By: Marin Dremock
I have always disliked Valentine’s Day. I know it sounds awful, but I never had a strong liking for all the sappy cards and quite frankly fake sentiments handed out by the hundreds in elementary/middle school.
Don’t get me wrong: I had a lovely Valentine’s Day last year, and what my partner and I did for each other was more than meaningful. I just don’t like the arbitrary nature of choosing one day to appreciate your loved one.
I recognize that there are people who take this day to give their best friends a call, remind their dog how much they love them or shower their significant other with gifts they have budgeted for this time of year. However, because of the number of disturbingly toxic relationships that exist in the world today, Valentine’s Day is often noted as a day to take advantage of the material aspect of a probably unhealthy relationship.
While this phenomenon likely occurs during most immature (high school…) relationships, they are relationships nonetheless that form what young people think about love and significant others as they grow older. If their partner is cruel to them every day of the year except on holidays, especially Valentine’s Day, young people are brought up thinking that all relationships are like this, that love and affection are only needed on special occasions.
Why else do you think your TikTok feed is flooded with videos of 20-something-year-old women being surprised that their current partners are affectionate, loving and kind on the daily, rather than just on the 14th of February?
If your partner shuns or chastises you on the 13th but then acts like you are the most precious gem out of a thousand on the 14th, there may be a problem.
There has always been a stigma around Valentine’s Day as a couple’s holiday. What about single people? How are they supposed to enjoy a holiday when they’re constantly bombarded with coworkers, classmates or acquaintances bragging about what their partner did for their “special day?” They’re not. I’m sure it feels upsetting.
People have tried to make Valentine’s Day for everyone, with trends like Galentine’s Day. However, let’s be honest; when the basis of the holiday is to buy buy buy for husbands, wives, boyfriends or girlfriends, it’s sort of hard to just enjoy a day with your friends. And, to my earlier point, why can’t you appreciate your gals on days other than this one? Hence, arbitrariness.
To the lovers of Valentine’s Day, I can see your point. Pink and red are nice colors. Having a couple days a year to look forward to some bigger dates, gifts or plans is helpful for a lot of couples who need to budget their time and money. Single friends may enjoy getting to celebrate their singleness together on this one day by watching Rom-Coms and eating takeout.
But other than the potential option for Thai food, your besties (if you have any single ones anyway) and a Matthew McConaughey heartbreaker, what is Valentine’s Day but a chance to sell greeting cards and bad candy?
Like, honestly, what the heck is a candy heart? Candy hearts are the opposite of cute. They’re creepy and taste like chalk. I would never want to receive a tiny piece of powdered rock that says “KISS ME” from a strange man in my seminar on James Joyce. Unless that strange man isn’t strange at all, and he’s my boyfriend. I digress. I still don’t like candy hearts.
It’s not that I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. I do. It’s partly because I somewhat feel the pressure from those around me to celebrate, but I know that shouldn’t mean anything to me and my boyfriend’s relationship. Nonetheless, it can be a great time to especially appreciate the one you love. However, don’t forget to show your partner or friends a little extra love on days that aren’t Feb. 14 as well.