Valentine’s Day is the one day out of the year where people make the effort in showing their loved ones affection and appreciation, let’s explore the ups and downs of this.
Valentines Day, Feb. 14, a day that people around the world each celebrate differently. This day has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was annually on February 15th, and was to ward off evil spirits to protect the city.
As we see stores stock their shelves with heart shaped chocolate boxes, teddy bears with hearts, Valentines Day cards and more red and pink items to symbolize romance and love, I wonder: Why have people become accustomed to expressing love on just this day?
This practice may have started when we were young, if we were to bring the class cards and candy, acknowledging our feelings and appreciation for our classmates. Or something we have seen on TV shows where they acknowledge the special significance of this day for love, or even just in romantic movies coming out specifically on or near Feb. 14.
From a romantic point of view, I think celebrating Valentine’s Day and going above and beyond on this one particular day when we don’t do it the other 365 days is something that we need to recognize and be critical of.
When we are with our partner, or with our beloved family members, we sometimes have that sudden spark of giving where we want to do something special for our loved ones. We want to show appreciation for them being them, and this act of giving can happen anytime out of the year as it comes randomly.
Those random acts of kindness and appreciation should be practiced more. When we plan things out or base something off of Valentine’s Day, we might unconsciously develop expectations for this particular day. Whether it’s because we assume we will be given something special or we are supposed to give as well, these expectations can be damaging to our relationships as we unintentionally compare ourselves to what the ideal person should get or do on this day.
“Valentine’s Day is a day in which couples are basically forced to evaluate their status, and profess their undying love for each other. Strong couples do that at their own pace, and don’t need a specific day in which to do so,” says Chrissa Hardy in her article “Why Strong Couples Don’t Need To Celebrate V-Day,” from Bustle.com.
This is especially valid for couples who are currently fighting or are going through unresolved issues. While it can be a positive that they have a reason to put aside these problems to enjoy each other’s company, it interrupts their space to communicate and solve these issues. Not meeting the expectations of Valentine’s Day can also potentially create more issues on top of everything.
Chrissy makes another important point in the article for single people on this day in stating, “Having a date on this holiday has become a status symbol more than anything else. It means that you’re somehow better, and more successful than your single friends — which is obviously outrageous. Single people can be just as happy as serious couples, and they shouldn’t be boxed out of a major holiday simply because they’re without a significant other.”
As a single person witnessing this day, I am happy 365 days of the year for my friends who are happily married or are with a significant other. It warms my heart to see my friends, and others, happy in the name of love.
However, being single on this day does make me feel left out due to the commercialization of having a significant other to celebrate with. I can buy myself flowers, chocolates and a bear for a self-love type of day, but I don’t need a day to tell me to do this. I can do this when the feeling sparks within me to take care and love myself.
People are allowed to celebrate this day, and it’s their own decision, what’s important is that we do not limit ourselves to showing appreciation and love on this day solely and remember that we can do it anytime out of the year.
Our loved ones will love and appreciate us the same.