Despite its capitalist and profit-centered roots in the United States, Valentine’s Day still has a sweet connotation that can be used as an excuse for lovers and family members alike to go out of their way to spend time with one another and remember their feelings for one another.
As a young, rebellious teenager, I always questioned the purpose of the holiday. What’s the point of having a specific day of love when we should be loving those in our lives every day? To an extent, I still agree with this sentiment. We should absolutely be showing our loved ones they are valuable and dear to us—at the very least, this is what we should strive to do. Our loved ones should never be questioning their importance in our lives.
On the other hand, as an adult I’ve come to realize not many people intentionally neglect those around them. Most of the time, we just get too busy and comfortable in our day to day lives and only remember every once in a while to make our loved ones feel important. The reality of adulthood is we get too caught up in mundane parts of life. Whether it be work, school or taking care of the home, there is always an excuse, always something stopping us from going the extra mile.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to be intentional about the time we spend on others and recommit to being better partners, better friends, better children to our parents, better people overall. Even though we should be doing these things every day, sometimes it’s nice to have something specific to remind us of this.
That being said, I still don’t think the traditional capitalist notion of the holiday is the right way to go. There’s no need for an overpriced meal, a bouquet of roses or huge heart-shaped box of chocolates from the Hersey Company. Valentine’s Day should be so much more than those things, so much more than what it was in the past.
Valentine’s Day is a valuable holiday because it’s about the connection between loved ones. It should be about quality time, intentionality and devotion to loving one another well.
There is a lot that can be derived from celebrating this holiday. The main issue lies with its marketing, which continues to perpetuate the notion that only couples can celebrate, that it can only be enjoyed if we have that “someone special” to spend it with.
This couldn’t be further from the truth—Valentines Day should be about celebrating all of our loved ones to remind them just how much they mean to us.
Valentine’s Day has been the most publicized day for couples to make extravagant plans and go on expensive dates, but why?
Over the past 15 years, I have had nothing but bad experiences with the holiday whether it be botched dates or canceled plans. Sure, it can be seen as a just personal experience that turned out bad, but I still fail to see the true value in the holiday.
In the eyes of a person in a relationship, shouldn’t every day be dedicated to your significant other and the relationship you both share? I find it unnecessary for there to be one special day when there already are so many. Whether it be birthdays or anniversaries, couples already have many special days for each other.
Valentine’s Day was originally a day to show love to everyone and present them with a small token of appreciation and equal affection. This has changed with the turn of the century to a day dedicated random dating or the costly dinners that have tainted the holiday with desperation and anxiety.
Not only that, with the pressure to provide the onslaught of gifts and dinners, the holiday can get a bit expensive for the everyday worker and drive any person into a state of stress. Whereas a couple is supposed to be with each other and enjoying their time together, they now are left wondering what they did wrong or what they forgot to buy.
With the passing of time and our generation getting older, we have been introduced to the start of our adult lives and we have to focus on that. That may sound bad but where we are in life, we have responsibilities to ourselves to ensure a better future instead of wasting so much energy on a single day of the year.
In reality, this holiday has little significance. It should be an appreciation for you and your significant other, but it’s been muddled by the stress put on people to go out of their way to make extravagant plans. All in all, this holiday has lost its true meaning, and is not worth celebrating.