What is it about Valentines Day exactly? One billion valentines are now sent each year worldwide, which makes only Christmas a bigger post-office event. And we secretly hate it don’t we? The pressure of getting it right, the buying of cards because you’re told to? Flowers or chocs or furry handcuffed clichés? And are you going to say the ‘L’ word?
Where is the love in all this?
Well, let us reassure, and advise you. Let’s start at the beginning; you can let go of your skepticism. Valentines day is not quite the product of crass American commercialism you may think it is. It is probably at least a couple of thousand years old, it IS about love, and it may have even involved promiscuity, clubbing and beheading!
And then there’s the point of it. Can you find love on this day? Can you keep it if you’ve got it already? How? Is it worth the hassle? Well, as a certain Barry White once said “love will open up the door straight to Heaven”. Surely he should know.
In this, the month of Luuuurrrve. let us tell you about the real Valentines, and how doing things proper-like can make everyone fall in love with you. You can live that happy love-laden life that we all secretly lay awake at night wishing we had…
The real origins
The rumour that Valentines Day was started by a card company and that it’s a “Hallmark Holiday” isn’t true. Yes, an American woman did start mass-producing Valentines cards in 1847 for profit (which is where the anonymity aspect crept in), but sending Valentines cards had been fashionable in Britain for hundreds of years beforehand.
Way before that, pre-Roman Pagans had an early spring tradition of ‘love lotteries’ whereby names were placed in a bowl/box/jar. The name you drew out would determine your partner for the duration of whichever love festival you celebrated. A kind of celebration of the chance inherent in true love, surely. Or just the origin of the bowl of car keys perhaps?
It then became specifically St. Valentines day probably because of two Roman martyrs, both called Valentine, both posthumously sainted by the Pope, which was handy. One was an apparent priest who was martyred for continuing to marry people secretly (The Emperor had outlawed marriage and engagement for military reasons). Some say he was clubbed to death and beheaded on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had already been devoted to love lotteries. How romantic. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine”.
So it is about Love
And love, whether we admit it or not, is the reason most of us get out of bed in the morning. More songs are written about it than any other subject and all you need is love, as someone once said.
How to get love, and keep it
Here’s our guide. Use it for business or pleasure, because if you can get customers to love you, you can’t go wrong.
You find them
First you’ve got to find that special someone, the one who’ll love you forever. You can’t afford to wait around for them to drop into your lap. First, make sure people know about you. Get yourself seen in places where others will be looking, places where people with similar interests to you hang out, whether they be real or virtual places. A relaxed and positive attitude really is the surest way for customers (or lovers) to notice you for all the right reasons, on any day of the year. And beware the beer goggles; nobody wants to wake up to any nasty surprises!
Don’t be impersonal
The ‘guess who’ element of Valentines Day is the part we can ignore. What’s the point of anonymity if you want love? Do your research, make sure you’re targeting people who will be receptive to what you offer, and make sure they notice you, and then remember you. If you’re compelling enough, you’ll get the response you’re after.
Make the effort
It seems obvious to say that visually looking good to a prospective partner will get you everywhere. But that’s only skin deep; you also have to be natural. Make the most of yourself by all means, but be who you are, not a fake you. Look at yourself as a brand (or maybe you are one already?), and then how that brand could be improved to attract the right audiences, whilst being true to yourself.
Communication is massive
Next time you feel you may be losing your customer/beloved, take a step back and see if some of the problem is caused by your two very different communication styles. If you can really try to see where they are coming from, that’s half the problem resolved already!
Keep the magic alive
‘He’s not the woman I fell in love with”. Don’t let that be you. To keep your customer, you have to do the little things for them, they really matter. The ways you show you appreciate each other will all add up, and they don’t all have to cost money. You need to continually keep up with the relationship, because everyone evolves. And make time to hold their hand, and kiss them. A lot.
There’s plenty of fish in the sea
There are a lot of customers out there, so the chances of finding plenty who want what you offer are high, if you go about marketing yourself properly, authentically, and personally. If you then deliver beyond mere great performance then the admirers will come. If you’re genuine, and you make your interaction a relationship, not just a transaction, then they’ll start to really like you.
But if you’re truly relevant to them, and you make their lives better just by being there, and they’ll come to really love you. You won’t be able to get rid of them!
Valentines Day will come and go, but at the end of the day it’s just you and your love. If you put time, effort, and love into any relationship, life between you will become something wonderful, every day!
And for those of you who still think we’re going to give you actual Valentines Day advice, OK then, here you go.
- Buy flowers. Yes it’s Old-school, but you’d be surprised how much people enjoy them. And do the dinner thing, but properly. A decent place will be a decent price I’m afraid, but you could cook it from the heart, at home, with low lights…
- Be physically close to each other; go to the park together or do something new together. Hold hands in public. Take a fresh look. Doesn’t that shower looks more spacious than you initially thought?
- For real brownie points, just travel to Loveland in Colorado (a real place); go there and post your card; how special will that look?
- Take them to the final resting place of some of St Valentines’ relics at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland. Or if you’re flush, take them to Via Flaminia in Italy, where the remains of both St. Valentines are to be found (yes, they’re really real people)!
- Be yourself. As arguably the greatest poet on the subject Khalil Gibran said in his poem ‘Love one another’:
“Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone”
In other words, be an individual, do things as individuals and stand out for that. People will love you for who you are, not for trying to be what you think they want. If you can really offer them what they want, they won’t want to ever change that.
We love you :–)