Time to spread some love

Samantha Barnes

“ALL you need is love, love. Love is all you need,” the Beatles belted out in their popular song. Whether you are celebrating this Valentine’s Day dining with your other half, or with friends as a singleton, enjoy the day! Make a conscious decision to turn it into a special day.

Maybe you have been married forever and the thought of red roses and candlelight makes you giggle. Some couples treat Valentine’s Day like any other day and choose to celebrate it later in the year. Take a few days leave: get away from the routine of work, play, eat and sleep. Go on, you deserve it.

Take a break from the humdrum routine of oh-so predictable, which can equal boring. Add some adventure and new experiences to your romantic life. Book a kayaking or whale watching trip, spa treatment, see a big name (or local) musician or take a road trip through the Karoo. Choose something which you have been hankering to do: a fresh experience to share as a couple. That in itself is liberating! Besides traditional ways of showing you care on Valentine’s Day; like giving a gift of red roses and chocolate (always welcome!) there are many other ways to show your appreciation. One of the most romantic gestures extended to me was from a boyfriend serving a home cooked dinner, bistro style in the garden.

He donned a dinner jacket, T-shirt and tie; and combined the roles of wine steward, waitron, chef and dinner date. The whole occasion was thoughtfully planned, and so lighthearted and unique that it is engrained in my memory as a special moment.

If you don’t have a partner, you don’t have to go into “Blue, blue my life’s so blue” mode. According to timeanddate.com, Valentine’s Day is also a time to appreciate friends in some social circles and cultures.

In Finland, Valentine’s Day is referred to as Friend’s Day which is more about remembering all friends rather than putting all the focus on romance.

In Guatemala, Valentine’s Day is known as the Day of Love and Friendship. While their population recognises Valentine’s Day customs, it is also a time for many to show their appreciation for their friends.

No need to max out your credit card. Make a CD compilation of songs that your friend can play on their way to work. Cook them their favourite meal or take them a picnic basket of treats.

Offer to baby-sit so they can go out on the town with their partner.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!