It’s February in the year of our Lord 2022, so you know what that means: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. For many, this is a holiday that people look forward to every year. It signifies love and relationships and the great things that come with that. Right?
In my opinion, Valentine’s Day actually kinda sucks…
It’s ONE day out of 365.
No matter what origin story you decide to believe when it comes to Valentine’s Day, one fact remains, February 14th is the day of love. What I don’t particularly like is the idea that one day out of the year is more special than any other. I feel like it creates this imbalance where the 14th becomes the end-all-be-all in many people’s eyes.
I definitely don’t agree with that way of thinking. What you’re doing throughout the year is just as important as anything you may or may not do on this particular ‘holiday’. Are you attentive to your partner’s needs throughout the year on a normal basis? Do you have date nights or simply take the time to regularly enjoy each other?
It’s just weird to me that people place so much emphasis on the 14th. And it’s ingrained in our psyche from a very early age to do so. I know I’m not the only one that remembers having Valentine’s Day parties in elementary school?
It’s a consumerist’s dream.
Even in the height of a global
pandemic Panda Express, projections say that Valentine’s Day spending will reach ~$24 BILLION this year.
24. Billion. Dollars.
Spending insane amounts of money on V-day is just a given. There’s candy, teddy bears, flowers, fancy dinners, trips, and whatever else you can think of. The 14th has become synonymous with putting your money where your mouth is in order to show how much you care for someone. People feel like you really have to spend a lot in order to impress.
My problem with this is that these gifts often don’t even mean much after the day is over. The flowers die, no one wants to eat that much candy and the unyielding dinner crowds aren’t fun for anyone.
It can actually strain relationships.
Valentine’s day sucks at celebrating love sometimes. People often experience extra pressure on this day because of the heightened expectations they face. You have to make a grand showing of affection and if you don’t then you obviously don’t care about your partner…
At least, that’s what the media will lead you to believe if you aren’t careful.
On the flip side, there’s another added pressure that doesn’t get brought up too much: outdoing last year’s performance. People underestimate the pressure that comes from going to extravagant measures because you then have to compete with yourself the following years. And I’m not even going to get started on the woes of feeling the need to compete with your friends/social media feed…
I’ll save that for a later post.
Men feel most of the pressure.
Now, keep in mind, I’m speaking from the viewpoint of a heterosexual male here. V-day almost always falls squarely on the shoulders of the man to make it “special”. Statistically, men spend way more on this day than women do and it’s almost outlandish to even expect a woman to take on the task of planning the day.
We talk a lot about equality these days and I feel like V-day is a prime example of where that conversation tends to pause for a moment. Guys have to make sure they plan the night, secure the restaurant, buy flowers, get a gift, etc, etc. In most cases, the woman in the situation will simply don some lingerie for the night and call it good.
But can we all agree that sex really isn’t a “gift”? Contrary to popular belief, men also enjoy when the effort is put forth in their direction too.
Valentine’s Day is hard on single people.
Social media has made it easier and easier to share our lives with other people. One thing that doesn’t get discussed much is the effect that is felt by the ‘single’ folks on Valentine’s Day. If you log into your social media of Feb 14th you’re bound to see a ton of cutesie photos of couples and their escapades for the day. This is all fine and well, but it can actually be detrimental for the folks who are experiencing a breakup or find themselves perpetually single.
This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with feeling this way. I can understand it because it’s kind of the way I feel on most family-oriented holidays. I personally avoid social media like the plague during Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas ever since I lost my mother to suicide in 2015.
This year, maybe take a second and check on your single friend. They’re probably just fine, but letting them know that you’re considering how they’re feeling definitely won’t hurt!
So, what does all of this mean?
When it comes down to it, I am actually willing to celebrate V-day if it’s something that my partner is into (which is the case for me right now). I’ve thoroughly explained my feelings to her about the holiday though, so this post isn’t going to be a shocker to see. We actually do nice things for each other all throughout the year so V-day is just another opportunity to be great. 🤷🏽♂️
I think, at the end of the day, you should do whatever works for your relationship and keep it moving. Don’t let your friends, family, or even society dictate what you do from year to year.
With all of that said, do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments below!