Three cities‚ three ways to look at Valentine’s Day

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Three cities‚ three ways to look at Valentine’s Day

Shelley Seid | 2017-02-12 10:30:42.0

Aye Than Dar holds the hand of her sister Hla Thidar Myint at a park in Bangkok

Wandile Phenjwayo believes that it is harder these days to meet that special someone. File photo.

Image by: ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA
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REUTERS

In the past‚ Pietermaritzburg-based Wandile Phenjwayo found Valentine’s Day alienating.

“I’d have nothing to do. Only couples were catered for and I would feel out of place as a single person‚” he said.

Not one to wait around for Cupid to put in an appearance‚ Phenjwayo‚ 22‚ has made a plan for this year’s day of love.

Through his events company Luzu Africa he has organised a singles speed dating evening on February 14 at Pietermaritzburg’s popular pizzeria Pizzology. The public are invited to “bring a friend‚ leave with a Valentine”.

“It’s really a way for people to get their minds off the pressure of that particular day‚” he said‚ “and potentially find someone to spend next Valentine’s day with.”

People are given four minutes to chat to the person opposite them. Once the bell rings one of the parties moves to the next seat.

Phenjwayo believes that it is harder these days to meet that special someone.

“A lot of people are not single by choice. With social networking such a powerful force people are nervous‚ they keep their guard up. In the past things were more authentic‚ you could meet someone at a party. Now it’s more quantity over quality‚” he said.

There are a number of other initiatives in and around the country catering to singles who might have otherwise stayed at home‚ a la Bridget Jones‚ in their pyjamas with a tub of ice cream‚ singing All By Myself.

In Cape Town‚ Steampunk Club‚ Restaurant and Bar are holding an Anti-Valentine’s Party. The rules are clear: “No couples‚ no PDAs (public displays of affection)‚ no pet names‚ no sharing dessert and def no winking.”

These events come after a pre-Valentine’s party at the In The City Pop-Up Singles valentine’s party at The Hide-Out Bar in Maboneng‚ Johannesburg.

Organiser Bond Behrmann holds singles events each month and has been doing so for the past two and a half years. Saturday’s event was the venue’s biggest of the year.

“This year we had equal numbers of women and men coming which is quite unusual. There are generally more woman looking for relationships‚” she said.

She said that the city was full of lonely people.

“But they often approach the event with the wrong mindset – they shouldn’t be looking for a spouse. Rather they should see these events as opportunities to meet new friends and to socialise‚” she said.

But sexual health care practitioner Elna McIntosh has issued a warning for those trying to find love on Tuesday: it’s nothing more than commercial hype.

“Make peace with it. Don’t get sucked into the pressure. Wake up‚ find yourself‚ celebrate your singledom and stop being so desperate to find a partner. It’s just another day‚” she said.

– TMG Digital/The Times



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