My idea of how Valentine’s Day should be spent has evolved over the years. I had spent 10 years in all-girls schools, which meant celebrating Valentine’s Day with my girlfriends at Orchard Road. I would occasionally wonder when I would start spending Valentine’s Day with an actual date instead.
The media was a large influence as a teenager. Magazines would be plastered with what dresses to wear for a Valentine’s Day date, hottest restaurants to go, parks to visit — there would even be guides to decipher what the shade of rose or the number of roses in a bouquet could represent.
I had superficially thought that grand gestures of love — a big bouquet of roses or dinner at an exclusive restaurant — symbolises how much a man values a woman.
As I grew older, some of my girlfriends began having boyfriends — one of them had the privilege of enjoying a S$500 meal (per pax — in case you are wondering).
I had learned that there is no positive correlation between the amount of money that a man spends on special occasions and the value he places in a woman and the relationship.
I am now settling down with a man who does not, and has never made any plans for February 14. Fortunately or unfortunately, my fiancé loves his Singapore hawker fare and has zero flair for anything romantic.
Perhaps it was a blessing as well that I had met him at work, as our insane work schedules keep us apart on February 14.
The both of us understand each other’s work schedules. I would typically spend February 14 working past midnight with my team — probably at my client’s premises in Tuas (the most romantic place to be on the night of February 14). My fiancé would likely be travelling somewhere in the region.
Nevertheless, we would definitely spend a meal together the weekend following Valentine’s Day.
As cheesy as it sounds, it will not matter where we go, as I will be grateful to be able to spend quality time together — just like every other weekend.
Valentine’s Day Facts
Started in honour of the Christian saint Valentinus.
In Asia and the Pacific Rim, 36% of expenditures on Valentine’s Day were on hotels; 24% on restaurants; 2% on flowers; 2% on cards. Figures are from the Mastercard Valentine’s Day Index, which analysed spending across 11 to 14 February from 2013 to 2015.
Based on the same survey above, Singaporeans had set an average budget of S$263 for Valentine’s Day in 2016.