Why (against all odds) I've become a Valentine's Day convert, hear me out

I am here to declare something publicly for the first time, despite the acute embarrassment it may cause, writes Adam Lucius.

It's hard work maintaining a relationship. Really hard. The pressures of modern-day living – work, bills, kids, families, extra-curricular activities - are getting to more and more couples.

The easy option is to walk away - or sprint if it's turned particularly sour – and start a new life somewhere else with someone different or just opt for a cat and forever singledom.

Australians are divorcing at a rate of around one-in-three, with 43-47 the average bail out age and that doesn’t take into account unmarried couples in long term relationships who decide to pull up stumps.

Older couple share a box of chocolates.
It takes hard work to get past the arduous years of raising young kids when you're in a committed relationship. Source: Getty

Hey, even those two lovebirds, Deborra-Lee Furness and Hugh Jackman, couldn't go the distance. Those in toxic relationships have, of course, done the right thing by taking the off-ramp. But it's extremely sad to see people you know go their separate ways because things ran out of steam or got a little tough.

These are often people you went through the hard yards with you when your kids were young, stress levels were at a peak and access to strong alcohol mandatory. Forget Survivor or Alone Australia.

They’re a Royal Caribbean cruise compared to the ride down the rapids you take every day you’re raising young kids while working full time and trying to sustain a solid relationship. Not surprising, there are many jump before you reach calmer waters.

A wine glass and a rose can be seen in the foreground and a couple's clasped hands in the background.
Who says romance is dead? Source: Getty

What is surprising is the number who reach those calmer waters and still decide to call it a day at a time – in theory, anyway – when couples should be paddling in the same direction, usually away from domestic commitments.

That's why I am here to declare something publicly for the first time, despite the acute embarrassment and justifiable claims of hypocrisy. I am outing myself as a fan of Valentine's Day.

My partner of more two decades has just demanded a polygraph test, but please hear me out.

A couple kiss behind a bouquet of flowers.
Romantic gestures on Valentine's Day aren't only for the unimaginative. Source: Getty

I too used to dismiss VD – Valentine's Day, not the relationship-ending VD – as an over-commercialised, tacky and largely pointless event beloved by those with the imagination of a sea urchin.

It’s February 14 so it must be the day to send your partner a bunch of over-priced roses and take him/her out for a credit card-squeezing, three-courses for $160-a-head dinner with all the other romance-challenged sheep.

No wonder Anti-Valentine's Day movements sprung up in recent times, complete with eight-step guides on how to purge yourself of the cheating ex while celebrating your new-found freedom. They call it a Valentine's Day detox. But, still, I'm willing to swim against the angry tide.

It’s time to salute those who hang in there for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, during and after the football season.

While I won't be purchasing a teddy that says "I can’t bear to be without you" or wooing her with edible undies (been there, done that) on Valentine's Day, I will tell my wife I love and cherish her.

I will then cook her favourite spaghetti bolognese (breaking out the premium pasta sauce for the occasion) and pour her a Californian chardonnay. I will then grant the love of my life her greatest wish – to be left in peace to finish an eight-part Netflix series. Just call me the last of the true romantics.

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