United Kingdom - Valentines Day

Valentines Day

This year: Thursday, February 14, 2019

If you're a man, it's more likely you forget the importance of Valentine's Day and as a result your romantic partner becomes upset. Some argue the reason for this is that men are not as mesmerized by the date on which their loved one expects acknowledgement. In a word, the fact that this date appears to imply some kind of formal authentication of feelings is ‘bizarre'! Besides, everyone knows that Valentine's Day has more to do with successful commercialisation of cards and gifts than it is connected to matters of the heart. To discover how it is that Valentine's Day came into being a look back in history should prove once and for all that Valentine's Day romantic associations is a myth. Valentine's Day is named after Saint Valentine of Terni, Italy, who was executed in 270. The holiday, although this is not recognized in the UK, is named after two early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The association of Valentine's Day to romance was initiated in the High Middle Ages, when tradition and courtly love flourished. It developed with mutual exchange of love notes later named ‘valentines', continuing until the 19th century when handwritten notes were replaced by greeting cards. Thus, the classic Valentine Card was born, the sales of which are estimated today at one billion per year. Notably, the Greeting Card Association currently estimates that about 85% of Valentine's Day cards are purchased by women. Why? What is it about the Valentine cards that women find so irresistible?

To attempt to answer this question one might argue that women in general derive more pleasure from sentimentality than men do. Women display their affection more readily than men, which appears to be true. Because traditional views on man's sentimentality as being more reserved than a woman have been formed by the society around the world during hundreds of years, it is not surprising that men react differently to affection. Additionally, women have traditionally been associated to motherhood and gentleness, which developed an increased need to express sentiment and affection.

An old, but still true and relevant cliche is that while men were away fighting wars, women stayed at home taking care of children. And until women associate with sentiment and romance they will continue buying more Valentine cards than their male counterparts. Even in long-term relationships, women keep the romantic attitude, while men usually become more interested in developing their business, careers or some other activity. Romance to men is of far less importance as they age, whilst it continues to absorb women' attention. Therefore, it is never a good thing for a man to forget the Valentine Card, no matter how often he tells the woman that she is the love of his life!

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