines as merely another day in the calendar when we treat our partner like royalty (no different from any other day). Even the idea of spontaneity can be tame if we’ve been spontaneous in our relationship year-round. If we’re single one year from now, we’ll be able to look at all the things we are doing to dramatically improve our love lives, without feeling depressed that we have wasted another year.

After all, I believe it’s not the fact that we are alone that most pains us, it’s the knowledge that we could be doing more to change it.

There is a wonderful line put forward by Keith Cunningham which I try to remember at least once a day: “Ordinary things done consistently produce extraordinary results”.

So there’s no need to worry about today. Instead of rushing around to make someone feel extra special, spend that time thinking about how you are going to make that person feel special for the next 12 months – including yourself. The results I promise you will be far grander.

###
Bits and bobs to finish…

Leave a comment… What do you think of this new approach to Valentines? Does it make you like the holiday more?

If you want more like this… Check out my online training programme The Man Myth. This is the complete A–Z, it will give you more ideas for resolutions that you know what to do with (whether you’re single or in a relationship), and get you excited about the idea of implementing them. Use today as a chance to hit reset and get access to the videos right away.

Contest winner!
This is for the caption contest I ran last week on the US GetTheGuy book cover. We had some really great entries, and thank you to everyone who left a comment! We’ll be having more contests for you to enter coming up very soon.

My favourite caption, one that made me crack up when reading it, was from Amanda: “If you liked it’d then you should have put a bow tie on it! (in a Beyonce style)”. I now can’t stop playing that song in my head with those words, so thank you for that Amanda! My team will be getting in touch very shortly to book your two spots on the GetTheGuy Tour

**The dates and locations for which are going to be announced this Sunday! Set the date in your diary, it’s going to be big.**

Photo credits: QThomasBower 

9 Texts No Man Can Resist

104 Responses to Why Valentines Day F**ks Up Your Love Life

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  8. Jenn says:

    Thank you for thinking so.

    Hi, this year is my 5th Valentines day alone after a long term relationship. In the past years, I’ve experienced panic, sadness, loneliness, anger even, but this year, it’s just numb for me. Cos it’s all getting old.

    But it’s all good point. I need to do more to change it.
    Thank you.

  9. crystals says:

    Thanks for the positive way of looking at this holiday celebration. Loving ones self and others as yourself is paramount!

  10. Moli says:

    Hi Matt. To be honest I hate Valentine’s day. Mainly because I have most of the time been alone when the freaking holiday comes and if I have been in a relationship the guy just do not give a crap about it… just like the past Valentine’s day. My friends who are in a serious relationship went all out for romantic dinners and me on the other hand got nothing from the guy I’ve been seeing until late at night when he realized that was actually a day that he should have done something for special for me, he at the end left me a stuff animal on my work desk which brought me a smile only did not really last long. I know I am not important for this guy and so I know this relationship will end sometime soon so I am now quite distant and letting him go slowly cause I have felt that it is what he wants…. anyway thanks for this article was as helpful as it can be only still with the bitter feeling… being the band aide is just getting old for me now…

  11. Jessica says:

    Matt,

    When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I’ve always had a unique approach because it is a day of love–something I share with my family and friends.It’s even something I share with my co-workers because we are united by our love for our craft. People I know that are single like myself try to look at it as “Single’s Awareness Day”, but I give presents to everyone to let them know that it doesn’t have to be a holiday for people in romantic relationships. On the other hand I’ve never been given a Valentine’s Day present. I was surprised with a delivery of flowers from my parents. I never expected them to send me anything, yet I was so happy to be in the receiving end.

    I enjoyed reading your idea on how to approach the holiday!

    -Jessica

  12. Clara says:

    Really great article! Thanks for the new perspective Matt!

  13. Marianne says:

    Hi Matthew, how are you? Firstly,I would like to say, that I agree with one comment that Celi mentioned. I am disturbed by the fact that everybody celebrates their undying love to their spouses on the same day too! How special is that! NOT.. As usual you have opened my eyes and I see a new prospective to what Valentines Day can truely mean. I think your artical is wonderful. Ill definately be putting it in to play :)

  14. Nina says:

    I just had the best Valentine’s Day ever. My secret? I teach 4th grade. It’s amazing how completely kids love those around them. My bag was overflowing with all of the gifts, cards, hand-made valentines, etc my kids brought in to school just for me. I have to believe that expressions of love – no matter your relationship status – have the potential to life the mood of the recipient no matter what time of year. A friend of mine reminded me recently that we see what we want to see. I know several women who refer to Valentine’s Day as “Singles Awareness Day” because they’re much more aware of their single status on that day. Like you said, they see only what they’re missing and are left feeling depressed. So, I shift my focus to what I have. This year, I was able to focus on the outpouring of love from my crew of 10-yr-olds and felt loved and appreciated for the work I do each day. It’s all in where we put our focus. Positivity, baby!

    PS: I gotta say, Matthew, I love the way you say the word “results”. It makes me smile. Just thought I’d share.

