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MX Columns

mX Column: The Problem with Valentine’s Day

For our out-of-town readers: mX is a free newspaper available in the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane CBD at the end of the day, giving 700,000-odd people something to read on their commute home on trains, trams and buses. mX covers the issues that matter most in a concise, upbeat, funky, intelligent and sexy way.

Our very own Emma Merkas is their new Relationships Guru and her ‘How Was it For You?’ column will be published every Friday on the Flirt page of the paper. We’ll run a copy of it here every Monday for people that don’t have access to the publication. Happy reading!

Hear that? That’s the sound of hundreds of millions of red roses growing in unison… all working towards their one big day.

Of all 26 Valentine’s Days I’ve seen in my lifetime, I can remember only one of them.

Denis (my now-husband) and I had only been an official item for a few months. He didn’t strike me as a particularly romantic type, so I had been expecting zilch from him.

I nearly fell over when I found a long-stemmed red rose, a box of chocolates and a handwritten card waiting for me on the windscreen of my car.

He caught me by such surprise that I actually thought someone else must have put it there.

Mind you, I don’t remember a thing that he’s done for me on Valentine’s Day since. Which is not to say that he’s boycotted Valentine’s Day, just that the only things that tend to stick with us are the ones that surpass our expectations.

Seeing as expectations on V-day are around, oh say, stratospheric, we’re bound to be disappointed every year.

Not that anyone seems to be admitting it. Now more than ever, I’m detecting a distinct hate-vibe towards the Valentine’s Day… From couples, no less.

“I don’t need Hallmark to tell me when to do something nice for my wife,” complains my friend H.

“I think the whole idea of only being romantic/sweet to each other on one day is BS!” Messages one disillusioned Twitterista.

And while guys seem to be genuinely blasé about V-Day in general… Well. Here’s the thing: I suspect that no matter how much a woman may slander the commercialism of Valentine’s Day… secretly she wants – maybe even expects – something devastatingly romantic to happen to her.

What I do love about Valentine’s Day, commercialism aside, is that it’s a prompter for romance!

Because, when pressed, even my grumbling couples confess that romance can be a bit thin on the ground on the 364 other non-Valentine’s Days of the year.

I say just embrace the damn day for what it is. And yes, that means doing something romantic for your sweetie. That’s the point of the whole thing, isn’t it?

I know men think that the romance thing is very complicated. It’s really not: Flowers. Chocolates. Cupcakes. Jewellery. Lingerie. Candlelit dinners. Rowboats. Love notes. Picnics in the Park. Moonlight cinemas.

It may sound cheesy, but who cares? Just put a little thought into it and I promise you’ll have a glowing, satisfied Valentine!

And hey, just for good measure? Maybe try a little romance in the off-season as well.

Originally published in mX newspaper on Friday 29 January 2010.

So go on… tell us what you really think about Valentine’s Day!

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


4 comments for “mX Column: The Problem with Valentine’s Day”

  1. Posted by Jen P | January 30, 2010, 5:06 pm

    Good, solid, fun column. I enjoyed the read. I also agree, couples should look past they commercialism and just take the opportunity to enjoy romance the way THEY desire to, and then let that kick off the rest of the year of romance.

  2. Posted by Pete | January 31, 2010, 6:39 pm

    Nicely said Em… interesting for same sex couples, one wonders who might have to be the romantic one… there’s a column for you.

    I think a regular fix of romance always keeps things alive – and there are always birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and weekends to continue the romance.

    Just a shame my husband will be in the middle of the ocean for Valentines – but every day is romantic for us.

  3. Posted by Emma O | February 1, 2010, 12:14 am

    Entertaining… it is a bit cool to be anti-Valentines Day, it’s nice to get a little nudge towards embracing it!

  4. Posted by luke stringer | February 2, 2010, 10:54 pm

    Being in the hospitality industry kills v-day for us because we are always working and we have to deal with the onslaught of couples. I always make sure I do something for my wife of 14 years though, lingerie is a favourite as it works for both of us.

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