Valentine’s Day is upon us. How will you be celebrating?

Where does Valentines Day come from? In an article in The Telegraph, Emily Allen and Cameron Macphail tell the story of St Valentine, a priest from Rome from the third century AD. “Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages, believing married men made bad soldiers and St Valentine is thought to have arranged marriages in secret.” It is thought that St Valentine fell in love with the daughter of the jail warden who kept him imprisoned. On the 14th February he sent her a love letter signed ‘from your Valentine‘, which is where your Valentine’s cards stem from.

Fast forward to today and Valentine’s Day has evolved with the times; Online Dating Magazine estimates that there are over 5,000 online dating services worldwide, and many of us will find our Valentine’s date via the internet. There’s a range of online services available to singletons over the coming weekend who are looking to spend the day with a significant other, so maybe this year there’ll be less people spending Valentine’s alone than ever before!

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So what is love, we hear you ask? The Dalai Lama would tell you that love and compassion are linked to the search for purpose in life. He says: “Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else. The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. It results from the profound interdependence we all share with one another.”

So how does this come into play in the 21st century?

Dating websites and apps have become such a success story over the past few years as they provide a current, modern platform for finding “the one”. And love is big business: there are 91 million people using dating apps around the world and the online dating industry is worth over £2 billion. There’s even a .dating domain name on the market, which will celebrate its second birthday in June 2016. For any fledgling startups looking to crack the busy online dating market, a domain name could be the ticket to standing out in the crowd! Alternatively, a .dating website could be a great way to showcase yourself this weekend, or to keep a record of your Valentine’s celebrations. Websites aren’t just for businesses after all!

For those of you who are based in London – just like UK2 – there’s a vast range of Valentine’s themed events on offer over the weekend. From traditional candle-lit dinners and red rose bouquets to the less conventional singles parties which will undoubtedly take place across the country, there’s something for everyone this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re coupled or single. TimeOut has compiled a list of great ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day in London, and a simple Google search should be able to help out those readers from out of town.

Spread some Valentine’s love this weekend and show your loved ones that you care. Let us know how you’ll be celebrating over on Twitter @UK2!

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