Valentine’s Day: did you pass or fail the test of love?

I hate Valentine’s Day. And yes, before you yell "Oh, but you’re single and there’s no-one to give you flowers anyway, so of course you hate it," and remind me that I’ll spend the day hoping that a gift will magically appear on my doorstep from that cute guy I dated last year (which won’t happen because he doesn’t actually know my address).

Yes, Valentine’s Day is not great when you’re single, but it’s also pretty stupid when you’re paired up.

I had 20 odd years of Valentine’s when I was married, and countless other Valentine’s with boyfriends before that (okay not "countless") but I always thought Valentine’s Day was rubbish.

It wasn’t the fault of my partners. My ex husband, for example, was pretty good about Valentine’s Day. He knew the drill, but it wasn’t exactly an emotionally charged moment. Nevertheless, he passed the Valentine’s Day test.

Because that is pretty much what Valentine’s Day is when you have a partner. It’s a pass-or-fail test.

A pass is a bunch of flowers, a card, a box of chocolates, or a bottle of wine. Or perhaps it’s a thoughtful gift, or a romantic dinner out, or a sexy night in.

A fail is, well, virtually anything else. A gratuitous note scratched out on a post-it because you’ve forgotten to pick up a card or a limp bunch of daisies bought from the local servo.

Or nothing at all, full stop, because you plain forgot. Now, don’t get me wrong, spontaneous expressions of affection are marvellous.

But Valentine’s Day isn’t about any of those. It is the obligatory celebration of affection on pain of death. And there is nothing romantic about obligation.

So let’s ban Valentine’s Day. (But if the cute guy from last year is reading, and is interested, please message me for my address). – Kerri Sackville