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Monday, 17 February, 2003, 08:59 GMT
Valentine's Day: Your stories
Legend has it that Valentine's Day originated from St Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity.

He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries, and he left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter signed "From Your Valentine".

Whatever its origins, Valentine's Day has become a vast industry, with an overwhelming number of cards, presents and even holidays being sold the world over to celebrate it.

Who is your Valentine this year? Have you sent or received any cards or gifts? Tell us your experiences.

Thank you for your comments; this debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails is published below.

On Valentines Day 1987, it was bitterly cold and was snowing and I had what turned out to be the flu, but it was the happiest day of my life, why because I married the loveliest man in the world and I am happier than I ever thought possible.
Audrey Owen, England

On Valentine's Day 1997 I was lucky enough to have a valentine for the first time - my boyfriend of just three months spoilt me rotten - roses, presents, champagne and dinner in an amazing French restaurant. Six years later we're still together and are looking forward to our 7th Valentine's Day together - it will be even more special than the first.
Katy, UK

After 11 years of marriage, my husband and I rarely bother with Valentines Day, but this year agreed to get each other cards. This morning, I handed him his card with a kiss, and what did he do? Told me couldn't be bothered to get one! Didn't even pretend he'd forgotten. Oh well, guess I'll just not be bothered to cook his dinner tonight, then.
Lesley, England

On February 14th of last year I did not expect to receive a card and as it happened I did not, whilst all around me beautiful flowers were being delivered left right and centre, I sat at my desk quietly and prayed! By September this year I had given up hope of meeting someone yet by mid October I had met my gorgeous man, Richard, he treats me like a princess and we are off to New York on Saturday! this year I feel like the luckiest girl on earth!
Claire, England

Do something unique and personal, not what the ad men say you should be doing

John B, UK
I hope all of you out there who are in a relationship of whatever sort that you are secure in your love for each other that you don't need overpriced pieces of cardboard to prove it. I would rather make life special for my wife rather than focussing a lot of energy and even more money on giving retails yet another opportunity to overcharge me for worthless garbage. Do something unique and personal, not what the ad men say you should be doing.
John B, UK

I married my husband on Valentine's day in 1998, so it's our 5th Wedding anniversary this year. All our female friends thought it was romantic, all our male friends commented "Good call, only one day a year to have to remember!"
Heidi, UK

I always hated Valentine's Day until I met my husband who has never forgotten a birthday, anniversary or indeed Valentine's Day. We always exchange cards, single red roses and gifts. Who says middle age has to be sad?
Jane F, UK

I was buying my Girlfriend a present and card in a big card shop today and I saw a girl burst into tears. She was only about 17 if that and was with her friend. Apparently she'd just split from her boyfriend. It reminded me that not everyone has "someone" and that we should spare a thought for those that are hurting while seemingly the rest of the world are celebrating.
Mark, Wales

It's commercial exploitation that shows how the mythology of romance contradicts the reality of coupling and perpetuates a definition of love that creates dangerous expectations.
Emily, UK

My wife got her sister to send me a valentine's card so I would not recognise the writing - then she would not speak to me all day for getting a card from another woman!
Jez, uk

My ideal Valentines night would be sitting in a restaurant overlooking the sea with my husband and a glass of red wine. Well ... I can always wish can't I! It will be more like me and my husband watching TV with a curry!! Ahhh Lurve x
Debbie, West Mids, UK

I had a similar experience, Valentine's cards arriving from Mr.X with no way of knowing who Mr.X was. It was such a thrill, especially as they arrived at my boarding school where mail was closely monitored so naturally it was mortifying not to have any on February 14th. Years later I found out it was my Great Aunt. Bless her! She made me feel special and fuelled my teenage dreams of romance!
Tessa, UK

To all those lonely hearts out there, don't despair even couples can feel left out, especially if one half of the partnership is not romantic enough to join in the fun of Valentine's Day
the other half of the relationship, UK

On the 14 Feb 1992 at midday I married the most beautiful woman in the world. 11 years and 3 kids later she's even more beautiful.
Lee Furness, UK

The last time I had one of these so called profiteers' dreams, sorry valentine's cards, I was 5. I'm now 25 and it hasn't made me cold, bitter or cynical.
Martin, UK

I ran like the wind all the way down to his house in the darkness to put his card through the door

Anna, UK
I started seeing someone shortly before Valentine's day 4 years ago and was disappointed that no card had arrived on the day and was having second thoughts about sending my own. However, in the evening just to make sure, I looked underneath the doormat... and there it was. I ran like the wind all the way down to his house in the darkness to put his card through the door. Now we've got a lovely two year old and are talking about getting married...
Anna, UK

I usually find that I have a severe outbreak of crabbiness on Valentines Day. These is probably due to the fact that I have been single on most and feel quite ill at the sight of courting couples and endless marketing campaigns all around me. This year I have a boyfriend and am still finding it hard to control my spininess...however I have managed to bite the bullet and send him a red rose - he had better appreciate it!
Andrew, UK

It is an interesting day I have never been sent a card or gift and I my self have never sent a card or gift to anybody, but I am amazed by what people and specially young people do on this day
Zarghuna, Afghanistan

Every Valentines day, I receive the best present from my partner, Alex. I think that he is the most romantic man on earth as he serenades me with a string quartet, red roses, champagne and strawberries. I just want to thank him so much for making the day so special and that I love him very much. Will you marry me?
Becky, UK

I want to know what Becky's boyfriends answer was!

My boyfriend, Colin, wrote a song for me called 'Fiona, my hearts desire' and had it recorded in a studio. It was the most romantic thing that anyone has ever done for me.
Fiona, Scotland

I marvelled at how special it would be for someone to use that sign to propose

Brian, Ireland
When I was 11, I was on my first trip abroad from Ireland. It was a school trip and at one stage we were in Piccadilly Circus at night time. I got separated from the group, and decided to stay put and stand in a doorway until they came back for me. That was straight across from the Coca-Cola sign and I marvelled at how special it would be for someone to use that sign to propose. 18 years later on Valentine's Day 1993, that's exactly what happened. "Jeanie Will You Marry Me". (By the way, the answer was "Yes", and we're happily married now with two kids!)
Brian, Ireland

Quiet nights in, a meal, the log fire, the sofa....Ah, perhaps someday I'll have company.
Andrew, UK

Well, my only offer so far is from a drunken regular at my local. I'm thinking of taking him up on it, as I have seen no evidence of any other offers. Oh well, I'll stay at home and play with my cat - she loves me. Love? Bah!
Liz, UK

From 1991 to 1998 I received a Valentine card from 'My Loving Mr X'. To this day I do not know who sent them. During that time I moved house, moved jobs, changed hair colour and Mr X was there every step of the way. They have now stopped but it's infuriating to know that I will probably never find out who sent them.
Jane, UK

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