Find yourself true love using historical techniques

Valentine’s Day is notoriously difficult to celebrate when you are single. Going on a double date with a whole tub (or two) of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream might give you a little comfort, but really we are all aware that there is no chocolate fudge brownie sticky enough to glue back together a broken heart.  


Cheering oneself up on Valentine’s Day through the medium of junk food, sad music and all the leftover alcohol in the house is so 21st century though! Back in the day, we would all have been more than glad not to be in a relationship on the 14th of February. Valentine’s Day was not necessarily for those who had already found love. In the dark days before Tinder and online dating, it was the perfect opportunity to find Mr. or Mrs. Right and people back then had by far the weirdest and most creative ideas. Fancy some tips for finding your perfect match?  


To all the single ladies out there, did you know that eating boiled eggs before going to sleep on Valentine’s night was supposed to help you find your dream man? Legend said you would meet him in your dreams at night. Fair enough, but how do you explain to the man of your dreams that the two of you are meant to be together and you found out through an overdose of animal protein? Tough one. There is no harm in trying though – boiled eggs at night will also keep your muscles active whilst sleeping, so if they do not help in discovering your other half, at least they keep you fit and healthy. 


Alternatively, there is a vegan friendly method – 100% egg-free. In medieval times, long before Channel 4 came up with First Dates, there was the widely spread belief that the first person you met on the morning of Valentine’s Day was the person you were going to spend the rest of your life with. Doesn’t it seem pretty clear what the plan is for this year’s day of love? Get up at 3am, run to your crush’s house and wait at the doorstep until they leave the house (oh, and pray that the postman does not turn up in the meantime). 


In case you are not a morning person, and I know a few, there is another great and highly effective way to find your future bae: write down the names of potential candidates on bits of paper, cover them in ‘loam’ (see below for further instructions) and put them in a bowl of water. The loam will fall off and the name you get to read first is the name of your prince or princess. Tried and tested…apparently.  


Admittedly, this last method reminds us a bit of our favourite kids TV show Art Attack. “All you need to make the loam for this piece of art can be found in every household – 100g plutonium, 1 tablespoon ectoplasm and 80ml blowfish urine…” Or not. Honestly, who actually happens to have all of that to hand?  


Maybe this next avian method is more convenient for you? Apparently spotting a robin on Valentine’s Day is a sign you will marry a rich partner, whereas spotting a sparrow symbolises a poor partner. Unfortunately, you would have to be very lucky to bump into either of these in a city like Edinburgh, so let’s all hope pigeons stand for good-looking, humorous, intelligent and outrageously charming partners for life.  


However, if for whatever reason you do not find love using these methods on the most romantic day of the year, do not worry – you are not alone. In fact, Japanese singles all celebrate their loneliness together two months later on the 14th of April, eating “Jajangmyeon“, a traditional dish for mourners. What sounds like super fancy sushi is actually just a noodle dish with pitch-black sauce…which admittedly seems a bit too dramatic. You might as well just order good old Dominos, cry a little with your other single friends, and be thankful that you do not have to share your garlic pizza bread with anyone but yourself.


Image: Flickr: [Andrew Kalali]

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