If there is one universal truth that most single people will understand about Valentine’s day is that it is always either a very, very bad or very, very good day. There is no in-between.

But I am here to convince that it doesn’t have to be one of two extremes and instead can be a mellow day with the friends – and be a slight (or total) avoidance of all the sickly couple shit.

Somehow, this one day appears to divide the world into those who are universally successful at relationships from those who are single most of their lives, and grates on the nerves of the rest of the population.

But I suppose, as someone who has had both wonderful and horrible Valentine’s days stories, I am here to not only rescue those naïve, sensitive souls who still take the day kind-of-seriously (and shouldn’t) but to also isolate the fact that you shouldn’t really make yourself miserable about it.

Most women, unfortunately, (especially at girls’ schools) seem to become quite ritualistic about having boyfriends or about proving capable of having a boyfriend – a quality that I never really paid much significance to in high school but which other girls seemed determined to flaunt in my face.

Having gone through the highs and lows of the first love, then the first partnership, etc., there has been much l’ve learnt about the agony of relationships but almost none of it has been due to Valentine’s day – in fact, I suppose one of the greatest lessons was of kindness – one which I will relate here.

This one year was a particularly bad valentine’s day for me- I had recently gone through a break-up and feeling like I had lost the love of my life, Valentine’s day was a painful day for me that year.

I was at work (where else would I be?) and I got a gingerbread love-heart in the internal mail. I was gobsmacked. And pained. And stared at it for a long while.

But after staring at it for half a day (with a bit of a broken heart) I needed to know who had sent it. Not because I was so interested (all men were see-through to me at this stage) but because who would send it? I wasn’t particularly good friends with any of the guys at work…

I did some questioning around and then finally, after a bit of investigating- it turned out it was a distant mate. A boy I knew from a distance but who had heard all about my break-up and had just send it as a cheer-up.

At the time, I was so heartbroken, I kept it quiet. I wanted the whole day to sink to the bottom of the ocean, or better still, bashed-up like the piñata in the movie Valentine’s Day – but now, a few years on… in retrospect, this was a really nice act of kindness. And one so unexpected for someone still in a lot of pain.

What I probably didn’t appreciate at the time was that it was done totally altruistically,

not because it meant anything but because it meant nothing– and was intended to just bring a smile to my face. Which it did – but which took me a lot longer for me to appreciate.

Valentine’s Day can be good or bad – if you are single, enjoy it and don’t agonise over it. If you’re in a couple – you probably don’t need advice. But if you know someone who’s gone through a heartbreak – be kind.

You don’t know how much it can mean to them. That year was a shitty Valentine’s Day for me but it had an unexpected silver-lining. Proof that even in the crappiest of situations, something good will always come out of something bad.

Enjoy your day!

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