Many lovers across the country are celebrating Valentine’s Day differently due to financial constrains as a result of job losses and the strained economy.

This time last year, lovebirds across the country were putting the final touches on their Valentine’s Day plans and a year later, the financial impact of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have no doubt put a damper on things with the divorce rate spiked by an estimated 20% in South Africa.

Some people celebrating Valentine’s Day have expressed disappointment about having to celebrate the day during a pandemic and with lockdown regulations in place.

They say it is hard to enjoy Valentine’s Day because of the financial difficulties.

South Africa has been under various levels of lockdown for almost a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the economy to its knees and resulting in job losses.

“So, I won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year – well, not on the day and that is because since COVID started, my partner has been working really odd shifts and days. So, personally because of the lockdown and because of how things have been going via employment, I don’t see myself being able to afford a gift for my partner because I haven’t been employed for about a month,” says one love bird.

Talk about finances

Financial planning coach at Old Mutual, Sharon Moller, has advised couples to have conversations around finances when navigating through relationships.

“If you don’t openly discuss these things, the little things become a huge things. So, having the compassion, noticing – okay, hang on. Not talking about it doesn’t help. It’s more than just the money element, it’s how do we have conversations about money that makes sense for us, both of us in the relationship,” says Moller.

However, the couples celebrating the day have used their creative instincts to make the day special despite the pandemic and lockdown and many small businesses have benefitted.

Kuben Naicker, an owner of a small business that sells personalised gifts and signage, says the pandemic has helped his business pick up.

“It’s been much easier on me, business has actually picked up because of my pricing. COVID has brought in business for me because of the signage that is required, the awareness that’s required so everyone is spending money to get the awareness campaign going on COVID-19,” he says.

Meanwhile, a cyber security expert has urged South Africans to practice safety when using online dating sites on this day of lovers.

Cybersecurity specialist, Shawn Phakade, elaborates his views in the video below: