February traditionally shines a light on love and romance. Yet there is one day that can damage love and romance and ironically is the day we associate with all things loving.
So before you all decide that I’ve turned into the Grinch and label me as a cynical and ‘bar-humbug’ when it comes to formally celebrating love and romance for one day in the year, let me explain why I find Valentine’s Day damaging.
As a tradition Valentine’s Day developed popularity in the UK around the 17th Century where lovers and friends exchanged small tokens of affection and cards. Fast forward to present day and according to last years figures, Globaldata Retail (2016- globaldata.com) estimated that consumers would spend £987million on gifts and cards. In parallel 81% of people in the UK felt that Valentine’s Day had become far too commercial.
Yet we keep buying gifts and cards and flowers and chocolates even though most consumer feel that the day is really about how much money the retailers can make. Why do we continue to perpetuate this?
Well let’s look at some of the reasons as to why we do, and how this creates damage:
- There’s so much pressure to provide a ‘gift’ that ‘any’ gift will do. This lack of perceived sincerity leads to the receiver feeling that the gift is meaningless.
- It amplifies the ‘lack’ in a relationship especially if there is no intimacy in the existing relationship, so the giving of gifts feels ’empty’ when true emotional connection is lacking.
- Most men in a significant relationship often feel undue pressure to propose on Valentine’s Day- yet the majority of men actually prefer to propose on Christmas Eve. So if they’re not ready and are getting hints in readiness for Valentine’s Day, most men will feel pushed into a corner that they don’t want to be in which adds strain onto the relationship and huge disappointment if the proposal is not forthcoming. It’s interesting to note that there is a higher percentage of romantic break-ups in February which peak a few days before and a few days after Valentine’s Day.
- Most women feel that celebrating one day of the year for love and romance-and it not being expressed throughout the rest of the year- leaves them questioning why they deal with the 364 days where love is not expressed.
- Some feel that the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day leads to a set of expectations that can’t be fulfilled, and by being unable to fulfil them, disappointment and resentment increases.
- Not everyone is materialistic- some people appreciate the ability to physically spend time with a loved one, plan an inexpensive day out, do the dishes, put the kids to bed or entertain/soothe/comfort a fractious child. These are activities which are everyday, yet have immense meaning when you’re tired, overwhelmed, wanting some ‘me time’. But the expectation is that there should be ‘more’ on Valentines Day.
So in my view Valentine’s Day can be highly damaging- anticipation is high, the pressure is intense, the fear is evident, and disappointment and resentment is more likely than at any other time.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t celebrate the day of love, nor should it stop you from exchanging love tokens. But rather than it being one day of love expression, why not express love everyday? If we go deeper than the expectation of an overt demonstration of love on that singular day, we can use it as an opportunity to reflect on our relationships, what our significant other means to us, what our relationships do for us, how we contribute and nurture our relationships, and how to self-love and bring in love and romance everyday. So let’s look at the colours that can bring love in and how to use them.
The traditional colour of love is pink and relates to romance, compassion, gentle unconditional love and femininity. Whilst we’re conditioned to think that love is represented by red roses, red is actually about passion and dynamism- which is great if you are in the pursuing phase of a relationship, but love often arrives after the pursuit, when we really get to know another, and find our true selves- and this takes time, and effort and give and take. So pink brings in our ability to love unconditionally, to think before we act, and to respond in loving ways. So if you are feeling a sense of lack then bring in something coloured pink and remember that pink is reminding us to be playful, loving without conditions, and exploring ways that we express our love without the expectation of something in return.
Another colour, which at first glance doesn’t appear to be a love colour, is coral. It’s a mix of red and yellow so it brings in nurturing and unconditional self-acceptance which is the first step to love and self-love. So if you are looking to bring love to you- it’s starts with self love and an honest appraisal of your lovable and unlovable characteristics. It’s not about criticising oneself- it’s about being able to see the area’s that are unloveable within and learning to love these. When you first start to do this it will feel uncomfortable but as you continue you’ll begin to see the benefits of the unloveable traits and how to use them wisely as well as see where you can further grow and develop. Carry a piece of coral, or wear something coral to remind you of how you demonstrate love to yourself, and follow your intuition when it shows you how you demonstrate self-love.
Green is a colour of graciousness and the ability to bring balance and is often associated with the heart chakra (alongside pink). It offers the ability to gain balance and trust so as a love colour, green can help bring in harmony and balance to relationships. Using a combination of pink and green can help you listen and love unconditionally and bring balance to any situation. So if you have to have a talk that’s likely to be emotional, go to a space with a lot of green, or wear green to help you connect to your heart and allow yourself the ability to trust.
Turquoise offers us the ability to communicate earnestly and with heart. It’s able to help us tap into our vulnerabilities and communicate these in a way that seeks an appreciation of our vulnerable side. Its a great colour to have around you when you feel compelled to communicate something that you feel may be taken the wrong way, as turquoise helps you to find the right words and the love and sincerity to share these. A turquoise shirt or a turquoise necklace will remind you that it’s ok to be vulnerable and to be safe in your heartfelt communication.
Magenta is the colour of Divine Love, so it helps us see the bigger picture- the bird’s eye view and consider our situation within the grand scheme of things. Magenta is the ability be in the now whilst observing the wider scene. It’s a colour that you can use after a row with a loved one as it enables you to recognise the sense of separation and your ability to act as the bridge to reconnect with the person. So if you’ve recently had an argument and you are ready to resolve and repair, wear magenta to support you in taking steps towards reconnection.
If your Valentine’s Day has left you feeling a bit low (blue) and a bit damaged where you’re feeling abandoned, rejected or alone, then use the following colours around you:
- Buy yourself some gold, yellow and blue flowers- to uplift you, remind you who you are, help with communication and bring some peace.
- Wear some pink and some lilac to help you with unconditional love, and forgiveness.
- Take a relaxed, reflective and nurturing bath with a turquoise bath bomb.
- Get yourself outside to breathe in some fresh air, reflect and find balance.
And remember who loves you first and foremost….YOU!