Why Valentine’s Day is Too Commercialized

So, it’s February. A month of brutal wind chapping your lips, leafless trees, frigid nights, and… love? One of these things is not like the other. And yet, February has become known for being the month of love, all because of Valentine’s Day. No matter how brutal the wind may be outside, you can always count on the assortment of Valentine-related trinkets to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday. While its history may be dark, I think it’s beautiful that there is a day dedicated to sharing the most powerful human emotion with the people closest to you. Love is an amazing thing, whether it’s for your friends, family or significant other, and I think it deserves to be celebrated. However, I can’t help but feel that Valentine’s Day has turned into a kind of ritual where you are forced to spend money on your significant other or risk being perceived as uncaring. 

Nowadays, it’s so easy with social media to post about how many gifts you’ve gotten from your friends or significant others. Everyone is guilty of it - myself included. I feel like this only contributes to the mentality that the more money we spend on someone, the more we love them. Money does not equal love. Although spending money on your significant other is one way to say “I love you,” is it the best way? In every grocery store, there are aisles upon aisles of red chocolate boxes, artificial flowers and small stuffed animals. Since when has that become a symbol of love?

Personally, I find it much more special when my boyfriend brings me flowers or chocolate on a random day of the year, because it shows that he’s always thinking about me. Don’t get me wrong - anyone who knows me knows that I love love. However, with all of the commercialization associated with Valentine’s Day, it feels much more contrived to spend money on overpriced goods that have been branded as “Valentine’s” appropriate. I love being able to spoil my boyfriend and I know he feels the same about me. Do we need to spend so much money to do it?

When my boyfriend of two years and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together, we weren’t able to celebrate it on the actual day because we were both working. Instead, we met up a few days later and bought all of the discounted chocolate. We spent a lovely afternoon having a picnic, eating our chocolate, and being grateful that we have each other. I much preferred that day together because there was no obligation to buy anything or do anything besides enjoy our time together.

If you do decide to spend money with your significant other on Valentine’s Day, do something meaningful to the both of you. If you want to buy her/him flowers, chocolate or anything else- go right ahead! As someone who’s been in a relationship for two years, as long as you do something special that you will both remember and enjoy, that’s what matters- not how much money you spend.

The truth is we should all enjoy holidays that allow us to spend time with the people we love. Personally, although I do love flowers and chocolate, I just don’t want him (or anyone) to feel pressured to purchase them on Feb. 14th because society has dictated it so.

Ultimately, I think it’s important to honor your partner, whenever that works for you. Do I still think Valentine’s Day is as manufactured as those chalky conversation hearts? Absolutely. But what can I say? I love chocolate - especially when it’s half off on Feb. 15th.

Have a great Valentine’s Day, collegiettes!