Valentine's Day is a time often branded by shops as the only day on which we are able to show another person we love them. However increasingly romantic days can be the end to many a relationship, with Valentines acknowledged to be the second most popular break up season after Christmas. While no-one likes to plan for these bad times, it seems people are no longer willing to accept that break ups have to be about bingeing on ice cream, while sat alone in your pyjamas swigging wine.
Different ways for individuals to celebrate their separations are now emerging, many that emulate celebrations for couples. It seems some peoples attitude to use any excuse to drink or spend money has now extended to separation. But is it right to celebrate breaking up with someone or should it remain the depressing, lonely affair so often depicted in films?
Some of the ways in which people are choosing to memorialising their relationships and start afresh are:
The divorce cake which became very popular a couple of years ago with decorations often depicting a violent or frustrated end to a relationship through the medium of icing. Divorce cake toppers can also be found on websites like Amazon, one such creation is that of a decapitated groom and a bride holding the formers head by her side.
However not all break ups are being commemorated with a bitter streak and companies are emerging to promote celebrating not the end of a relationship, but as Jay Ryan, co-founder of breakupgems.com, says 'embarking on a new chapter in your life and rejuvenating yourself'. Ryan's website sells jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets and rings, with collections such as Breakup and Divorce and Happy Single so you can have something to represent a new start. Although this is a much more positive way of marking new found singledom, there is still juxtaposition with traditional marriage symbols.
The final and possibly fastest growing idea is the divorce/ separation party. In order to throw a proper bash there are 'Just Divorced' banners, balloons and decorations available as well as games many of which for women involve penis related accessories such as willy hoopla. Many party merchandise companies have bought into this idea, providing products usually associated with hen parties but with the word divorce plastered all over it. Divorce party forums have also been set up to suggest tips on how to throw the most successful soiree, with symbolic gestures such as burning your marriage certificate frequently being mentioned.
Does this mean that we are currently more open to celebrating bad times than good? A lot of pressure is put on days like Valentines to do something bigger, better and more romantic to outdo others and yourself from years past. But ultimately it will usually we end in an evening of typical forced fun and meaningless 'romantic' gestures. Why not celebrate an occasion something traditionally considered sad and cheer yourself up when you are really in need of it. While break ups can never be a wholly positive thing in anyone's lives, it's always good to know that you now can have a party and something shiny as a result. So if your valentine's day with a loved one does not go as planned it could be party time.