This time of the year – a little after the festivities and over-indulgence of Christmas and New Years, enough time after the hurdle and financial difficulties of January, and long after thoughts of resolutions have filtered away – the air is filled with love.
This week is Valentine’s week.
I watched the second instalment (out of six) of BBC3’s The Year of Making Love documentary last night. A show that presented strangers with their scientific ‘love match,’ and paired people based on responses to compatibility tests, it poses the question of whether science can shorten the odds of finding love versus using non-scientific methods. So far, the outcome is neither here nor there; much like the reality of dating off-screen, the couples on-screen find that a lack of chemistry, or (as was the case with a twosome from the first episode) when the interest levels are disproportionate, long-term romantic success can prove elusive. What The Year of Making Love has reiterated to me thus far, is that whilst dating, as with anything else, you have to take things slowly.
You can have too much, too soon.
What some of the women featured in episodes one and two have failed to recognise, is that the reality is: if you are ‘chasing’ a man (whether you are initiating all contact or constantly awaiting returned calls/texts), inevitably, that means he is running away. Conversely, an interested man – as displayed in the relationships that have been successful – isn’t afraid to show his interest. It’s always easier to comment from the outside looking in, but who doesn’t want that kind of love, where feelings are clear and everyone knows where they stand? Why play games and engage in guesswork when it can all be so simple?
Psychology teaches us that there are different levels of love (according to C. S. Lewis the main types are: Agape – unconditional love; Eros – erotic/romantic love; Philia – friendship and Storge – affection/familial love). Although traditionally a time to recognise the romantic love interest in your life, in addition on 14th February, we should take time out to appreciate all of the love in our lives – from partners, parents, friends and family. For those that don’t have a romantic Valentine this year, celebrate other kinds of love. And practice self-love. It’s so easy to get caught up in daily happenings and to look at life through a perspective of lack, instead of appreciation and gratitude.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day lovers.