  15. pani says:

    I dont understand why everyone criticizes this day? Dont we celebrate Mothers day ? or Fathers day? I dont hear anyone says ” why dont we give gifts to them other days? the price of the flowers and gifts also go up those days right? oh and should ” single women without kids” feel bad on mothers day? Most of us dont appreciate our parents 364 days and all of a sudden we just buy a flower to appreciate decades of their nonstop love and care? Well the thing is its just a universal day and as a lover you feel special that day ……….. On the other side I dont think people should follow same routines. I love chocolate and wine and would love to get those on valentines day but I also like to do something very special ( kinda your resolution type of action). Providing care for a child in africa together for a year ( costs 20/month meaning 120 for a year for each person and im sure this is less than most of what people spend). This way we share our love across the world and thats how LOVE GROWS between humans (in my opinion of course! ) . Sorry if this comment is not as nice as others and by no means I want to disagree with your article ( as mentioned I agree on not following routines). But I think having a day to remind us is better than not having it at all. Im single myself and didn’t receive any gifts ( beside a text from VIBER! ) but I enjoyed the energy of people that day! ;)

  16. Mayah says:

    That’s a nice way of thinking about Valentine’s day. Personally I’m not a fan if the day for all the reasons you stated. I’ll try this approach and see what happens.

  17. Petra says:

    I made my Valentine’s day a nice experience. I was organizing one event this week and we had a lot of flowers left, so on 14th when I travelled to our head office I just took them with me and gave it to ladies at our HR office. It cheered them up and there was one of my colleagues standing and he immediately gave me one of these tulips back and wished me happy Valentine :) Then I met one colleague I really like and wished him happy Valentine, he smiled and wished me the same back…To make it clear, he has a girlfriend now, so our options are limited, but we still can be a bit playfull with each other. Like – he guided us in our warehouse and one part was full of chocolate, so the other day I was just playfull saying ‘Watchout, I’m planning a big chocolate robbery’ and he responded in a very playfull flirty way actually complimenting me. So I enjoyed a lot of creation on Valentines indeed;).

  18. veronica mundell says:

    I now like Valentine’s Day much better! Thanks for the new perspective! Plus I am going to go out and buy my own heart shaped box of chocolates next year whether there is a man in my life or not, because I deserve it and I don’t have to wait for a “Valentine” to do it :)

  19. Lisa Shaw says:

    valentines day is but another day in the year! aka day of unimaginative, consumerist-oriented, manipulative, compleatly arbitrary, shallow interpretation of romance day!! Yh not big fan, Im not all bitter singleton lol but for the reasons stated it does seem false sentiment imo there IS pressure for couples to show their love and single folk to find it all for this one perfect romantic day; full of cliched nonsense gifts, like the roses that die away, the words in the cards may be nice but day to day actions shout volumes to me! Thats what I like about you Matt you never cease to amaze! its a fab idea to use as day of reflection to areas of improvement in yourself/lovelife; this is my interpretation,?! also I think you need to look at self “improvements” self awearness weather in a relationship or not (I dislike the idea of new years resolutions, just small daily goals!!)very thought provoking stuff thanks! :)

  20. Macrina says:

    Valentine’s Day is a Day to show Love. Not only for couple but to everyone. Yes! Showing Love is a day’s act but it still counts that it has been given a day out of many others & recognized & accepted worldwide. Your concept is really good, seeing it as a day of reflection & making new resolutions. But in general, Love can’t be quantified or qualified, it’s Love so celebrate if you must or don’t celebrate if you must’nt, Valentine’s day will still be Valentine’s Day but you can decide to make yours different by making everyday Valentine’s Day for yourself, your spouse/partner, for your family & friends & everyone else. At the end, you sign off ‘From your Valentine’ & anyone of the above mentioned will feel appreciated.

  21. celi says:

    Hola Matt!!
    I think this is the most inspiring articles you’ve written so far. I live in Argentina, and here we have a holiday for everything, literally. Friend’s Day (july 20th) Lover’s Day (august 19th-no one publicly celebrates it if you know what I mean) Couples Day (Sept 20th) Spring Day, Student’s Day, Teacher’s Day,Women’s Day,Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Children’s Day, the Carnaval, the historical hollidays (an average of two per month), the typical (New Years,Christmas or Hanukkah, Easter, etc) and the imported ones (chinese NY,Halloween and Valentines).
    I don’t mind most of them, actually I love them, but I draw the line at the imported ones. Chinese New Year I get,we have a large chinese community in Buenos Aires. Halloween, I used to enjoy it as a kid, now I think less and less of it (besides it’s becoming less popular). But valentine’s really bothers me. Not because I am single , but because we already have other holidays that celebrate the same thing.
    I rather hear a man say to me “I love you” every other thay than have him giving me red roses and a perfume on the day that every person is doing the same. With my ex-boyfriend we used to celebrate our own Valentine’s Day on a diferent date, we used to call it our Anniversary.
    I really loved how you came up with the idea of the love life resolutions, I’ll take it into account. Maybe they’ll make me hate Valentine’s a bit less hahahaha.
    Keep up the good work :)
    Saludos,
    Celi

  22. Rose says:

    Matthew,

    I look at Valentine’s Day as a special opportunity to tell all of the people in my life that I love them–parents, siblings, spouse, children, nieces, friends, everyone who is important to me. If we take the “couples” exclusiveness out of the holiday, it is more enjoyable for everyone.

    Thanks for all you do,

    Rose

  23. Shreeya says:

    True romance is spontaneous and Valentine’s Day is contrived – they are opposites in my mind.

  24. Sarah says:

    I think you’re taking Valentine’s Day way too seriously and reading too much into it. If you had a horrible time on Valentine’s Day, you’re insecure and need to take care of yourself get a life! Whether you’re married or single, why can’t you just be secure in who you are, the relationships you have, enjoy your life, and appreciate the ones you love? I had a FABULOUS Valentine’s Day as a single person enjoying the company of a good friend and joking about our love! Why not just be positive and enjoy the holiday for yourself and for others? I understand it can be a hard day if you’ve recently experienced deep pain or heartbreak and are missing someone, but there are always positive things to focus on.

