14 February 2013

Valentine's Day Blues

I would say I feel indifferent about Valentine's Day. I have no quarrel with couples who mark today with gestures of affection, because historically, February 14th has been celebrated as a day of love for hundreds of years. However, the immense pressure that commercialism puts on couples is by and large completely unnecessary. As is the whining of 13-year-old girls on Twitter, who fear they will be #foreveralone, because Harry Styles has not come to their door with a bouquet of roses.

Valentine's Day Blues
But while I remain a single man, I do not dread the idea of spending Valentine's Day alone. (Or with my four cats - but that's pretty much the same thing, right?) Adding to the fact I am a very independent individual, it has been so long since my previous girlfriend and I broke up, that my single status is not something I generally dwell on.

That said, I did go speed dating last night.

Fear not, this was not a hypocritical and desperate attempt to acquire a Valentine's Day date, but rather a more unusual outreach event for fashion bloggers. Armed with a £40 gift card to spend at Next, my task was to arrange an outfit suitable for the evening, for which I chose a white Oxford shirt and a pastel blue jumper from the Oxford Street store. The rest was simply a spot of fun.

For a first-timer, the idea of speed dating was terrifying - especially having discovered that I was being snuck into an event for people aged 23-35. (I hadn't planned on chatting up older women just yet.) But thankfully, this was not two years ago, when my timid self would have sat in awkward silence throughout the night.

Apart from one fairly drunk woman hating on me for being a journalist, the evening was a rather pleasant experience, in which I proved to myself that I am capable of conversation and humour with complete strangers. I am pretty sure I did not meet the love of my life behind one of the tables, but these speed dating events are only ever for introductions. How much can you really know from four minutes of chit-chat?

Personally, I find love to be a curious thing. It takes somebody extremely special for me to fall in love, but the underlying question will always be whether the feelings are mutual. Four minutes in a dimly-lit bar will never be enough to be even remotely sure of your true emotions, however a couple of months can be vastly enlightening.

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