Dating Magazine

Valentine’s Day: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

By Periscope @periscopepost
Valentine’s Day: What’s love got to do with it?

Love: Disposable? Photo credit: Camdiluv,

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day filled with hearts, flowers and romance; a day on which Facebook feeds fill up with nauseating tributes to “my wonderful hubby/gorgeous wife” and rose prices double; a day when the postman brings nothing but an electricity bill and crashing disappointment. Or, as those who are simply getting on with their daily lives call it, “Tuesday”.

Whatever your view of Valentine’s Day, the media is full of musings on love, from the cynical to the soppy. The Periscope Post brings you the best of the bunch.

Valentine’s Day: Worse for couples. “Single people can choose to ignore Valentine’s Day. However, if you’re in a relationship, the last thing you want to do is ignore Valentine’s Day — believe me, I’ve been there, too,” wrote Dean Obeidallah at CNN. Obeidallah objects to being expected to be romantic on command, on a day that has no real meaning, and suggests the pressure of perfection on V-Day can cause serious trouble: “Let’s be honest, how many of you have had fights on Valentine’s Day because of Valentine’s Day?” Instead of getting caught up in the commercialism, Obeidallah put forward an alternative way to spend the day: “I would love to organize an ‘Occupy Valentine’s Day’ movement. We would hold protests outside flower shops, Godiva chocolate factories and Build-A-Bear stores.”

Myths about infidelity. Writing in The Washington Post, Eric Anderson decided Valentine’s Day was the perfect time for an exploration of why people in relationships cheat on their partners. “Perhaps one of the most tragic misconceptions about cheating is that people stray because they have fallen out of love with their partners,” wrote Anderson, pointing out that his research shows that in fact young men in particular usually cheat simply because they “desire sex with someone else”. And bad news for the marrieds: Anderson argued that despite society’s focus on monogamy, “the expectation of exclusive sexual activity is unsustainable for most couples”.

All we need is love. “When it comes to affairs of the heart, most people are looking for the same thing: deep and abiding commitment,” said John Yemma at The Christian Science Monitor. Yemma suggested that even though people are now getting married later in life, that doesn’t mean they’re not keen on commitment: “What they most want, it appears, is to get marriage right.”

Love is a consumer issue. “Experts believe love has never caused such acute suffering as it does now,” wrote Tracy McVeigh in The Guardian; apparently this is due to capitalism, Hollywood and the internet, which have “taught us to behave like consumers when it comes to affairs of the heart”. McVeigh explored the work of sociologist Eva Illouz, who believes many men are “commitment-phobic” in capitalist societies, and that internet dating “has encouraged people to act as ‘shoppers’ – demanding, comparing alternatives, constantly trying to get a better deal and killing off the gut instinct and chance that has always helped humans to find a mate”.

Marriage: A cure for loneliness? “Marriage is the best way of preventing loneliness, and you don’t even have to buy a dog,” wrote Alexander Boot in a Daily Mail blog. Boot took issue with the government’s attitude towards retirement, after a think tank suggested older people should stay in work in order to maintain social contact and stave off loneliness in later life. An alternative solution, said Boot, would be for the government to encourage marriage: “It should gear the system of taxation towards rewarding marriage at the expense of bachelorhood or unmarried cohabitation.” Boot did not mention the inconvenient fact that women have a higher life expectancy than men on average, meaning marriage may not be a long-term solution for late-life loneliness – for women, at least.

MPs: HOTT. Yes, hot with two “t”s – that’s how hot some of Britain’s MPs are, at least, according to a Sky News survey to discover the most fanciable Westminster figure. Zac Goldsmith and Luciana Berger topped the lists, while neither Prime Minister David Cameron nor Labour leader Ed Miliband warranted a mention. In a turn of events some may describe as utterly bizarre, Lib Dem leader and Deputy PM Nick Clegg was apparently considered the fifth most fanciable male MP.

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