“Would you rent when you could own?” – Anon.
Do you remember when you were young ( I mean really young, think 10 years ago) and you wanted to ask a question in class? You would always weigh up the pros and cons of asking this question because the last thing you wanted was to be seen as the child who always asked silly questions. Your teacher could read minds (so it seemed) and would say ” there’s no such thing as a silly question” and her words were all the reassurance you needed. Well, you aren’t in a classroom. There is no whiteboard and there are no pupils but the same rule applies. You might have read the title of the article and thought silly question but to echo the words of millions of teachers worldwide, ” there are no silly questions.”
I saw it on Twitter and it made me chuckle. I wasn’t sure if I was chuckling at the question or the fact that in all my adult life I’ve had two valentines ( bar my mother and my sister ) but the absurdity of the question made me laugh out loud for quite some time. However, it’s not silly. The author (I imagine) wrote it in jest but many have contemplated “renting” a valentine or at least spending the 14th with someone they wouldn’t want to spend the 15th with because of “valentine”. And what’s wrong with that? We all want to be wanted and what better day to feel love than love day.
We probably live in the greatest “no strings attached” society to have ever existed, so I knew my Google search, “renting a valentine” would bring out some interesting results.
Apparently “rental boyfriends” gripped China in 2013. As part of the service you were supplied a boyfriend (as it was more popular amongst women) at a cost. He would escort you to wherever you wanted to go at a daily rate , although there was an all-inclusive package, which I assume would give you additional benefits .Hugs, handshakes and other similar gestures were complimentary but sex was not permitted. I then stumbled across another website that provides a similar service. The fact that both websites even exist is a testament to a renting culture that has pervaded love.
“Renting” or simply being with a person on valentine’s day for no other reason other than because its valentine’s day sounds appealing. You’re only obligated to see the other party on the 14th February. There’s no protocol on who pays the bill because you don’t know this person at all. There are no expectations because there will be no follow-up meeting. The likelihood of an argument erupting is evaded because you’ve had no prior contact. There are no feelings and there are no strings. Both parties meet on the 14th and say their goodbyes on the 14th having successfully dodged the hard work that often comes with initiating and maintaining a relationship. It is just dinner and it’s convenient.
Convenience isn’t necessarily wrong but I’m not sure how well it sits with love. There is a place for convenience as there is everything else in our lives. For instance, choosing to wear the first outfit you see because you are running late for an interview is a matter of convenience ( please note showing up late for an interview is not advised) . Eating a takeaway meal because you’re too tired to cook has everything to do with convenience. Hiring a maid because your busy schedule demands more of you than anticipated is a matter of convenience as is buying a dish washer. These are all examples of where convenience is more appealing. Convenience is quick and doesn’t require much effort but nothing real was ever built on it. Or can it?
I’m concerned that relationships built on convenience will burn out as quickly as they are set alight. It doesn’t help that society romanticizes valentine’s day almost excessively and singletons are made to feel like gatecrashers at the most talked about party but convenience rarely makes it to marriage. I doubt convenience even makes it to six months, so why rent when you can own?
Making a huge investment in love is scary but so is crossing the road. However, when you need to get to the other side, fear translates to faith and you move. You could “rent” a valentine. You could go out with someone for that one day just to make yourself feel better but that would be disruptive because the 15th will remind you that the night before wasn’t real.
Cross the road is what I’ll advice. Holding out for love is a better long-term investment.
However, if I could possibly rent a tall and dark-skinned hunk (for research purposes obviously), I may put down a deposit.
Love Cris x
Happy Love Month.
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