Why I'm done with Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is here! I’m sure you’re all thrilled, but being the romantically-cynical person that I am, I’m about to rain on your rose-petal-strewn parade. Will I be spending this blessed day on a date? No, this year I’ll be wondering why people invest so much effort into one single day, evening or romantically-themed quickie. Do people really need to be told to suddenly become romantic? Forget the chocolates, red roses and candles – a day free of clichés sounds appealing to me. Those red roses have to be the most clichéd thing littering the dedicated ‘love aisle’ at my local Tesco’s, but nothing says romance like a red rose. An evening spent under candle light, surrounded by flora, might seem like an excellent idea when you’re pushing your trolley around buying washing-up liquid and loo roll. But fast-forward to the date itself and if you decide to use the roses to re-enact something you’ve read in a sex column, the lack of lighting could result in you stabbing him in the eye with a thorn. And good luck trying to get the rose petal stains out of your soft furnishings, you’ll probably end up having a flat resembling a murder scene. Perhaps you’re planning to avoid the obvious cliché this year, so instead of roses you’ve opted for scented candles. Marvellous! Although I don’t see how said candles are supposed to create a romantic atmosphere, when you need to don a gas mask after five minutes of inhaling ‘love making’ fragrances. Equally they’re a fire hazard – and burning down your flat, house or static caravan hardly screams “I love you”. On the other hand, it’ll make for a good story at your wedding. If you can still love him after he’s singed your eyebrows off and burnt down your Balham bedsit, you’re obviously soulmates. Finally, there’s the box of chocolates. You’ll have noticed that chocolate (even Kinder Bueno) has almost doubled in price. Never mind; the more you spend, the more you care, right? You may regret your purchase, however, when your date decides to be brave and pick a chocolate from the box at random, only to set off his allergies and throw up all over your suede boots. Machine washable shoes and chocolates with pronounceable names, are probably the safest option. And don’t even get me started on all you PDA-loving, starry-eyed folk who invade every single restaurant like cockroaches on a landfill. We get it; you’re horny and you’d quite happily slide onto the table and bonk all night long. But what you’ve neglected to notice is that in the five minutes you’ve just spent in the loo, he’s already opened up Tinder and is arranging dessert – with somebody else. So, as appealing as all of that sounds, the only ménage à trois I’ll be engaging in this year will be with Ben and Jerry. As I spoon my two loyal friends, I’ll spend the night lamenting my single status and crying through another season of Grey’s Anatomy. That said, if Ryan Gosling were to come knocking at my door, I may change my mind– I’m sure I can pretend to be a fan of La La Land for one evening. Joking apart, I doubt I’ll be escaping the reality of Valentine’s Day altogether – the screaming orgasms emanating from my neighbour will doubtless be penetrating the paper-thin walls of my flat. I hope you at least enjoy your Valentine’s Day. Hadley Stewart is a London-based writer and journalist. Follow him on Twitter @wordsbyhadley. More stories: Katy Perry unveils brand new single ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ Attitude readers get naked to celebrate the body beautiful