Ah, love. It’s a many splendored thing. Or so the 1955 movie tells us. What most people fail to home in on when 14 February rocks around each year, however, is the ‘many’ part.
Did St. Valentine really intend for us feel pressured into getting our partners Forever Friends soft toys and cards with sweet, but not always sincere, messages scrawled inside?
Did St Valentine intend for so many of us to be disappointed? Does the fact he/she forgot about Valentine’s Day really mean they don’t love us, don’t care about us, see us as a safe bet and therefore just didn’t bother?
And does the principle of true love, finding a ‘soul mate’, ‘the one’, really apply to the millennial age of dating apps, multiple partners, and greater freedom to love without discrimination? The reality of modern romance is that it doesn’t last, and doesn’t have to. Quite often, these kinds of relationships are fleeting. Soon, ‘the one’ becomes ‘just another one’ and we move on with our lives, we mature from the experience and we eventually start a fresh chapter with a new partner.
Instead, there’s another type of love we’ll be celebrating this Valentine’s Day. And without coining the excellent Parks and Recreations episode of 2015, it’s the unconditional kind we’ll be rooting for.
And that’s the endless love we have for our families, our mothers, our friends. The women in our lives who inspire us to grow with confidence, be ambitious and strive to be better versions of ourselves.
We’ll surround ourselves with the girls we truly care for. The ones who mop our tears with extra helpings of pizza when times are tough. The ones meet our insecurities with empathy, hugs, and a much needed pep talk. The ones who are honest about our horrendous life choices, but choose to support us regardless.
We’ll be thinking of our mothers and our sisters, who so selflessly put their feelings aside time and time again for us. Our female colleagues who really will us succeed, truly empathise with our career woes, and do their best to eliminate the atmosphere of competition between women in the workplace that so often holds us back.
And we’ll be raising a glass to our female heroes, too. For Michelle Obama and her relentless work empowering young American women at a time they most need it. For Loretta Rose, a life-long campaigner for reproductive rights. For Dr Eilidh Whitehead, the SNP MP whose Private Member’s Bill on the Istanbul Convention – the gold standard in legislation for the protection of women and girls against gender-based violence – will save the lives of countless women if it is finally passed into law this year.
For us, this is true love. None of that fluffy hedgehog holding a heart rubbish. And true love is really worth celebrating.