    No need to be a kill joy.

  25. Stacey says:

    Why Valentines day sucked – I got dumped
    What made Valentines day got awesome – I bought the ‘Get the Guy’ book so I can finally find a man worthy of my time and effort!
    Here’s to grabbing life by the balls (and grabbing the balls of any other c**t who thinks its ok to dump a gal on Valentine’s day and ripping them off….angry lady rant over)
    Thanks Matthew, really loving the book! X

  26. Tiffany says:

    Hi Matthew,
    I just wanted to let you know that I totally agree with everything you said. I’m currently single, so yesturday wasn’t that great of a day for me. But I really like what you’ve posted here on your blog and it really makes alot of sense to me. I think that is what I’m going to start doing: Making resolutions to improve myself and be more proactive about life and a love life.

    Oh, and yesturday wasn’t a total disaster for me, because it was my 23rd birthday!

    Tiffany

  27. Just a flirt says:

    Matthew,
    Seeing your email in my email box is like chocolate pairs up with a glass of red wine. It always puts a smile on me. Thank you.
    My co-worker Katie (who’s single currently) says that best thing about Valentine’s Day is 50% off on chocolate after Valentine’s Day. I can’t argue with that. Ha
    I love a lot of your ideas. Highlight two ideas here that I embrace most:
    1- Being creative
    2-Treating Valentine’s Day as a New Year to make the relationship better

    Thank you, Matthew. So looking forward to your book in April

  28. Louise says:

    I loved reading this and agree so much with it :)

  29. Ana says:

    I agree with you,but in my opinion Valentine’s Day is just another way for you and your partner to show each other how much they care and love…

  30. Sylvia says:

    Hi Matthew,
    Yesterday I received some roses at work from an unknown sender and was thrilled only to find out today that they were meant for someone’s girlfriend. Like you say, it’s too easy to get caught up in standardised romantic notions on Valentine’s Day. Thank you for your letter. I can now dust off the bitter sweet start of my day and remember that I’m more of a wild flower girl anyway.

  31. Anisha says:

    This post has taught me to take risk and give myself a chance to improve my love life.Well I think you are right about the Vday messing up with our love lives :P … so going to make similar resolutions as mentioned above not going to rush on things though but will be consistent in my efforts :) … I liked the fact ‘Ordinary things done consistently produce extraordinary results’ Thank you for this post :)

  32. Catherine says:

    Love the write up. I really dont get the hype up about valentines day. If one is in a relationship, you shouldnt wait till its the holidays to show your loved one that you care.
    Like the suggestion about thinking of valentines day as the new year day.

    Well done…

  33. anna says:

    thanks for the article matt… its owesome..

    way to go :)))))

  34. Dee says:

    Hi, Matt.
    I absolutely agree with you. I mean, I was never a fan of Valentine’s day, it’s merely commercial. It was based on a romantic story, but now it’s all about teddy bears, chocolates and expensive gifts. It has lost it’s meaning, just like any other holidays. I believe that Valentine’s day is every single day and every single time you do something special for your significant other. Why wait for a specific day, when everything thing is pink and hearts, to show you love someone or to declare your love? Just do it. You love your partner every single day, not just one day of the year, right? I was never a fan, not even when I was kid (maybe, because I never got many Valentine day cards aha!) but I still think it’s an unnecessary holiday.
    I loved your idea of turning Valentines day in New Years Valentine day. It’s great. I should apply it.

    The fun thing is, if I say this to any of my friends, they would think of me as one bitter single girl who hates couple and love.

  35. Anna says:

    I love you matthew. Great advice :}

  36. faridah says:

    every one should really have alook at this article!! its informative and applicable. thx Mathew for your brilliant ideas!!

  37. Jill says:

    I love how you suggested looking at it like a New Year. It’s so important in life to evaluate what can be made better and it’s the same in relationships. I spent the evening with my girlfriend and I have to say it was the best Valentines day ever! Ladies please don’t beat yourself up over why you haven’t met your true love instead work on becoming your best self. The only person who can make you truly happy is you others just add to that happiness.

  38. Anna says:

    I feel almost privileged coming from a country where Valentine’s Day isn’t that big a of a deal after reading these stories. In Finland Valentine’s Day is known as Friendship Day (Ystävänpäivä), when people acknowledge their friends and loved ones. But in the recent years your version of Valentine’s Day has found its way here too (probably due to the influence of chick flick movies). What a great idea to change it into a love resolution day! It works for all, and really makes you think about your own decisions and choices. Hear, hear Matt!

  39. Christel Rohrs says:

    Thanks Matthew… your thoughts on Valentine’s Day are excellent. I feel normal again in this regard. I am a hopeless romantic who has become quite guarded over time and disillusioned because I realize I stuff up in my love life area and yet have never known what to do about it – that left me feeling helpless and hopeless and therefore putting up my guard. That didn’t work either. I could help other people with their emotions, but was a mess in my own.
    Matt, thank you for giving such solid practical advice in your series “Get the Guy”, even on a day like Valentine’s day when it’s all hyped with emotion, you still have given practical advice.
    You’re my hero…

  40. Llesi says:

    I definitely love that idea: of making love resolutions. But also from my dating experience, I it when a guy gives me a small present or does something nice just because it’s a thursday. Only because if he waits for valentines day, sometimes that may come off as an obligation and not from the heart.
    There’s also the way valentines is celebrated in Japan. I love the idea of giving chocolate to males that matter to me, and then one month later see who I receive chocolates from. But as mentioned before, getting a present, flowers, a nice dinner, etc just because it’s a thursday is much more meaningful I think.

