February 14th means only one thing – and that’s Valentine’s Day. Couples the length and breadth of the country will be coming together amid a sea of red love-hearts, chocolate boxes and fluffy, matching, monogrammed bathrobes to show us all just how deeply and sincerely they feel about one another. As happy as we might be for them, it can be a time fraught with complication for the sensitive and the single. So isn’t it time we challenged the idea that to be part of a couple is an inherently happier state of affairs than to be flying solo? And why can’t the love of Valentine’s Day just as easily apply to people who aren’t romantically involved? After all, they’re just as worthy of it. Gay massage in London is one way you can bestow love upon yourself this week if you’re not part of a marriage, civil partnership or relationship. But there are plenty of others, too.
First, though, let’s examine the idea that being in a relationship is automatically mutually enhancing, because it warrants closer scrutiny. Who among us hasn’t known one or more couples for whom the setup is a lonely prison, lonelier than any experience they might have had while single? It’s actually fairly commonplace. Whether things were good at the start becomes immaterial because now a few years have passed, their relationship is a sexless, empty sham, a form of acting, a facade. It’s sad to witness, especially when both parties are unable to admit the truth to themselves and therefore cling to pretence, consigning themselves to a life sentence. You can imagine them looking at one another in later years, perhaps around the age of 80, and thinking, "Who the hell are you?". Far from getting the guarantee of friendship, companionship and comfort in old age, they are in fact shackling themselves to a stranger.
Single people, on the other hand, have an array of Valentine options – they can take that loving energy and apply it to their platonic alliances, infusing their friendships with the same sense of commitment and honour as they would their romantic attachments. They can embark on a love affair – not the same thing as a relationship necessarily – by hitting the town and finding someone nice with whom to go home. They can practice healthy self-love by booking one of a number of therapeutic treatments; gay massage in London is highly recommended, especially at Tantric Soul. They can go to see exactly what they want at the theatre or the cinema without having to defer to their partner’s tastes. The more one thinks about it, the lovelier Valentine’s Day can be for single people. Rather than end the night with some dreary row about DIY or in-laws or money, they can fall asleep happy in the knowledge that their relationships (friends, family etc) count for just as much, possibly more, as those of a couple.