Article by Ashleigh Stevenson /
February 14, 2018 /
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First you have to endure relatives interrogating you about your dating life at Christmas, and get through the pressure of not having a New Year’s Eve kiss.
Then, as if you weren’t already hyper aware of your single status, Valentine’s Day arrives.
It’s no wonder a day out from the onslaught of cute couple photos on Instagram, lots of singles are turning to dating apps to soften the blow.
Tinder recorded a 20 per cent surge in usage on February 14 last year, and expects a similar trend again this year.
But experts believe a last ditch effort at a date could seem desperate.
Date shopping prior to Valentines ‘not ideal strategy’
Gender studies expert Lauren Rosewarne from the University of Melbourne said it was not surprising single people felt the sting of loneliness.
But Dr Rosewarne said trying to find a partner in the days immediately prior to Valentine’s Day might not be a wise dating strategy.
“Trying to have an intense relationship, trying to find someone to be with on Valentine’s Day that you’ve just met, it’s a high amount of pressure for a first date,” she said.
“Or even just shopping for a partner — it’s a lot of pressure to do that on Valentine’s Day.
“Also, there is an element of people being able to sense desperation in someone else.”
She said anyone feeling vulnerable should just hunker down and wait out the marketing storm.
“It’s 24 hours, you can do it,” she said.
“You can get through pretty much anything in 24 hours, so that’s probably the best advice.”
Tom McDonald said he refused to buy into the hype.
“Valentine’s Day, I don’t really believe in it,” he said.
“I think if you’re in love with someone you show that every day and Valentine’s Day to me is just another day.
“I wouldn’t try to get someone, be with someone just for Valentine’s Day, no.”
Dr Rosewarne said Valentine’s Day was a holiday that was all about coupledom.
“If you’re not exposed to enough images in social life about the importance of being coupled, Valentine’s Day slams that idea home.
“That then reminds people who aren’t coupled that they’re some way deficient and they may seek to remedy that by going online, because we’ve got to a point in our culture where pretty much online dating is packaged as the only game in town now.”
Edwina Luck from the Queensland University of Technology said the marketing around Valentine’s Day had become intense.
The shops are filled with flowers, teddies and the vaguely romantic restaurants are booking out.
“It’s not only the day — it’s the lead-up to it because it’s a few weeks out and we start getting hit with emails or TV commercials, or whatever media you’re watching and listening to, and that’s when that stress comes out,” Dr Luck said.
“Because people start to think, ‘How am I going to find someone? Oh, I’ll do it in an online dating capacity’.”