  41. Trace says:

    positive, constructive, and BRILLIANT once again ! thanks !

  42. AnisaSonrisa says:

    Matthew,
    I just had a pretty sucky Valentines day. A guy who I had feelings for and whom I have been seeing for 9 months did not ask to spend time with me on Valentines. I just broke off our “friendship” or whatever we had. What I liked about your article, is not so much how people can show love to each other every day of the year, but how they can enhance their relationship by seeing Valentines as a Romantic New Years. Right before I ended the conversation with the guy I told you about, he tried to promise me changes in our relationship. I believe I was too hurt to accept his offer. For now, I just need my space to cope with the whole thing. I think I need a new resolution for my love life. What do you suggest? This might be too hard for you to answer being that you don’t know the whole story. But I’d take any suggestion you’d think for a girl who is looking for love.

    Thanks for what you do,
    AnisaSonrisa

  43. Still Hopeful says:

    I don’t believe that Valentine’s day is a day for over spending or making bitchy comments. Obviously you should try to make everyday matter, treat people the way you want to be treated and let people know that you appreciate them. That’s not the point. The point is no matter what a woman says, it matters. Women, like men, want to feel appreciated and when it comes to Valentine’s day, it’s no different. Getting a card, flowers, or any sweet gesture really makes a positive impact. For the most part, I’d would say that Valentine’s Day is definitely a girl’s holiday. So what? Men have their days too. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. So do me a favor and just make the extra effort; it doesn’t have to cost anything. If you’re with someone who makes demands of expensive gifts, then maybe you should end it. But if you’re with someone you like or care about, then make the extra effort. I was with the same guy for years and he always chose Valentine’s Day to make a “statement”. All I wanted was for him to say to me, “Happy Valentine’s Day, babe”, but he couldn’t even do that. I guess his statement was, “I want to be single.” Well message received and now he’s single. I never said anything to anyone and no one knows until now, but I cried for months after we broke up. My ex recently called me and said that he regrets “letting me go” because I was both an amazing girlfriend and a great friend. Too bad he couldn’t realize that when we were together. Needless to say, too little too late. I don’t know if I’ll ever find Mr. Right, but I don’t want to spend my life feeling like crap. It’s hard, but at some point you just have to be your own hero and save yourself from a sad existence. If you really care about someone, then show it and yes, acknowledge things like Valentine’s day. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just needs to show that you give a damn. This year I didn’t have a special Valentine. So what? I love holidays and I like Valentine’s Day regardless if I’m in a relationship or not and you’re right life is about making memories. This year my lil’ niece and I made treats and cards to give to her classmates and we had a great time together. I took a break from work and treated myself to a great lunch at this cool cafe I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I had a few co-workers that I saw were feelin’ down on V-day, so I brought back cookies from a bakery I went to after lunch and told them it was my way of saying thanks for all they do. Turns out they lreally liked it, which was nice. I just figure if I want to have a good day then I’ll make it happen. If you like it, great. If you don’t, that’s okay too.

    • Just a flirt says:

      Still hopeful, I really appreciate that you put this out.
      I’ve read a lot of books to help me to understand how hard it is for men to express their sweet feelings. I am training myself to be the ones who inspire gentle sweetness in routine life

  44. Amber Lynne says:

    wonderful post! i totally agree and have been PREACHing this to my friends for years. you should make the people you care about feel special all year. not just one day.

    i think they all ignore me because they think im cynical on the subject of love in general. =/

  45. Cláudia says:

    I’m loving this new perspective of leading with valentine’s day!

    I’m not the kind of person who gets sad for not having someone to share this day with (maybe because in portuguese we often call it what could be translated to “boyfriend/girlfriend’s day”, I always thought that it would only make sense to those who have a partner.) I never really understood those girls who get depressed for not having a boyfriend at valentine’s day, for me it is like feeling blue at somebody’s anniversary because we are not the ones who are getting presents and attention – it doesn’t make sense, it’s all about being our day, our turn to celebrate something, or not (yet).
    I’ve always seen valentine’s day as a profitable day for the markets involved more than anything else.
    But on the other hand, and ironically, I suffered the bad side effects of valentine’s day whenever I had a boyfriend at the time. Although I never liked the clichéd flowers, chocolates and heart-shaped stuff which I always considered easy and lazy gifts, I wanted to have a special day (after all, being somebody’s girlfriend turns valentine’s day in my day too, as well as my boyfriend’s day, naturaly). I now understand that I putted too much pressure on my boyfriends to show me what they had thought and prepared for me, I wanted to be truly surprised and amazed by their romance (as I also demanded that from myself). And at the end of the day, it was nice but not awesome, they never exceeded my high expectations or at least got close to them.

    Until now I felt great for not having problems dealing with being alone at valentine’s day. But now I see that I wasn’t dealing with it the right way whenever I had a boyfriend.
    So I’m following your advice! My love life resolution this year will be to remind myself that “our relationships are the measure of our averages, not the intensity of one day.” which you, Matthew, wisely said.

    I believe I’m 1) starting small, 2) targetting my weak areas and I’m definitely 3) starting today =)

    Thank you!

