Eight kinds of love to celebrate on Valentine's Day

Whether you jump at the chance to surprise someone with roses or scoff at this Hallmark holiday while crying alone into pizza, nobody can deny that celebrating love is something simple and sweet.

But why should February 14 be off-limits to those who aren't in the thralls of romantic bliss?

We all have people in our lives we are fond of and value greatly. While those connections are not romantic — a thoughtful colleague, a beloved pet — nobody can deny that these relationships are equally as important and worth acknowledging.

So this Valentine's Day, let's expand our definition of love to include all of those special people in our lives.

Your local barista

Pop psychologists often recommend keeping a gratitude journal —diarizing all the positive stuff you're grateful for — which goes on my list of things that sound great but I'll never actually do — like Marie Kondo-ing my closet, or flossing.

If we each kept a gratitude journal I guarantee baristas would appear frequently in its pages.

So let me take a moment to thank my local coffee provider. This legend not only provides caffeine each morning but has even started remembering my name!

Well, almost ... yesterday they wrote Steven instead of Deirdre and gave me a latte instead of long black and oh wait, I think I just stole someone's coffee.

Your furry friend

The word pet seems rather clinical and impersonal; it implies the animal is more of an accessory of the house than a family member and companion.

Many of us consider our furballs to be children — we have their photos in our wallets, we buy them clothes, we are offended when the local childcare centre enforces their No Dogs policy.

Let your little mate know they are loved today: give your dog a cuddle, do not cuddle your fish, and leave rose petals in your cat's kitty litter so she knows she is appreciated.

The mystery colleague who always replaces the toilet roll

Oh mysterious, elusive hero: when will you free yourself from the cloak of mystery a la Bruce Wayne and unveil yourself?

We love and value your efforts, as staff toilets are often the place where people reveal their true — ahem — colours.

(Also who is it that keeps leaving paper towels on the floor instead of in the bin, and how do they manage to put on pants and work at this office? It boggles the mind.)

Brave, toilet paper-replacing hero: I love you.

Your best mate

While colourful bracelets stating best friends forever may be slightly childish, many of us have that one special mate in our lives who has seen us at our worst and still reckons we're alright.

Call it a bromance or maybe a Galentine, whatever works best: just let them know you love them.

Your family

Step-families, foster parents, housemates that have become surrogate siblings, carers, grandparents looking after grandchildren ... there is a plethora of family structures in so many households that, while non-traditional, are undoubtedly families.

Remember that family is so much more than just blood, and celebrate yours.

I know a lot of folks who weren't treated well as children so they've had to make their own families — close friends, housemates, pets: family is what you make it.

Your ex

No, not the one who spilled coffee on your amazing white rug and lost your favourite book — the one you have maintained contact with and with whom you still share a close connection.

Spoiler alert: friendship is the best. Break-ups are painful but it's a wonderful thing when that relationship can move beyond "it's complicated" into friendship.

Why not thank them today for being ace?

Your work BFF

Even if you adore your job and waltz through the door each day with a spring in your step and a song in your heart, there will still be days when going to work is a struggle.

(Also, maybe tone the enthusiasm down a bit, Captain Keen Bean, your springy steps are frightening the people on the floor below us.)

Having a work bestie is the best — someone you can laugh with, whinge to and share "oh my God" faces with during staff meetings.

Your wheelie bin neighbour/angel

In every house and apartment I have lived in, I have been lucky to have a kindly neighbour who brings my bin in each week.

Sometimes they maintain an air of mystery, other times I catch them shuffling across the street and have to sprint out in my pyjamas to take the handle from them, saying, "thank you, thank you, thank you" profusely.

Do you have a Wheelie Bin Angel? Take the opportunity today presents to let them know how much you appreciate them (and how little you enjoy bringing the bin in).

Happy Valentine's Day!

Will Melne

5 people who are secretly happy about the ban on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day has been banned in Pakistan... and noone seems to care.

There's no furious hashtagging on Twitter, no one's made a sarcastic meme (yet) and we guess it's too early in the week to think about protests and rallies. Yawn.

Why the silence, we wonder?

Could it be that people don't care about Valentine's and the government's actually wasted time, resources and possibly taxpayer money in announcing an exceedingly irrelevant ban? Nah, they wouldn't do thaaat.

Here's 5 kinds of people who could be secretly happy about the ban on Valentine's Day celebrations.

1) Single people. Duh.

As Bina Shah tweeted with mock candour, "I'm single so I hate Valentine's Day anyway. You should all be as miserable as me."

Clapping for honesty.

2) Workaholics

"Valentine's is falling on a Tuesday this year. Totally inconvenient! I could have a meeting that day... My boss usually calls me in the evening... I can't afford a late night in the middle of the week..."

Just marry your job, okay?

3) The *kanjoos*

You were probably as happy about this ban as you were sad about the blocking of torrents.

"Oh no sweety, I can't take you out to that nice cafe. How about we make Maggi at home and watch a movie on my laptop?"

Phft, cheapskate.

4) The conspiracy theorist

"Let's get real. Valentine's Day is all an invention of the Illuminati. The whole concept of chocolates on V-day is a yahoodi saazish, cupid is a RAW agent and global warming is a hoax. Wake up people."

How do you sleep at night, bro?

5) The hipster

"Ugh, Valentine's Day is so commercial. Chocolates are overrated, have you ever tried kale? I'm going to follow the South Korean tradition of Candle Day."

Yeah, we don't know what that is but we doubt you do either.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone, Pornhub Wants To Be Your New 'Bae'

Forget chocolates, tacky greeting cards, flowers that are technically already dead; Pornhub are giving the people what they really want this Valentine's Day - free (premium) porn.

Nicely played, Pornhub.
Here's the (relatively safe for work link) where you'll need to head from 9am today to gain free premium access to a Valentine's Day of watching other people bumping (not so) uglies.

Pornhub says you won't need to use your credit card, there's no conditions attached, and you'll see ad-free, higher quality streams with the premium content.

"Get stoked to spend this V-day with your new bae, Pornhub Premium," is the promise.

Your new bae.


Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

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