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The Other Side of Valentine



This year, I dedicate my valentine’s piece not to the market segment that February 14th has become branded and commercialized for, but to the lovers it ignores.

To the lovers who got stuck on the way and unable to figure it out, gave up and parted ways.

To the hearts stuck in reverse praying a lost love back home.

To the newcomer who has found himself in a virgin place of vulnerability.

To the fearful, afraid to take the plunge.

To the unprepared shocked that so hard a thing as love would be demanded of them.

To the one who has been there and done that, and has now taken form in a cold heart banging the door firmly and finally on love.

No I do not ignore the lover who is folded in a nurturing embrace where she has found her heart’s resting place, for I completely understand her. I know her joy, I muse at her abandon, I understand her smile and I recognize her rich laughter, no I don’t ignore her, not at all! Yes, I see her and the world sees her.

But what about the one who hides what lies beneath, what must not be known, what must not be seen? The one who scolds her desire like it’s a bastard child, turning her face adamantly away from it as though she was raped by love and now she hates its child- this bundle of weakening emotions that remind her of hungry thrusts that took and took and took.

I am writing for the disappointed who thought that love will be the missing link that makes life complete.

I am writing for the true lover who came to love on a level ground and gave it 100% but found something else. Although it was called love, it manifested itself as selfish and one- sided.

I am writing for the soul like a bruised reed bent in the wind, praying her broken heart won’t break. No I do not ignore the lover who is secure in a love that understands, that accommodates, and does her no wrong.

But what about the one who found herself ravaged like a house without gates. The one attacked by enemy forces banging against her walls of defense. With one last heave they reach her deepest, and all she hears is the eerie harmony of voices; his pitch with stolen pleasure, hers only cry, tears a last defense.

This season, I write acknowledging the women on both sides of the valentine dream. For the woman experiencing the phantom and the woman experiencing the fantasy of valentine. For the woman ensconced and the woman scorned. For the woman fallen in love and the woman fallen out of love.

At the end of the day, it is not about how we have been loved but about how we have loved – wrongly or rightly; poorly or richly; sparingly or generously.

For all the lovers out there, do have a Happy Valentine’s day!

Omonike Odi is a freelance writer and a media content provider on all media platforms. Read more from her on her blog at or follow her on twitter for daily inspirational quotes at or contact her –[email protected]

Omonaikee creates media content on print, online, tv, radio, social media and for events. Her work has been published in Cosmo, Bella Naija, Ynaija, Imbue Magazine, Metropole, +234Next magazine and True love west Africa. She blogs at


  1. Berryblast

    February 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Love love love this piece.

  2. The Watch Collector

    February 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Valentine’s day was the last time i saw my father in 2006, he died weeks later. I remember and well he’s gone. The day just reminds me of him and all that!

  3. Folaranmi Oluwnifesimi

    February 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Lovely piece

  4. Priscy

    February 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    beautiful piece..

  5. Mimi

    February 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Teary eyes…………

  6. mickey

    February 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    omg!! very nice piece


    February 14, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    No val, no gift just there*sad face*

  8. Que

    February 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Officially my favorite piece…. I’d add the Man too…xoxo!

  9. Ides of March

    February 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Nicely written. Well done

  10. Myne Whitman

    February 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Quite a touching article, thanks Omonike.

  11. kimmy

    February 14, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    LOVE..! What a mixture of tears and smiles.

  12. kimjim

    February 15, 2013 at 12:03 am

    So on point! Good job!!

  13. Jamce

    February 15, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Great piece. Simplicity of language, “poetic prose”, contrasting love situations nicely woven together with sublime humour that would equally lift the hearts of the women on “both sides of the valentine dream”. Bravo, Omonike, you are in line for a Nobel Prize.

  14. Trish

    February 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I had to copy this comment from another post. OMG, so much sense.

    Can I ask a question. This subliminal messaging that our society passes across and heaps pressure upon women. For the love of all things holy, why should a single woman be sad and depressed on vals day, so tey, she needs words of encouragement. What in the world. You read all this messages, and what do they serve to project, that you are a sad miserable creature because you are single, so you should be comforted. As if, pele ehn, don’t worry, your own too will come. Today we will remember you specially, because you have no one to make you feel special. This is so not fair. Any single woman who is sad and miserable today, look at yourself in the mirror and examine your self worth. Goldie, a woman just died today, a young woman in her prime, just died just like that. So, what is the issue that is so big, you don’t have a man abi. Please put your life back into perspective. At least you are hale and hearty and alive today. By tomorrow, all this Valentine’s day commercialism will be over, and people will move on with their lives. Valentines means something more special to me, because today is the day my best friend got the best news of her life. She was cancer free. Today marks 4 years since we got the news that she is in remission, and I will forever remember today for that, not chocolates, and gifts. I get to celebrate spending one more year, with such an amazing woman, after all those years I thought we would lose her to cancer. Your friends and relatives that are in relationships or married today, doesn’t make them happier than you. Your happiness should not be linked to the presence or absence of a man in your life. Has anyone EVER WONDERED why all these messages are NEVER directed to a single man. I may be wrong, but not once have I come across a patronising article directed at the single man around the time of Valentine. What does that tell of us women ehn. What?

  15. Jamce

    February 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    @Trish, well said. But the problem is that women have put themselves in this business of “man-in-my-life” is the ultimate thing. As they say, you are addressed by the way you are dressed.

  16. creamycream

    February 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    @trish,u av said it all.its high time ladies know within themselves that no man or person can make them happier than they or will be…..when u learn to accept urself as u are,then a man or whatever else can be an added advantage

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