  46. Sabrina says:

    Well…. I did not have anyone to cuddle up with, or for the last few Valentine’s… but this Valentine’s Day morning I thought “Screw it!!” and dressed myself beautifully, put on makeup and felt really good about myself. Because, loving yourself should come first & foremost.
    Then in the evening, I had an awesome time dancing & celebrating with others in a global campaign against violence against women. The best thing was that a guy I had my eye on came & he brought his dad along. A few days before V-day, I had sent him a funny hand-drawn & hand-written card which just was about how we first met, how I fancied him at first sight, & the incredible blunders I made to make him to notice me… and it worked because we hung around each other as friends more after that.
    So, after an evening of getting along (quite well, I think!) with his dad & himself…. I kind of feel great & positive of things to come! The guy I liked asked if I was free on Saturday for a movie! Not a conventional V-day, but I couldn’t ask for a better day! :)

    • Just a flirt says:

      Sabrina, gush, I wish I could do the same.
      I served this guy at work and he is the most handsome man I have ever seen in my life
      However I have no clue how to see him again

  47. Cynthia says:

    Matthew, I love your post today and whole heartily agree.
    My ex husband never did much of anything unless it was either Mother’s Day, Xmas or V Day and only because it was expected, otherwise it was just business as usual.
    I think we forget how important it is to show we care. I think, by and large, we take each other for granted, especially as a relationship matures.
    I love your idea of using this day like we would a new year’s resolution and work towards showing we love and appreciate each other far more. Well done!

  48. Janie says:

    People should understand the origin of Valentines Day. Back in the third century marriage was condemned in Rome so as to get all the males to become soldiers and not to marry however, a priest named Valentine still carried out marriages in secrecy as he believed in his faith. Not much is known surrounding the exact date. Unfortunately around Feb 14, or Feb 24 (this exact date is still unknown) he was beheaded! So I like to reflect this day on the actual bloke himself! Sorry but I’m just stating the truth.

  49. Catherine says:

    Hey Matthew!

    I totally agree with what you said about Valentine’s Day! It is sooooo over-rated and I think it’s harder on men, personally.
    My mother is reading a book by Zig Ziglar about “courtship” after marriage and one of the things he mentioned was the importance of doing special things for your partner no matter what day it is. It is better to give your partner a gift or plan a special outing just because you want to, not because it is expected.
    Two resolutions I plan to make are: taking more risks with people I am attracted to and working on my self-confidence. Great article, which I will keep on file to read whenever I need a boost!

  50. Donna says:

    14th February…the day that comes after the 13th February and before the 15th February.

  51. Johanne says:

    Hi Matthew ! I LOVE the way you see things ! I believe, as you do, that we should take care of our love life all year long. I think your approach on how to look at this day as if it were a moment to reflect on our love life and take a resolution for the coming year very refreshing and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one ! Have a great Valentine’s Day ! xoxo

  52. Adela says:

    Hey Matt,
    Thanks for the article…I just got home from my first valentine’s day date with a boyfriend. I just have to say…I hate Valentines day. I felt so much pressure today because of it. I care about my boyfriend so much…but I just hate the pressure. I didn’t know what give to give him: what if it was too cliche.. and frankly- I’m not such a gift person. And I don’t really like receiving gifts or when other person spends money on me – it’s just makes me feel uncomfortable.
    I just wanted to spend time together…but we ended up spending time with his friends too. It makes me wonder: doesn’t he like spending time together alone? Do I get him bored?
    But you are right..thinking about V day as an opportunity for resolutions and growth – that certainy takes a lot of pressure off and is constructive too. :)

  53. sukanya says:

    The retailers will hate you for this but I love you for it! Three cheers for maintaining your integrity in a world where even ethical considerations are tainted by commercial interests THANK YOU

  54. Karen says:

    Never having been a big fan of V-Day since those awful elementary days where we “had to give everyone” a card. So going to pick something up light some candles open a bottle of wine and toast me and my health with my dog ;o) Take her for a walk and give her a well deserved tummy rub ;o) Sometimes you need to be with someone who loves you unconditionally. Happy V-day everyone whether you enjoy it with your friends, fur babies or if you are lucky enough to have a special someone in your life. Karen

  55. nicole says:

    You are absolutely right.Exprresing love everyday or constantly its what everybody should do…..no really need for Big Day like this to show it….and than ignoring rest of the year…being honest and caring make us feeling the Love..thank you for everything

  56. Lostlover says:

    I recently started talking to my ex again. I really want it to work out. But guess what – we’ve not spoken since the day before valentines day. The pressure of the day is so immense and we’re just talking again, so think neither of us wanted to acknowledge it. So the irony is valentines could well have ruined my chances of brining the man I love back into my life.

  57. mimi says:

    My ah ha moment! Thanks Matt

  58. Ruth says:

    I’ve spent almost the whole day forgetting it was Valentine’s Day – irrelevant for single me except that I told a friend about Get the Guy and how I am looking forward to the workshop I have booked with you, Matt. I don’t know what the year ahead will hold but by this time next year I will have done all sorts of things to create the love life I want.

  59. joy says:

    Tanx matt. I feel relieve now.Tanx for making me to know dat val is like every other days. However, this is my worse Valentine ever, my boyfriend could not come as he earlier promised, I don’t know if I should call off d relationship, this is not the first time, even on new year day, he promised to come but never come. Pls matt advise me on what to do because I love him so much .

