True love is ugly. True love goes far further than being gifted chocolates or flowers, these gestures, for most, are a rarity. True love is not about accepting someone at their best, but dealing with them at their worst. Love is dealing with them when they have the shits, calming them down when they’re ranting, mopping the tears when they’re upset, or putting up with them when they’re moody or pissed off. It’s about understanding. Listening. It’s about fighting daily battles together and coping against the odds, dealing with the mundane – a show of strength and perseverance. True love is the reward you get from sticking by someone you’re meant to be with, that’s meant to be with you, no matter what.
Why celebrate true love this Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is an important day, but not because you are treated to a slap-up meal or a bunch of daisies. It should be about celebrating how hard you worked to keep your relationship going over the last 12 months, and the fact you’re both still together. Rather than all the commercial faff; the cards, the flowers, the jewellery, Valentine’s Day should be the day all of us in a relationship take time out to pat ourselves on the back and say “well done, we haven’t killed each other – we survived!”
Single? Great, go celebrate!
“Love yourself”, that’s what I say to the single folk as there’s no better day than February 14th to spoil yourself rotten. So what if you don’t have a partner… you’re obviously not ready to settle down or put up with second best. Celebrate the fact you don’t need to deal with the smelly farts, the morning breath, and the mood swings. Rejoice that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your behaviour or a late night out – as a single person you can do whatever (or whoever) you choose! Get together with a few single friends and enjoy Valentine’s night out. Chances are a lot of singletons will be celebrating their independence too…who knows, maybe your future love will be living up the single life wherever you go.
Valentine’s Day in Turkey.
Turks don’t do Valentine’s Day, it means nothing to a Turk that isn’t involved in tourism due to its Christian roots. What is celebrated on February 14th is “Lovers Day” – a day when couples get smoochy, and the clubs fill with eager young men and predators thinking young single girls will be out in force, keen to be romanced. Lovers Day is a new thing here, “all hype”, in my hubby’s opinion. It’s only existed for around 30 years inspired by the profits made from St. Valentine’s. It’s more of a young craze, or a day celebrated in cosmopolitan areas and resorts where Turks can boost takings in restaurants, and bars. Here in Fethiye shop fronts don red rosy banners, florists make a killing in deliveries to expats and young lovers, stores dig out the leftover new year gift packs (fully decked with Chrimbo tinsel) and make a display, and restaurants charge a heap more for a candlelit table. Fethiye’s February 14th is a full-on, full faff and frantic affair!
What should you do this Lovers Day?
Embrace love, be it for yourself or for another. Be as cynical and twisted as you want, but do take a moment to appreciate your love for others, their love for you, be that your husband or wife, your family, your kids or your pet cat. Take time out to reward them, to give them an extra hug, a ring, a stroke or a gift. Love, just as life, is a wonderful thing wherever you are in the world, smelly farts, snotty noses, rants, rambles and all!
This post was inspired by the wise words “true love is ugly” by Indya Tipping, a friend and colleague with a fabulous (and occasionally twisted) take on life. Thanks, Indya!