Ah, isn’t February the most romantic month of all? With your heart fluttering and mind wandering–even the air smells suspiciously rose-tinted. Besides being agonizingly close to the coming of spring, this is the month when jewelery sales sky rocket and flower shops begin to charge exorbitant prices for petals on a stem.
Of course, no Valentine’s Day will be complete without the millions of love declarations and “forever alone” tweets clogging up everybody’s feed days prior to the holiday. No other time in the year brings forth such controversy regarding how many Taylor Swift songs you can quote before it’s absurd.
In my opinion, Valentine’s Day is overrated. Now before I get flocked with Valentine’s Day supporters and flung into the category of single people moaning over their relationship statuses, let me get this straight. In no way am I saying anything out of spite, nor am I ridiculing anyone who celebrates it. Love is a remarkable thing in your life, and if you feel that the best way to cherish your special someone is through making them your “Valentine,” then I should not be the one to stop you.
There are two different understandings of Valentine’s Day. One, is that it’s a pure celebration of love and appreciation, the other is that it is simply a fervent feast for confectioners and florists.
In this day and age, I can not help but believe in the latter. Ever since the new year came along and holiday season sales began to dwindle, what began flooding in?
Billboards, shop windows and even online ads–all pink and red banners with hefty discounts and irresistible claims of “buy one get one free.” The most frequent Google search queries are something along the lines of “what to buy your spouse for Valentine’s Day” as the calendars dates grow closer and closer to the “14” circled with red.
What is something that shows care, but is not too over-the-top to make them feel smothered? What is something to show you are sensible yet creative? Practical yet romantic? You run back from the mall again and again, not bothering with return receipts, and before you know it, your savings account is in the red (at least now something is fit for the occasion).
Not to worry, a less-than-satisfying gift is probably not going to end your relationship (if it does, you need to re-evaluate your choices). However, doesn’t a day of love lose it’s meaning if it becomes so overly commercialized? If love has no costs, why is it tradition to spend a fortune to prove your affection? If the above does not apply to you, then there is a great chance that you are completely and utterly single.
Which is not a bad thing, right? Everyone’s been single at some point. But past the point of trading Valentine’s cards in your elementary school days, you begin to dread the occasion.
Valentine’s Day is just there to force you to face the fact that you are alone. Not only does Valentine’s Day bring upon loneliness, depression and “broken heart syndrome” (it’s a real medical condition, look it up), some people go to the extremities of ending their lives–succumbing to the pressure that finding a soulmate puts on them.
The holiday only adds to burden. Diane Brice, director of Suicide Prevention Service of the Central Coast claims that “the myth is that Christmas is the most high risk time for people to become suicidal, but actually it’s springtime.”
According to International Business Times, relationship problems are “the most frequent reason people call the suicide help line.”
If Valentine’s Day really puts love through such distorted lens that people feel the need to be in relationships in order to feel accepted, then we should really rethink the ways we have been celebrating it. Love is universal. And now Valentine’s Day, being a celebration of love, is beginning to be celebrated in more and more places worldwide.
However, seeing how this seemingly harmless holiday has been transformed in order to please the market, and the ways that the notion behind it has negatively impacted people, it is time that we find a way to salvage the true form of Valentine’s Day. Instead of buying gifts next year, do something truly original and personal for your loved ones.
Although Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to pamper your significant others, love does not only pertain to them. You should be able to show your appreciation to your friends, your parents, siblings or even your pets.
You do not need to be in a romantic relationship in order to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and you do not need those materialistic gifts to satisfy anyone. For Valentine’s Day, all you need is a little bit of love.