    • Claire says:

      Joy, you already know what you should do. You don’t need Matt or anyone else to advise you. Listen to your heart and respect yourself. x

  60. Xen says:

    Hey Matt!
    I very much liked your post, thank you for sharing.
    Valentine’s day seems to be a holiday people either love or hate.
    I respect every kind of opinion on that. You’re right people shouldn’t feel pressured or depressed. Even though it has become very commercial, I think it’s still mostly about spending time with the ones we love. It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant or expensive gift. Appreciating each other is what counts.
    I have been single for a while now and even though I have to admit that I am a but sad, I don’t let that pull me down. I just spend the day with my lived ones and have fun :)
    Do you know how they celebrate Valentines day in Japan?
    Women give men chocolate. There are 3 kinds: chocolate you give to your romantic interest, to friends, and the obligatory-gift chocolate you give to colleagues etc. On 14 March men are supposed to return the gesture. I picked that up when I lived there and now I’ve made it somewhat if a tradition to give my good guy friends chocolate on valentines day to remind them that they’re special. And because I love to see the smile on their face :)

    Happy Valentines day Matt (and everyone)!

  61. Red Apple* says:

    HEY MATTHEW! :D

    I just bought your book on amazon – how amazing is that? ;)
    And also, I wanted to compliment you for your good taste in selecting the fitting pictures for your articles, or music… I have something for you, too today :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3sSuJ6rkb4

    I can really identify with this song… only difference: since I know you and the attitude you teach people to have – my heart is unbroken ;) <3 *wholly*
    ^^
    Merci beaucoup!

    Your wannabe-artist,
    Red Appple*

  62. Mags says:

    Hi Matt, I have never done valentines day, you are right it does make you feel pressurised, maybe neglected.
    I have always got my children a chocolate, or a small home made card. I am divorced, and single now and my kids are grown up, I came down to breakfast this morning and my kids had left me a chocolate heart and a handmade card. It made my day and meant such a lot :)
    Mags

  63. Jenny Crosdale says:

    Matthew, you’re a lifesaver because, up until I read your article I was thinking there must be another way of feeling positive about being single on Valentine’s Day. Thank you.

    By the way I’ve got your book, and although I haven’t finished reading it yet, I so love your comment that age doesn’t matter, especially in the case of the woman being older than the man.

    Keep up the good work.

    Jx

  64. Hannah says:

    Out of everything I’ve heard and read from you, this is my favourite! I have bookmarked it to read every Valentines Day from now on!

  65. kirsty says:

    Hey Matt, Thats a great way of looking at Vals day. Im not dating at mo but I had such a great day. There was lots of love in the air. It doesnt have to just be about a guy it can be a day to say how much you care for people in your life and this turned it on its head for me today. When you lack in something give more of that . SO if you feel you lack love give love. Tell people you love them, show them you love them and the love will come right back atchya x

  66. Emily says:

    I think that this is a great way to think about Valentines day. This is the first year that I’m in a relationship and I think that’s a great way to look at it. I know what I’m weak at in the relationship and I am excited to try to do my best at this new resolution. :) thanks. keep up the good work. :)

  67. HIJ says:

    I decided years ago when I was alone with three small children (my husband left) that Valentines Day is not about what you get but what you give.

    That first, hard year 10 years ago, I gave my little daughters flowers and cards. And ever since, Valentines Day has become one of my favorite days–an amazing day to tell the people I love how much I love them.

    (My son woke up at 4:30 a.m. this morning SO excited for our special Valentine traditions).

    Through the years I’ve left anonymous gifts, cards, and treats.

    My personal definition and understanding of love has changed :).

    If you are sad or lonely on Valentines Day (and trust me–still single after 8 years…I have felt the pains of loneliness), do something nice for someone else on Valentines Day :).

    The gift of LOVE is that you can ALWAYS find someone to love.

  68. Lea says:

    Right on the spot :)!!!

  69. Cassie says:

    Let the church say amen, lol! This is what I’ve been telling my friends but they think that I’m bitter because I’m single. I actually enjoy being single but it doesn’t prevent me from meeting people. Thank you Matthew! And I love the quote!

  70. Claire says:

    Hey Matthew

    I totally agree with you, and I’m coming from both sides of the fence ( -is that even possible?). I’ve been single for years and years and learned to be cynically amused by Valentines Day. Now, finally, I’ve met the man of my dreams (I cannot believe my luck), and I’m 48! Today was the best Valentines Day of my life. Not because it’s Valentines Day, but because it’s just another day that I got to spend with my new and wonderful man. The best bit about it was that he took the day off and made me the most delicious meal (while I was working from home)and fed me titbits while I was at my desk. It wasn’t commercial. It wasn’t cheesy. It was love. And I know he won’t be waiting for a year before he does something like that for me again. And he knows I’ll be doing something just like that for him at the weekend when I next see him.

    We need to make every day a valentines day, don’t you think?

    Big love and good work! xx

  71. Zsuzsanna says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you how over-commercialised Valentines day is… I never forget being rushed into a restaurant in Islington a few years ago, just to be seated literally an inch from another couple (what a great romantic conversation you can have with your neighbours listening in!)… The waiters couldn’t even wait for us to finish our mains, already brought out the dessert menu and made us hurry up in choosing… 40 minutes and £80 later I promised never to repeat that experience on Valentines day…

    I am single and have been on and off for the past 3 years and just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating such an amazing programme… I truly feel liberated and my life has changed 360 degrees since attending your women’s weekend… Thank you so much for changing my life for the better! You are truly amazing and give hope to so many women out there! xxx

