글 // Amsterdam // Society Valentine’s Day: The Single View 07 2 2016 Putting a spotlight on those normally kept in the dark by Valentine's Day. The only thing worse than Valentine’s Day is the knowing sneer of that person who declares, “You know it’s a fake holiday made up by card companies and florists, don’t you?” Yes, of course, we do. Everyone knows Valentine’s Day's a commercial ruse designed to steal our money and make us feel inadequate. But we go ahead and participate because sometimes you've got to make sacrifices for love. (Or to at least keep the illusion alive.) That said it would be better if Valentine’s Day were less about consumption and more about reflection: what does love mean? Is it the same for everyone? Are we on Tinder yet? To get some interesting answers to these questions we decided to ask some singletons – putting a spotlight on those normally obscured by the holiday of Saint Valentine. Here’s what we found out: Rob, 27 – a serial dater from London. Hi Rob. What do you think love is? A combination of chemical reactions leading to certain emotions. Charming. How is single life? Sundays are the worst. Sundays are the bad thing, but Thursday to Saturday is great. What’s dating like in your city? Incredible. A plethora of extremely interesting people that come from the most diverse backgrounds. In London there are so many beautiful people with lots to say. Sevda – a photographer based in Hamburg. How do you know when you’re in love and not just infatuated with someone? In that moment when I truly trust a person and when I’m starting to think the other person is going to stay in my life forever. That includes post-relationships. Even if things don’t work out, I know that my love for this person and their love for me will grow into a deep friendship. Infatuation is less about caring for the other person in it, more about me, how I feel, what I want. Love is not so selfish. What’s the dating scene like in Hamburg? It’s crazy! After being single for one-and-a-half years I still have no clue how it works. I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. Some people might say it’s easy: you make contact with someone at a bar and see what happens. For them it’s the normal thing to do, without a doubt. For me that’s too easy, that’s just hooking up, it’s not dating. I’m looking for something else, something with a bit more magic. In a relationship, would you rather be the person who loves the most or that is most loved? In my eyes that’s something that continually changes in a healthy relationship. Sometimes you are the one who loves the most and then during another period, without really noticing it’s changed, it’s your partner. It’s important to me that both are pushing each other. I couldn’t stand a partner who loves me more than I love them. That wouldn’t feel right or fair to me. Josephine – a blogger from Berlin Is the need to find love overrated in this digital era? It’s probably underrated. Everyone is on Tinder and Grindr. I think it’s stupid to think that you can find someone to love on those apps. How will you celebrate Valentine’s day? I’m actually going to visit my gay best friend. We didn’t really plan it but it has turned out this way. We barely see each other so I guess we’re gonna have a very romantic reunion. What are the best and worst things about being single? Positive: I don’t have to share my bed with anyone and I have all the space to myself. Negative: There’s nothing negative about it except for the fact that no one sees my expensive lingerie. What is the one thing your ex doesn’t know? I honestly don’t think there’s anything; and if there is then I don’t remember because I will tell the person I am with everything. Tobias – a tattoo artist What’s love? I don’t know yet. Maybe it’s the need for someone who you accept for their good and bad habits. Or it is just a cold glass of your favourite gin & tonic? What’s it like to be single? It’s great because you don’t have to care – it sucks because there is no one who cares for you. How will you celebrate Valentine’s day? I will be working with friends & colleagues on the International Tattoo Convention in Budapest. Kaya – What’s love? True love is the soul’s recognition of its counterpart in another. Nah, I’m just quoting Wedding Crashers. Love is warm fuzzies. Worst date you have ever been on? The other night. But it was because of me. I had way too many work emails to get through so I was e-mailing the whole way through and then had to leave early to use my computer. What’s your take on open relationships? Each to their own. Personally I couldn’t do it but if there are two people who are both honestly open about being comfortable with it then by all means go ahead. Ben – a backpacker and student What’s it like being single? Liberating: I’d rather be single than be with the wrong person. How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day? Chilling with my newly single housemate. Pizza, Budweiser and shit TV. What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on? A date she planned. She took me to a family barbecue and introduced me to her parents. On the first date. What object represents love to you? A backpack and no plan of where I’ll be tomorrow. Leslie — a model Is the need to find love overrated in this digital era? I think you can’t overrate love, but apps like Tinder can give you the wrong impression of it. What are the best and worst things about being single? The best thing about being single is being free and making your own decisions, for example going travelling. The worst thing is not having someone to cuddle when you come home. What is the dating scene like in your city? Hamburg is not as crazy as Berlin. We need some new people! What objects represent love for you? I still have this super ugly stuffed animal and this green pig from my ex-boyfriend. I love it because it reminds me of our time together.