My experience of love had been long and mostly torturous...
I first feel in love at the tender age of five. My first teacher was the object of my love. She was pretty. She was kind and clever. She had books! Of course at five you don't have a clue what love is but I knew we were definitely have to get married!
Apart from Mrs (or was it Miss?) Whinfield, I was a usual boy. Girls were gross. And they stayed that way until I turned 8.
When I was 8 I fell in love completely with Lindy. Lindy was the librarian at my local library. She gave me my first adult library card and access to so many books! Of course she monitored what I was taking out and made sure I wasn't reading anything too objectionable.
Then my mother left when I was 10. I hated all women. You evil, untrustworthy harridans!
Then puberty hit. Oh. My. God.
The list of girls I fell in love with was long. Of course, as an adult I know it inexperienced, ineffectual, hormonally driven lust. Back then it felt real. And it hurt. I have never been much of a 'ladies man' and all my love was requited. But that was fine I told myself.
I fell in love, real true love when I was 19. She is still a very close and dear friend and apart from a couple of drunken snogs, that's all we ever were. That is in some ways better.
Not long after that my first serious girlfriend moved in with me. We lived together for 11 years and we loved each other deeply, right up to the last few months then it was awful. And it hurt.
I have had three girlfriends since then. On each occasion it ended badly. They were all brilliant but then it hurt and we fell apart.
I am currently single. And it's for the best. I can concentrate on me and it doesn't hurt.
So... no Valentine's promotions. No hearts and flowers all over the site. No romances written despite the requests of one of my publishers.
I'm done with love. I do not care about St Valentine's Day. I'm through with it all.
There is one woman though...