  72. Anita says:

    Tnx matt, I’ve learnt so much from your posts as it has helped in boosting my confidence n d way i relate with the opposite sex. Its unfortnate that I havent attended any of ur events, i really wish u wld hv an event here in nigeria someday.
    I dont hate valentine persay neither hv i celebrated it specially unlike every other day. I belive if valentine day is termed ‘lovers day’, every otherday shld b celebrated with such enthusiasm and vigour because love ought to be shown everyday. The most annoying part is that today, lots of ladies would do things they would regret first thing tomorow morning just in the name of showing love or proving that they love someone.
    Please matt, you really have to reach out to d nigerian youths

  73. Brittni says:

    Valentines Day is filled with to much expectations. I’ve never been a big fan of Valentines Day even when I was in a relationship. Ya of course I would hope to get something on Valentines Day when I was in a relationship. Then if you expect to much and get something that wasn’t what you wanted then you just fall into resentment. There’s just to much pressure on this Holiday. I love, love your way of turning it around and looking at it different. As a single women on this day I try to look at it as just another day….it’s like an angle fighting the devil. Check facebook, Instagram, Internet, ect and Valentines is written all over these sits head to toe. I try to ignore and then there it is again tapping you on the shoulder reminding yourself you can’t hide from this holiday. So I am so very thankful I read your article. It gave me new insight and a new way to appreciate this holiday. Valentines Day is officially my New Years. I normally don’t set New Years resolutions. I set goals with in my life but have always neglected my love life. Today is my day to change my love life, remap, and set goals. Thank you for writing this article. Very much inspiring !!

  74. Catherine says:

    I really appreciated what you had to say about how commercialised Valentines day is, I’ve always felt this way about it (and not liked it even less because I’m always single for it). I also found it interesting how you made us think about turning it into a “love new years” and that really made me think. So thank you :)

  75. Alison says:

    Hey,

    This was my favorite part:

    “After all, I believe it’s not the fact that we are alone that most pains us, it’s the knowledge that we could be doing more to change it.”

    I have been in (as you would say) moany-victim mode for a long time and have just recently started to see that it’s ME who has created my reality. It’s so incredibly refreshing to read this and be empowered to take intelligent action. I don’t feel left out or alone, I feel jazzed about my Love Life Resolutions: to go out a few times a week with the goal of meeting someone, risking using the look on all forms of mechanized people movers – elevators, escalators, moving sidewalks – and staying focused on building character and positive behaviors, not worrying about my hair… I’d already decided that these were going to be part of my life for the next while, and then I read your post, and I was like DAMN! Now I HAVE to do it!!

    So thanks for reading my mind.

  76. Emmy says:

    I’ve always been single every Valentine’s Day so it’s never been much fun for me in the past. This year that all changes! I’m spending it doing whatever I want, kind of like a me date! I’m even dressing up for the occasion ^_^
    That being said, the love life resolutions are a great idea! It takes so much of the pressure off, regardless of relationship status. Keep up the good work!
    Emmy

  77. celeste says:

    Like you, I love holidays because we cook and bake a feast in our house. Any excuse to be a fat kid :3 And Valentine’s Day was about loving your fellow man/woman. I try to do that everyday when I’m out and about.

  78. Yuetching says:

    Hahaha seems like you are a popular guy and raise good students ^^ anyway I am more at a stage where I don’t really feel motivated to be warmer or be more proactive, but definitely warming up to the idea of dating again. I hate valentine’s day when you are single, and when you have to be outside; because it really makes you feel lack. The weather here is raining too =P Well maybe February 15th will be sunny. =D x

  79. Barbara says:

    Hi!
    Today’s Valentine’s day was the best I’ve ever had. I’m single and in love. I’m really shy, so I decided not to give my crush anything, because to me that’s like a confession(so in my case impossible). Maybe I should work on that part a little more. I talked to him normally and we had a good time.
    I then went out with my friends. My friend and I ordered a cake in a cafe and got a beautiful pink rose. Most awkard moment ever and the funniest. We all then watched the premiere of Die Hard. It was just awesome.
    What I’m trying to say with this message is: you don’t have to be in a relationship to enjoy this day, you just have to have fun with the people you are close to. ;)
    I really like your advice aswell. I feel kind of bad for not seeing it before my day was over. I guess I’ll have to start improving my weaknesses tomorrow. Thanks for taking care of us all, Matthew!

  80. Maddie says:

    I like Valentines day for the reasons Matt that you didn’t like it haha. usually I am single and I have a blast with my friends – I love my gfs through thick and thin – and send them flowers and cards to let them know – I do this through the year as well! I like Valentine’s day because it does inspire the non-romantic. A wife suddenly gets flowers, a bracelett, etc. – That is great!!! True if it went all year it is Better, but one day is better than NO days. And the restaurant… sure it may be more – but for some guys they are happy to pay that because they are nervous to create a romantic dinner – don’t know where to go, etc. – on Valentines Day it is done for them! People put pressure on themselves for all kinds of things. Changing a holiday doesn’t change the person. If they are that type of a human – they will find another thing to put pressure on themselves. After loving loving my single life for many years – I accidentally met a man – and is the man of my dreams – and yes, I received an incredible Valentines gift from him :)

  81. Jules says:

    Er how do you know I read this stuff at work? :)
    Think your advice is an excellent way of looking at it, I know quite a few of my friends and I don’t even want chocolates and flowers for valentines day it’s so obvious. I would much rather have someone think out the box a bit more like gift me a song or email me a romantic video. Just met a guy in the last 2 weeks who has been ‘wooing’ me in that exact same way and its totally refreshing. I also sent him a personalised romantic/erotic e book which has us in as characters. He totally loved it. But it has made me realise that the honeymoon period in a relationship is such a special time and you do really have to find ways to continue nurturing your relationship all the way through. Great advice as always Matt. X

  82. Joanne F says:

    So true that one extravagant gesture does not make up for a year of neglect and indifference. Most women I know have said that their partners totally lack imagination in creating a special day.

