Arniston Spa Hotel

Amour… in French Style

He loves me, he loves me not

…or She loves me, she loves me not is a game of French origin, in which one person seeks to determine whether the object of their affection returns that affection or not. A person playing the game alternately speaks the phrases “He (or she) loves me,” and “He loves me not,” while picking one petal off a flower (usually an Oxeye Daisy) for each phrase. The phrase they speak on picking off the last petal supposedly represents the truth between the object of their affection loving them or not. The player typically is motivated by attraction to the person they are speaking of while reciting the phrases. They may also seek to reaffirm a pre-existing love.

To have a better relationship, love like the French!

That’s the gist of a book called, “What French Women Know” by Debra Ollivier. First, Ollivier says the word “dating” doesn’t exist in French dictionaries, the closest word they have is “sortir,” which means “to go out.” Ollivier also says we tend to go into new relationships with a list of questions about the outcome like: “Where is this going?” or “Could she be The One?” But the French are more likely to go with the flow, and just enjoy the experience of being with someone who makes them happy. The French believe you should follow your heart, not your head. Do not spend too much time worrying about the “dos and don’ts” of relationships, like “Don’t call him back too soon, because you’ll seem desperate.” She says rules like that imply that you can predict and control relationships, which you can’t! That’s why the French ask one simple question when it comes to relationships: “Do I feel passion for this person?” Because as long as your answer is always “yes,” then you won’t feel like a failure if the relationship doesn’t work out because you can walk away with your emotional integrity intact!

Valentines

Since it is Valentine’s Day 14 February, I was searching for interesting ways different cultures around the globe are celebrating this day. It is a popular holiday for young couples in South Korea, and variations of the holiday are celebrated monthly from February through April. The gift-giving starts on February 14th, when it’s up to women to woo their men with chocolates, candies and flowers. This was interesting, because in my culture it is the other way round! The tables turn on March 14th, a holiday known as White Day, when men not only shower their sweethearts with chocolates and flowers, but also with a gift. And for those who don’t have much to celebrate on either Valentine’s Day or White Day, there is a third holiday: Black Day. On April 14th, it’s customary for singles to mourn their solitary status by eating dark bowls of black bean-paste noodles.

In the Philippines, mass wedding ceremonies have gained popularity, leading hundreds of couples to gather at malls or other public areas around the country to get married or renew their vows on Valentine’s Day. Italians celebrate Valentine’s Day with gift exchanges between lovers and romantic dinners.

One of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts in Italy is Baci Perugina, which are small, chocolate-covered hazelnuts wrapped with a romantic quote printed in four languages. Originally, Italians celebrated Valentine’s Day as the Spring Festival. They gathered outside in gardens and such to enjoy poetry readings and music before taking a stroll with their beloved. Another Italian Valentine’s Day tradition was for young, unmarried girls to wake up before dawn to spot their future husbands. The belief was that the first man a woman saw on Valentine’s Day was the man she would marry within a year. Or he’d at least strongly resemble the man she would marry.

But if life was only that simple!