We just celebrated Valentine’s Day and I hate this so-called special day. Not because I’m single mind you. I’ve had many Valentine’s Days with romantic partners and I still hated it. Christmas has a long history and is just as commercial, but I can get on board with it because it’s for everyone.Valentine’s Day just makes me sick because it’s really just about fancy dinners and lame gifts. And if you’re the type of person who succumbs to buying roses and chocolates and showing up at her home or office with the same, well, I feel sorry for you too.
If I sound like some jaded bachelor, it’s okay. I’m in my thirties and I’ve learned a lot over the years. One of the biggest lessons you’ll also learn in your adventures in love is that the movies and pop culture aren’t telling you the truth. Dancing around Bollywood starlets with 300 men isn’t romantic, it’s creepy and scary. Showing a girl how much you like her with things like cool shades and other hackneyed materialistic gifts isn’t a formula for a lasting love life either. I mean, there are probably guys and girls who like that stuff. But if that’s what makes them not shout at you or gets them to give you whatever physical or emotional company you seek, that’s not healthy.
India is funny because modern dating, just like our movies, comedy world, pub life and so on take a few years to catch up to worldwide trends. Guys in the United States and United Kingdom are realising the age old adage that while nice guys may not finish last, they’re not exactly running the same race. Or better said, if you truly like a girl and want her to like you back, doing things like spending all your money on dinners and gifts isn’t going to get her to like you. In fact, she probably won’t even respect you. These days we pretty much have everything we want on our phones and a girl or guy will prefer someone who is more interesting or charming than a person who has money, fancy clothes or a nice car.
If you’re this type of guy, all I can say is welcome to the club, you’re not alone. The good news is that it’s not too late to change. The bad news is it’s not super easy to either. I’m not advocating being a jerk or a playboy you think you need to be. I’m just saying don’t succumb to society’s pressures of what you think you have to do. Those are all designed to make you buy things that advertisers so creatively put in all the movies and music videos you see. Anybody who likes you for those things doesn’t like you at all.
(Sanjay is a stand-up comedian who performs all over India. When not performing, he is an IT geek who makes funny videos )