  83. Tina Jones says:

    I had a wonderful first date with a man I met online and had been corrosponding with for 2 weeks beforehand. Our first meeting was truly wonderul and he said I was everything and more than he hoped for. We continued to talk every day since….So it was a success.He had asked me for a 2nd date but tomorrow (the day after valentines day).

    However, today is Valentines day which happens to fall 4 days after our first date. But I heard nothing from him, until eventueally I broke the cardinal rule ofsending him a message to wish him happy valentines instead. He did respond but I do wish it had been him who had sent a little message at least or maybe a little e-card?

    Some will say, we only had one date, that I shouldnt expect so much. Except, it felt good, that date and he seemed very very keen.

    I hate this uncertainty. The highs and then lows. The hop and then the let down.

    I find myself thinking that maybe he already has a valentine tonight.

    So yes, Valentines really can mess with your head!

  84. Kemisola says:

    Dear Matthew,
    I agree with your line of thought. Our loved ones should feel special and loved all year through. Love should be original not flamboyant: I also believe we should plan our love life just as we plan other areas of our lives not just on a particular day. Valentine Day is ok if we have been celebrating our love life all year through: it would be a day when Love Peaks as it Speaks.

  85. Kriss says:

    Thanks for this post. If only we would treat our partners with love, kindness and respect all year long that Valentines Day would not be so pressured-filled. I also want to say that not all who are alone are filled with pain. Being single is and can be a viable choice.

  86. Tender_Legal says:

    I am SO happy that FINALLY someone echoed my own thoughts about Valentine’s day! Thanks Matt!

    Apart from all the extra inflated romance which goes on today, I always wonder how many couples argue or break up because the gift they received didn’t match the expectations they had, or because somehow their relationship doesn’t match the image of the perfect relationship we are bombarded with during this period.

    However, even if I’m single, i never felt inadequate because of Valentine’s day, since it seems so fake to me… Christmas is usually the time of the year when i get the ‘forever alone’ blues :-< I never thought i can love AND hate a holiday at the same time.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, Matt!
    Lots of love on this lovely day!

  87. Louise says:

    Thanks Matthew, I was on a real downer about this day and now I am using it to watch your videos and read your book and reinforce all you say so that I can make changes in the coming year xx

  88. Catherine says:

    Valentines’s Day:

    I like to think of this day as just a ‘fun’ day when you don’t have to spend lots of money or take it too seriously in order to let the men in your life know that they bring you joy.
    And it’s great to receive a cheeky text,email or card from someone who fancies you………it makes you smile ( well hopefully )
    x

  89. Noemi says:

    How about the people who are in those middle stages.. they’re friends but a little more than friends?? We don’t wanna mess our chance at love if Valentine’s Day is not what you expected. Those kind of ppl may feel like buying that special guy a gift but he may take it as a significance that the girl wants something serious and quick which is not the case since u just want to show him he is special to you… But its super confusing specially if he texts you with “Happy Valentine’s Day ladyfriend” .. how do you even respond to that??? Ladyfriend??? What does that even mean?? guys are so complex i feel! :(

  90. nancyboyd says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for posting this . I really enjoy your articles and I think that they are informative . Please keep up the good work. Cheers Nancy

  91. Natasha says:

    Hi I have always been very romantic when I’m in relationship’s I just notice that it is not really reciprocated, and I end up shelling out tonnes and ONLY getting back on Valentines Day crapoy supermarket cheap tack! I am going on my 2nd date with a guy tonight, unfortunately he lives 200 miles away from me but I really appreciate the Effort that he’s putting in & I am more grateful for that than a diamond bracelet :-) I hope tonight goes well, I’m still waiting for your book to be delivered so I have none of your guidance as yet :(

  92. Robyn says:

    “After all, I believe it’s not the fact that we are alone that most pains us, it’s the knowledge that we could be doing more to change it.”

    That’s so very true.

  93. Nofyah says:

    I think you are right. Since I’m Jewish I’m going to mention an old Israelite tradition that was in the summer, that available women would dress up in white dresses and go out to the vineyards to dance and be courted. The whole point of the day was MEETING someone and looking beautiful.

    So, anyone who doesn’t have someone to cuddle with today, Matt’s advice is good.

  94. Beanie Nguyen says:

    When I thought you didn’t say anything today, Valentine’s Day, then your post showed up, :) .. It’s so true of what you say and thank you for giving a new way to think about this day a lot more positive & encouraging, especially for singletons! Personally I don’t feel very stressful about this day but feeling a bit left out is inevitable.

    I also bought the whole membership of the Man Myth and finished Month 5 today. I’m so happy that I found the right coach to learn all about this things which I always thought I was such a high-school student in the field, :) .. Thank you Matt for being so wise and you possess such a tremendous amount of knowledge in the field. But more importantly is your coaching skill, it’s so clear and smooth. You are so eloquent and that makes your events magnificent!

    • gettheguy says:

      Hey Beanie!

      Thanks so much for all of your kind words. I’m so glad you are enjoying my programme!

      Matthew x

      • Beanie Nguyen says:

        That’s all you can say? I expected something warmer like “Come to London and I’ll take you out for a date” .. ;) .. (Yeah, I’m a good student, I know, lol ..)

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