As a matchmaker, it never ceases to surprise me that people will turn their lives upside down looking for their perfect match - then they'll take that person for granted when they've found them. It's never more obvious than on Valentine's Day, when love is in the air, but all you can smell is your other half's old socks.
In the beginning of a relationship, it's all roses - or according to a recent survey by OnBuy it's all designer watches, jewellery and weekends away! But even 18 months into a relationship, the amount we spend spoiling our partner is almost cut in half. Five years down the line, men are spending a measly £35 on their loved one, and women are paying out just under £20. While it's true that it's the thought that counts, we seriously need to put in more effort!!
I had one client, Sally, who came to me a while back. She was a married lady who loved her husband, but she was fed up. They'd been married 16 years and had two children, and she was bored of getting the same crap card for Valentine's, that still had the price sticker on the back. The cheap bunch of flowers that looked about as fresh as Dot Cotton, didn't do much to make her day either.
I asked Sally an important question: What do you do for your husband? She said she sometimes cooked him a nice dinner, and when she picked up a bottle of plonk in Tesco, she'd sometimes save him a glass. I said to Sally that they were both to blame. Although she'd come to me to meet a new man, I sent Sally away with strict instructions to re-light the fire with her husband! I advised her to surprise him with a weekend away, and to tell him how she felt - because I suspected her husband felt the same way!
It's easy to take each other for granted, especially when you're in a long term relationship - but the fact is, the grass isn't always greener! When you've found the one, you need to value them - especially on Valentine's Day!
Another client of mine, Gemma, rang me right after her date with Peter, to tell me the chemistry was electric. It must have been, because she was talking 100 miles an hour and she didn't take a breath! They'd already arranged their next date - to Italy! Gemma was besotted, and Peter - who I'd introduced her to - clearly felt the same. Gemma couldn't believe her luck and I was thrilled for her (I'd just dated a guy who thought a McDonald's Drive-Thru counted as "alfresco dining").
Fast forward couple of years, and up pops an email from Gemma, saying she wants to see me. Meeting up, she told me she was unhappy, and felt the spark had gone - but once I heard the full story, I realised they were just taking each other for granted!
It's easy to blame men (and I hear this far too often!) - but men are not solely responsible for the magic! The fact is, you both need to make an effort in the relationship. Romance can fizzle out a bit in the long run, and after the first year of a relationship it can be hard to hold onto that spark and excitement (which is why I created Alpha Dating!)
But the fact is, Valentine's Day is a great reminder for all couples to keep the romance alive! If you're in a relationship right now, and you're feeling fed up, think back to when you were single, and searching for the one, when you spent all your free time swiping, and writing tedious messages online - not to mention how many frogs you kissed! Think about all the time, effort and energy you spent to meet The One - and how happy you were when you found them.
After all the trouble you've gone to, to find your perfect match, don't throw it down the toilet by not bothering on Valentine's Day! It's one day a year and it's as special as you make it - so value the one you're with and spoil them rotten! If you haven't already, then nip out at lunchtime to buy some sexy undies, and book a romantic mini-break online! Cliched? I say classic - and they're classics for a reason!
Happy Valentine's Day!