This Valentine’s day let us cast off the tyranny of the ‘happy couples’ splashed around the media- Kate and Wills, Posh and Becks- no thanks! Instead let us turn to those who are not so lucky in love. Who knows, perhaps there is some deep and philosophical knowledge to be gained from these inspiring figures- but then again maybe not.
Who?: OK, Bridget Jones may not be completely appropriate, as she eventually does end up with charming gentleman Mark Darcy. But still, along the way she has to contend with her mother’s pushiness, horrendous social situations, and lest we forget the sumptuous but sinful Daniel Cleaver.
You are like her if: You are attracted to the bad ‘Daniel Cleaver’ type, who is likely to steal you away from the true gentlemen of the world.
Known for: Massive underwear.
Why she is inspiring: She shows us that happiness is possible in the end, as well as sending out the crucial message that large underwear is OK!
But: By getting seduced by Cleaver, Bridget Jones does have to learn a lesson in love the hard way.
Who?: The embittered spinster from Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’. After being jilted at the altar, she spends her remaining years locked up in her house and sinking slowly into madness.
You are like her if: You are pining over a lost love.
Known for: Never taking her wedding dress of.
Why she is inspiring: You have to give Miss Havisham credit for unswerving devotion; she is the epitome of women’s unrelenting capacity never to forgive and never to forget. Plus, just think how much money she saves on clothes each year!
But: Unfortunately, there are those so-called ‘health professionals’ who may frown on madness slightly, so if you want to follow in Miss Havisham’s dusty footsteps- be prepared for the possibility of institutionalisation.
Who?: Character from Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miserables’. Eponine is devastatingly in love with Marius- the charming and rebellious student. Eponine follows Marius about, doing errands for him, even acting as a messenger for Marius and the love of his life, Collette ( confusing love triangle I know). Eventually, Eponine takes a bullet for Marius and dies in his arms.
You are like her if: You are a victim of unrequited love, the ‘friend-zone’, or of the merciless love triangle.
Known for: In the musical, Eponine is most recognised by her amazing and well known solo: ‘On My Own’.
Why she is inspiring: She is the ultimate martyr for love. She continues her admiration and devotion to Marius despite the fact she has to help him court another woman, and eventually lays down her life for him.
But: Hold your horses now, this is the twentieth century! Yes, self-sacrifice may be awfully romantic, but nowadays the single woman is empowered. So someone you love doesn’t love you back, instead of stalking him and acting messenger to him, you could just go for a spa day and sign up to match.com. Plenty more fish in the sea Eponine!
Who?: The ultimate single lady: all-woman, hilarious, endearing and inevitably a spinster surrounded by kittens.
You are like her if: You constantly find yourself in embarrassing situations, particularly by those you most want to impress.
Known for: As well as generally being hopeless in love, Miranda has a penchant for creating what-she-calls ‘fruit friends’ out of fruit. Who needs human company anyway?
Why she is inspiring: Always optimistic throughout her constant onslaught of embarrassing debacles and forever inventing new ways for singletons to have fun- such as biscuit blizzard.
But: Engaging in Miranda-esque behaviours may put you at risk of being even less likely of finding a partner than before, as users should take caution that Miranda’s shenanigans are likely to end in one or more of the following: fire, humiliation, nudity and even death.
So maybe these individuals aren’t always the perfect model of appropriate behaviour, but I think we should all try to take at least some inspiration from their sometimes disastrous but ever endearing antics. Be honest with yourself, would you rather be ‘happy’ in a ‘healthy adult relationship’, or have a conversation with an orange? – I think we all know the answer there. And if there is anything we should take from this all important lesson this Valentine ’s Day, it’s that we must all take on the responsibility of raising awareness of the benefits of big underwear!