Every year around the beginning of February, the same things happen: The gym gets a little less crowded, as people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions. Pumpkin-flavored-everything fades from people’s minds. The stores get coated in shades of pink. People start making long rants about how they hate Valentine’s Day.
Single or in a relationship, I hear people go on and on about this horrible day. This stupid holiday. This annoying, money wasting, relationship breaking issue. And I’m here to ask… can we stop with the hate? I don’t get it. I really, really don’t. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be your favorite holiday. It doesn’t even have to make your top 5. But do we really have to hate it?! It’s a day dedicated to love, after all.
Valentine’s Day, to me, is wonderful. It’s an excuse to buy candy. It’s an excuse to tell people I love them. It’s an excuse to buy a lot of really adorable things I probably don’t need with hearts and bows and pink flowers (Target dollar spot, you the real MVP). The day after Valentine’s Day is an excuse to buy even more candy, because it all goes on sale (personally, I celebrate February 15 more than the 14th…). This year, it’s an excuse to throw a girls brunch with my favorite ladies (GALentine’s Day, heyyyyy) and plan a “date” with my best friend later in the evening. Apparently I’m a minority who doesn’t see “being single” and “enjoying Valentine’s Day” as two mutually exclusive events.
You can choose not to celebrate it. You can choose to not buy any of the chocolate (more for me!). You can choose to ignore it’s happening. That’s all fine, in my opinion. Go ahead. But do you have to choose to hate it??
“But it’s just a holiday made by Hallmark to make money!”
First of all, look up St. Valentine. Pretty sure Hallmark wasn’t around in the middle ages – creating people – in order to make profits in the 21st century (but I could be wrong). Second of all, yes, the holiday is extremely commercialized …just like every other holiday we celebrate. No one complains how expensive candy or costumes are on Halloween, no one is in an uproar over the price of flowers on Mother’s Day, and no one seems to mind the green everything for St. Patrick’s Day. Should we even get started on the amount of money spent during Christmas?? Stop blaming Valentine’s Day for the materialistic society we happen to be a part of.
“…but it actually has a really gory history and we shouldn’t be celebrating that”
I knew this was going to happen, after I told you to look up St. Valentine. Two words for you: Columbus Day.
“But the whole weekend my newsfeed is just filled with couples being lovey-dovey, UGH”
Why is that a bad thing? Why can’t couples express their feelings for each other on social media? I get that too much can be, well, too much. But I have no problem with people in my life celebrating their relationships, taking an extra day to spoil their partner, or having an excuse to go to a nice dinner. If it really bothers you that much, you could stay off social media for a few days (shocking idea, I know). Or you could even get to the root of why it’s bothering you so much, instead of blaming other people (and fun holidays) for what you’e feeling. Self awareness, people. It’s a great thing.
“But I already show people I love them. Why is a day forcing me to do that even more?”
If you are perfect at loving everyone in your life, daily, that is great for you. Have a cookie, and skip on over Valentine’s Day completely. If you happen to be like the rest of us broken, flawed humans – who try so hard to love people and yet fall so short at times – Valentine’s Day isn’t a holiday that is forcing you to love people. It’s giving you an excuse to show a little extra love, which we can all use some of. I have friends who love me so well, normally. But getting a little love note in the mail this week was a special treat – a surprise I can thank Valentine’s Day for.
“But if a couple needs Valentine’s Day to show their appreciation for each other, they probably shouldn’t be dating…”
I hear this so often, and honestly it makes whoever says it sound so bitter about their life. If a couple is only affectionate and/or nice to each other on February 14th, I agree – they probably have some issues. Healthy couples choose each other daily, they pursue each other, constantly, in little ways. But simply celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t say anything about their relationship – good or bad. Couples take time to celebrate their anniversaries, they buy each other Christmas presents, they hopefully enjoy each other’s birthdays…. why can’t they take a day in February to celebrate each other as well? No harm done, in my opinion.
“But being single on Valentine’s Day is THE. WORST.” / “But it’s just Singles Awareness Day” / “But I’m forever alone”
Valentine’s Day is 24 hours of you being single – just like the 24 hours on February 13th that you were single, and just like the 24 hours on February 15th that you will (probably) still be single. I honestly don’t understand how these certain 24 hours are so much more unbearable than any others. If you can’t fathom being alone, make plans with friends. If you don’t want to throw a “singles party”, stay home and do what you normally do. AKA life your life. If you’re letting Valentine’s Day stop you from doing that, that’s an issue…
We have enough hate in our world, friends. We have enough pessimism. We have enough pettiness. We have enough sarcasm (…which I supply plenty of, oops). Why can’t we let one day dedicated to love and paper hearts, to sugar and flowers be? Why can’t we let things we might not agree with, but have no direct negative affect on us, go on their merry way? Valentine’s Day isn’t hurting you, so stop hating it.