Now that the New Year is well and truly underway and the festive season is a fading memory, it may well be a good idea to remind readers that Valentine's Day will soon be upon us.
February 14th is, of course, the big day - and don't you dare forget it (remember that
Saint Valentine was martyred)!
This may seem somewhat flippant, but the occasion comes so soon after the Christmas period; a time which can be extremely stressful for relationships of all kinds. Whilst forgetting to indulge your better half with a card, gift or gesture may not be the cleverest thing to do, it probably can't compete with the many factors which can contribute to making Christmas a relationship minefield. Financial worries, domestic confinement, the amount of time spent together during the festivities and an abundance of available alcohol are among the most common elements in exacerbating Yuletide woe.
Indeed, January traditionally sees a big rise in couples starting divorce proceedings. Enter the family lawyers, who, in some quarters, are viewed quite unjustly as part of the problem, rather than a means to a resolution. The breaking down of a relationship is hardly the fault of the legal profession and those unfortunate enough to be involved in such a scenario would be best advised to try to keep a cool head and at least try to maintain some degree of civility with the other party. Prior to getting a solicitor involved, consideration should be given to avenues such as referring the matter to an organisation such as Relate, which can and does provide a valuable service in conflict resolution and has a wealth of experience to draw on. Alternatively recourse could be made to one of the growing number of third party mediation companies, whose remit includes both commercial and family dispute resolution, and whose services are becoming increasingly popular.
Anyway, that is enough of the gloom and doom. Let's lighten up and think ahead to Valentine's Day. Don't forget that gift and bear in mind the words of an unknown author: “I really do not understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, golden-haired cherub pointing a primitive weapon at me.”