Remember Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday not the ‘be all and end all of love’

Few couples love Valentine’s Day. It’s a chore. Let’s face it.

There is pressure to go out for dinner, to buy cards, flowers, presents, champagne, teddy bears, lingerie… I could go on. The cost could add up to hundreds of pounds and the people who are really laughing are the card companies and merchandise providers.

That’s before we even discuss the predicament of the poor boyfriend / girlfriend who doesn’t invest as much in a present as their sentimental partner.

Buy yourself something lovely with the money you will invariably save.

Use this as an excuse to ‘get on with the rest of your life’

If you’re looking for love, take some time on Valentine’s Day to think about a plan for the next year. Join a dating website, join a book group (or some other social event where you can mingle with singles), think about taking up yoga or a new sport. Think about being healthier and being the best ‘you’ you can be. It’s an old wives tale, but the romantic in me believes that if you’re really happy with your life – that’s when love will find you. Who am I to argue with that? Think about your job – does it really make you happy? Use this time to re-evaluate your life.

If you’re recently single / divorced or have been dating – or having sex with – a few people. Now’s a good time to have a STI test and get the all clear on your sexual health. You could have contracted viruses such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or HIV without knowing, so give yourself some peace of mind, get tested and move forward with a fresh start. You can find more information here.

Do something amazing

The ancient Greeks had four words for love. Eros (romance), philos (love for friends), storge (love for family) and agape (charity and love for the world).

Why not show love in a different way this Valentine’s day? You could work in a soup kitchen, volunteer in a charity shop, do a bungee jump and raise some money for charity, donate blood if you can, have a sponsored silence or just donate the money you would have spent on Valentine’s tat to a charity.

At BioSure UK, we’re campaigning to make HIV and AIDS a thing of the past and we work with several brilliant charities that are crying out for some help.

The now-iconic AIDS ribbons are red to symbolize love and passion. There are loads amazing HIV and AIDS charities that are in desperate need of volunteers, time, commitment or donations – click here for more information.

This could really make a difference this Valentine’s Day.

Brigette Bard is CEO of BioSure UK and founder of Last Taboo

Missed part one of our Valentine’s Day guide? Read it here now