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Is Valentine’s Day Overrated?

It’s that time of year again. You can’t walk past a shop without being blinded by the extravagant red window displays, you can’t open a menu without being bombarded with promotions urging you to wine and dine that special someone in style, and you certainly can’t experience a commercial break without escaping the hyperbolic, over-enthusiastic voice over expressing how 2014 is your lucky year for love.

That’s right, February the fourteenth is upon us, and being one of the most celebrated holidays across the globe, there is no escaping it. Perhaps for you, this date holds a special place in your diary, creatively covered in biro heart scribbles. Or, maybe you’re planning on spending the whole day in hibernation, in an attempt to avoid the obligatory questions demanding to know any juicy Valentine’s Day plans you may, or may not have. Either way, I am prompted to ask this: Is Valentine’s Day over rated?

I am not questioning the true meaning behind this holiday, as St. Valentine’s Day is rooted in a religious and historical context. My speculation surrounds the frenzy circulating it in today’s society, cleverly whipped up by the commercial industry. Being quite the hopeless romantic, it does surprise me that I find myself being the Scrooge of this holiday. But perhaps it is my love of all things soppy that in a twisted way, grounds my dislike towards the commercialization of such things.

To all the loved up couples out there, if you are happy in your relationship, am I right in saying that every day should feel like Valentine’s Day? I am not talking meal reservations and sugar coated gifts, but feelings. Both partners in a healthy relationship should see every day as an opportunity to endeavor to make each other feel special.

The eagerly awaited ‘cozy’ meal you anticipated may not have quite the element of romance you were expecting, when sharing the ‘romantic’ ambiance with a couple on the parallel table for two just inches away from you. Surely the idea that couples all over the world will have almost identical plans, takes away any element of intimacy you would expect to find on a celebration of love. Why not lose the high expectations resting on February the fourteenth and choose to appreciate your partner in your own, unique way, every day of the year? I can guarantee this will be a much more memorable experience than booking a table at an overcrowded restaurant, just because the pressures of society tell you to do so.

To all you single girls out there, I don’t doubt that a more predominant question on your mind is, how can I enjoy Valentine’s Day with no Valentine? The answer is, like you would enjoy any other day of the year! If you don’t have plans with a significant other, I am sure you will not take much persuading to don the heels and hit the town with the girls, or, emerge yourself in the festivities taking place across your university campus. Just remember to have fun.

If your man fails to live up to expectations this year, or you just don’t have a special someone to share this day with, don’t automatically write your future off as a lonely cat lady. A date on a calendar should not determine your feelings towards your other half, or cause you to re-evaluate the single life you normally so happily embrace.

So, is Valentine’s Day overrated? Yes, very much so. But, if we forget pressure, forget expectations, we can enjoy Valentine’s Day for what it really is, just another happy day of the year.

English Language and Sociolinguistics student at Lancaster University. Writer, editor and soon to be teacher.Campus Correspondent for HC Lancaster: emilyhaigh@hercampus.com.Instagram: emilykatehaighTwitter: EMHAIGHx
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