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My BF and I Stopped Celebrating V-Day, and We Are Better Off Because Of It

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and I found myself in the seasonal aisle of CVS staring at heart shaped boxes of candy and chocolates. As I looked at overpriced stuffed bears and heart shaped pillows with ‘Be Mine’ stitched on them, I wondered how many people end up giving things like that to their significant others on this one day. The answer is probably a lot, I would assume, as a day of romance has turned into the commercialization of love. In the past, I probably would have bought something like that, too. However, this year things are different, as my boyfriend and I have kept things low-key, and not even spoken much about the holiday.

My boyfriend and I have been together for three years now. The majority of the time we have been dating we have been in college — separate colleges. We’re normally around 423 miles apart (thanks Find Friends app), so the whole Valentine’s Day thing has been a work in progress these past few years. We see each other around twice each semester, and if we are lucky, those visits will be longer than two to three days, and our breaks never coincide with V-Day. 

There’s Less Pressure To Have Everything Be Perfect

In the past, we have had FaceTime movie dates, sent food to each other’s dorm to pig out together, and even seen The Lego Movie at the movie theater. All of these dates were special in their own way, but we both felt that there was an expectation on both ends to do these things. We felt that we were expected to go on a date (if we were both home) or do something together that didn’t require us to be physically together. The pressure to make that one day really count can be a lot, especially for an LDR, where plans often change and life tends to get in the way. 

For example, two years ago, my BF ordered me a heart-shaped pizza from Domino’s to be delivered to my dorm. However, due to a snowstorm, by the time the pizza had gotten to me it had been hours and it was cold. Now, I love cold pizza, so this wasn’t a problem for me at all, and obviously, I appreciated the gesture (I mean, who doesn’t love pizza), but I could tell he felt bad it had taken so long. His stress and frustration with the situation took a bit away from the whole romantic and loving experience we had both wanted the day to be. 

We’re Both Busy Students, And That’s Okay

Last year, we were both incredibly busy with school work on Valentine’s Day, so we just decided to hold off with celebrating until he came home for his spring break. We both didn’t want to have to deal with doing half-a**ing our time together because our minds were elsewhere. Sure, it felt a little weird at first to not make a huge deal out of February 14, but it took a lot of stress out of both of our days. We both ended up benefiting from the small change. We were focused on the work we had to do, and didn’t feel guilty because we had set another time to go on a date. 

Showering Your SO With Gifts May Not Always Be Rewarding

One of my biggest issues with Valentine’s Day is that there is this stigma with not showering your SO in gifts and chocolate and not planning a big date night. It’s either you make a big deal out of V-Day to show your love, or you apparently just don’t love them very much. If you show and tell your SO how you feel on a regular basis, then there should be no reason to feel so inclined to back it up monetarily one day of the year. 

Since we have stopped celebrating V-Day, my BF and I try to make small efforts throughout the semester to send each other little treats and letters. I find that this is much more rewarding with no pressure — and we don’t have to go all out on one specific day. We talk to each other when we can that day, and we are totally content with knowing that things may get busy, because we know it is going to be fine that we don’t have the ‘perfect’ Valentine’s. That way we can spend the time we do have to talk to each other — stress free — just being genuinely happy to be with the other person. 

Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about?

So, as I continued to stare down the Valentine’s Day aisle of CVS, I decided I would just wait until all of the candy went back down to their normal prices.

Julia Bryant is a Freshman Multi-Platform Journalism Major in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland with plans to double major in French studies. She is also an avid member of both the Club Swim Team and Maryland Triathlon Team. She hopes to one day work for National Public Radio as a political correspondent! 
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