February 14th is a day of love and happiness, right? Many people spend excessive amounts of money on gifts, flowers, and dinner dates for Valentine’s Day simply because the holiday tells them to. While it is nice to take time to appreciate your loved ones, does it need to be on this specific date that has no meaning to your relationship?
Valentine’s Day began as a spin-off of the Roman festival of Lupercalia which celebrated the coming of spring and where women were paired off to men by a lottery. Flash forward to today you will see a day full of giant teddy bears, luxurious boxes of chocolates, and fancy dinners.
On Valentine’s Day, the average consumer in American spends $161, and 50% of marriage proposals for the year occur (how cheesy). This day is marketed to be about celebrating your loved ones and showing them how much you appreciate them. This is a nice idea, but it has evolved into this giant “Hallmark Holiday”. Meaning, Valentine’s Day was made for businesses to make money. People feel inclined to buy flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, and more. In my personal opinion, it is much nicer to get flowers or another small gift on a random Tuesday because it shows they were thinking of you, not getting you something out of obligation.
Another sore spot of Valentine’s Day is that it supports gender stereotypes. It is centered around the man making all of these special plans as well as paying for the evening. In a time where women are fighting for equality, it is not appropriate to be expecting this sort of treatment as well.
Finally, it truly makes people who are not in a relationship realize just how single they are. We do not need a day dedicated to calling out those who may even be struggling to come to terms with a recent breakup or anything else they are going through in their lives.
Overall, our society should push away from this marketing based holiday and spend more time appreciating our loved ones throughout the whole year. On a random day, get your loved one flowers, make a picnic, or just take extra time to tell them how much they mean to you. Valentine’s Day can be every day.