It may be only once a year, but the romantic and emotional benefits of Valentine’s Day don’t come close to outweighing the stress and pressures involved, writes Niall Christie.

As far as I can see, February 14 is little more than an opportunity for couples to wonder whether their other half loves them enough to waste money on heart-shaped tat.

Meanwhile, for singletons, it offers a chance to wonder why a card has yet to fall on their doormat.

Far be it for me – someone who has been in a happy relationship for more than five years – to declare myself an authority on single life, but if you find yourself happy with your own company 364 days of the year, the unfortunate institution of Valentine’s is not the time to reassess this.

Single life can be as enjoyable as life with a partner – and neither a cheesy card nor a £3 bunch of supermarket flowers is likely to improve this.

This capitalist holiday does nothing but fill the money-making gap between Christmas and Easter, in what seems like a genius scam from marketing executives the world over.

While I admit to having previously bought into Valentine’s, this year’s efforts will be limited to an ironic greeting card.

For those of us lucky to have found someone they can honestly say they love, this expression should not merely be an annual event.

If you are going to your dentist more regularly than you say “I love you”, maybe you should spend less time examining your teeth and more time looking at your relationship.