Love is a Battlefield

It was Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, the day of hearts, flowers and the Big L….Loneliness. I’m kidding! Love people, Love.

We are split into two definitive camps on Valentine’s Day. Those who are in a relationship, and those who aren’t. The occupants of these two camps co-exist fairly peacefully throughout the rest of the year, the singles commenting joyfully on the couples engagement announcements, and the couples liking all the singles gym selfies. It’s ever so pleasant and harmonious and we manage to tick along nicely together.

Then, like an air raid of rose petals, Valentine’s Day hits. All of a sudden, for one 24 hour period only, we are at War. Friends who’ve known each other for years suddenly feel like strangers if they’re based in opposite camps. The usual boundaries of banter are blurred, and all ties are severed. For Valentine’s Day only, we are enemies.

Facebook is flooded with an enslaught from each camp in a vicious turf war. The couples fiercely stamp their mark on the newsfeed early on, tagging their significant other in their cutest kissing photo and displaying newly acquired armour in the form of bracelets and watches. The singles sneak in with killer memes, poking fun at their own single status and slicing through the saccharine with sarcasm.

Some couples refuse to enlist for battle, their profiles devoid of the outpouring of romance expected by their followers. By choosing to keep their celebrations private, they allow smug singles to spread rumours of dissension in the ranks, ‘Did you hear Pat and Mick have split up? Checked their profiles this morning and nothing. Not a sausage. I bet he’s shagging that Maureen from Asda, he’s always liking her photos’. These ‘private’ couples are nothing but a hinderance in the Valentine’s Day stakes, the equivalent of a flat-footed soldier. If you’re not going to even attempt to cobble together an instacollage you may as well split up and join the opposition like the traitors that you are.

Always the underdogs on Valentine’s Day, the singles need each others support more than ever, and yet there are noticeable gaps in the front line. Fearful of being seen as desperate or bitter, some of the newer recruits hold fire with their banter. They stay hunched down in the trenches with their fingers in their ears whilst the rest of the army surge forth, hurling grenades into the love bubble by applying several flattering filters to their ‘Single and Fabulous!’ uploads.

The war rages on and the pressure to keep up the pace takes its toll. Those who started the battle with a bold post of adoration for their partners are never seen again. A true relationship warrior shows stamina, they update diligently throughout the day, incorporating all Social Media platforms in order to cover every angle of attack. Those who post an obligatory one liner of love and then abandon their comrades are looked upon with utter disgust. You may well have a life to lead Graham, but today you need to love your girlfriend, every hour on the hour. We can’t let those sad, lonely bastards get the better of us. Now get back to your post!

Meanwhile, the singles begin to lose focus halfway through the day. Lustful posts about Tom Hardy start to creep into the newsfeed and distract them from the job in hand, which is to convince everyone how over the moon they are to be single.

‘Love love love being single!!! No presents to buy, no need to shave my legs, no prancing about in underwear he bought me which is itchy and too tight! Hallelujah!’

The singles fight hard to reinforce this propaganda, but their grip on the newsfeed is threatened by the lure of Christian Grey. Their heads are turned, and the struggle to stick to their guns and concentrate is almost impossTom Hardy.

The bloodbath continues, and the walking wounded stagger unsteadily into the fray. Confused and shellshocked, their contribution does more harm than good. Singles indulge in too many Spritzers and let their guard down, posting Bridget Jones style snapchats singing Sinead O’Connor through a mist of tears. Couples thank their partners through gritted teeth for one wilted rose from an Esso garage and a bag of chocolate coins left over from Christmas. It’s clear that both sides are running out of steam.

Darkness closes in and the battle is almost over. The couples defenses are fully depleted, their posts have dried up and their appetite for warfare has been satiated by Prosecco, Ferroro Rocher and Candy Bras. Completely spent after a full day of publicly loving each other (ahem), they have nothing left to give. Without a peep from the singles for some time, they wearily retreat.

As the couples head back to their trenches hand in hand for Indian takeaways and candlelit baths, the singles lie patiently in wait. With no dinner plans, nothing on the telly and not much in the fridge, they bide their time. And just as the dust is about to settle, they charge heartily onto the battleground once more. In an almighty explosion of memes, snapchats, comments, quotes, stories, tweets and videos, the singles late night ambush secures their hold over the internet. The couples can do no more than look on in awe as the bombs go off around them. As they snuggle in matching onesies, they are grateful for the fireworks provided.

As the clock struck midnight, the conflict finally came to an end and order has since been restored. Friends have reunited, wounds have healed and soldiers from both camps play football together on the battleground, where one day soon, roses will grow.

Until next year…

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