Everybody hates, or at some point has hated, Valentine’s Day. It’s only natural, because it’s a dreary, shallow and futile holiday. As a Taurus, so a hopeless romantic, you’d think I’d love the holiday, but I’ve come to find it has barely anything to do with romance or love. For those who secretly dread the horrendous day that’s just one week away, know that I (and many other people) understand you, for these 10 reasons.
10. The Complications
Not everybody is in a clear cut, straightforward relationship. People who aren’t seeing anyone don’t have anything to do and people in a relationship are expected to, but what about people who don’t know what they are? When Valentine’s Day rolls around the corner and you’re texting that person who you’re not dating, but are basically dating, but not officially dating (you know the one) do you mention Valentine’s Day? Do you get them something? Is that too much? It’s confusing. Nobody knows all the rules and the creators of the holiday clearly did not understand the complexities of modern dating culture.
9. The Expectation
But say you actually are dating someone officially. Now you are expected to do something grand for them, which is stressful. Additionally, you are expecting something big. You know what they say about expectations: they lead to disappointment. Keep your relationship exciting by doing sweet things when they’re not expecting it!
8. It’s Corny
Continuing from the last point, for those truly in love or in healthy relationships, there’s no need to wait until your calendar tells you to tell your partner you love them. If your relationship is doing well, then every day should have the intensity and dramatic flair of Valentine’s Day.
7. If you want to break up
The truth is, not everybody in a relationship is in the aforementioned loving and healthy relationship. The unfortunate reality is that Valentine’s Day really complicates any plan to break up with someone. If you break up with your partner before or on Valentine’s Day, you ruin the holiday for them and now Valentine’s Day will eternally be a reminder of your relationship ending. Anyone who’s thinking of ending things in January knows they have to wait at least another month to do it.
6. It’s not shameful to be single
To all the single people on Valentine’s Day, I feel for you. Valentine’s Day seems to shout in the face of all single people a reminder that they are not dating anyone, and missing out. Further, more sometimes people wishing you a Happy Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day makes it worse, as it seems almost pitiful. But for some, celebrating with friends is the dream situation. If it’s a holiday about love, what makes romantic love more important than platonic?
5. The Heteronormativity
Speaking of demographics often left out of branding for Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about all of the beautiful queer couples who are left out of the commercials and conversations. With greeting card companies still predominantly showcasing straight couples and often not including gender neutral phrases (e.g. partner, significant other) for people with gender non-conforming lovers, it’s clear that people marketing for Valentine’s Day have forgotten that not all people are cisgender and heterosexual. I once saw a blog post that referred to Valentine’s Day as, “National Day of Heteronormative Remembrance.” Food for thought.
4. Major F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out)
Going on social media on Valentine’s Day can be a mood killer if you’re not happy with your current love life. For one, seeing the lavish gifts that celebrities, or any wealthy people, are giving and getting could make you feel inadequate in terms of what you could give or what you might not receive. What may be worse is the misery that people experience seeing their crush or ex-lover celebrate with someone else. I’d advise avoiding social media on Feb. 14 if you’re in danger of feeling this way.
3. It’s Wasteful
Most holidays are! If you think of the amount of cards people buy on Valentine’s Day that are not made with recycled materials you might be able to begin to imagine how bad the holiday is for landfills and the environment. A tip: Make your own Valentine’s Day card from materials you have at home. Also, no point writing a lame, loveless card that’s going to end up in the trash. Save your time and save the earth!
2. You’ve Outgrown It
Some people feel too old for the perks of Valentine’s Day that they enjoyed when they were younger. For example, getting free candies like Sweethearts in elementary school and doing crafts was definitely one of the sweetest Valentine’s Days ever. But for some, the excitement died down in elementary school.
1. It’s A Major Trap
The average American spends $160 on Valentine’s Day, according to Business Insider. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that people mindlessly agree to and don’t question, but that conformity accrues over $20.7 billion annually. Further, there are nine big companies that are mainly holding this multi-billion-dollar industry alive, so of course they’re going to keep doing all they can to make Valentine’s Day seem like a big deal. Companies like 1-800-Flowers, Victoria’s Secret, Hallmark and the U.S. Postal Service have some of their most profitable days of the year in the lead up to Valentine’s Day.
Feel free to believe that we celebrate Valentine’s Day because we simply love showing our partners love, but if that were really the case, we wouldn’t have upwards of 50% of marriages ending in divorce. Valentine’s Day is often a celebration of capitalism and the shallow method of using materialistic things to show one’s love. This Valentine’s Day, reflect on its meaning and implications, then adjust accordingly.