Valentine's Day, that time of the year where love is meant to be in the air. In reality, it's a day when couples force themselves to show 'true' love through overpriced meals at restaurants, cut-price, end-of-life flowers bought at petrol garages and awkward cards packed with missives that range from the soppy to the downright rude.
Love is a complicated thing, so we forgive card manufacturers for trying to distill the years of complicated feelings and memories that make up someone's relationship into a pithy phrase, and occasionally failing.
And we completely forgive any of you for buying the below cards, as you know better than us if what's on them sums up perfectly your love for your significant other.
But the following highlight the 10 types of cards - one of which you will almost certainly get - that you see every Valentine's Day...
1. The 'funny' one
It's VERY hard to find a Valentine's Card that is actually funny and almost impossible to find one that is both funny and romantic. If your card sender has done their homework, though, then they would have definitely sent you a Modern Toss Valentine's Card, as they cut straight to the chase when it comes to love, swearing and jokes about not missing Bargain Hunt.
(via Modern Toss)
2. The 'personalised' one
Ah, you've got to love a personalised card, like the one above that we lovingly sent to our soulmate Grogu. The great thing about a personalised card is, no matter how rubbish they are, the person sending them has put in some sort of effort - even if it is just typing their name and uploading a photo that's too small and grainy for it to look good on the card. FYI, we have still yet to hear back from Baby Yoda but we're sure its card to us is in the post.
3. The 'this one is for you, mum' one
Unless you are under the age of five and forced to by your dad, or whoever is going out with your mum at the time, sending a Valentine's Day card to your mum is a bit weird. They love receiving them, though, as it's a nice reminder that you still exist and it's much more thoughtful than your bi-monthly WhatsApp.
(Via Card Factory)
4. The 'we are about to break up' one
We're so very sorry if you receive a card like this on Valentine's Day, as it's a pretty major sign that your relationship is soon to be over. Sure, they went out and bought a card - that shows thought on what is one of the most romantic days. But, they went out and scoured the shelves (or the web) and came back with what is essentially a shrug printed on a bit of card. It's the paper equivalent of an episode of Not Going Out - completely harmless, but you can feel yourself dying inside while watching it.
5. The 'trying to play it cool' one
There are subtle differences between this card and the 'funny' card. It will have something funny on the front but the message is not really about the love aspect, it's about going out and having a laugh, getting drunk and maybe that will lead to other things. This is the card that's for those couples just starting out, where going to bars is a safe place and one day in the near future that will definitely lead to something more. It's a tough card to find - one that says, 'yeah, I actually kind of like you' but is a few steps back from saying 'I love you'.
6. The 'obscene' one
Sent by the wide boys, the geezers, the proper lads, the salt of the earths, the 'he's not really the romantic type' types, the ones that laugh at Mrs Brown Boys, those who say 'smile love, it might never happen', the building site whistlers, the buttoned-up-to-the-top Stella drinkers, the meat and two veg 'I'm not being funny but at the end of the day it is what it is' folks who just ain't into that foreign muck. The ones who put their towels on sun beds at 4:30am by the pool in Malaga. At least they remembered, right?
(Via BrainBox Candy)
7. The 'soppy' one
Aww, you say when you see this card on someone else's shelf while being glad that yours is a little more toned down. Sent by Nigel, the ultimate romantic who likes nothing better than spoiling his better half with a £15 bottle of pink fizz, a dozen roses and a longer kiss than usual. If you get one of these cards, then it's true love. Gooey, doe-eyed love that from the outside is a bit much. But their heart is in the right place and, tonight, you are going to get spoiled.
(Via Clinton Cards)
8. The 'do you get the pun?' one
It's highly likely you got one of these this year as the (virtual) shelves are flooded with them. Whether it's squirrels on the front of a card that says your lover is 'nuts about you' or one that's a little cheeky and suggestive like our 'send noods' pic, popping a pun in makes this whole Valentine's thing a little bit more bearable. And it also shows that your significant other appreciates wordplay as much as foreplay.
9. The 'cultural reference' one
Nothing says I Love You more than finding a character from a TV show, movie (or TikTok) that you both love and getting them to say those three words for you. They aren't the most romantic of cards but if you get the cultural reference right, then it can show a whole heap of affection. Get it wrong, though - like sending a Dot Cotton card to a Coronation Street fanatic - and it will backfire badly.
10. The ‘WTF were you thinking?’ one
- If you have forgotten to be romantic today, then head to our best flower delivery service guide.