Valentine’s Day is the holiday that people either love or love to hate. We’ve traditionally seen it as a day for couples to celebrate their relationship through an extravagant night out or with a sentimental gift, and we’ve also seen it as a day for someone to shoot their shot with their crush.
But Valentine’s Day has started to look a little different. People aren’t really going “all out” as much as they used to, partly because of the pandemic but also because of our culture’s shifting views of the holiday.
The stereotypical image of Valentine’s Day, which is often perpetuated by media, is one where couples go out of their way to have a fancy date night or purchase expensive gifts. It’s a day to show your love to your significant other and also to show them off on social media.
While this traditional view of Valentine’s Day isn’t inherently bad, our culture—and Gen Z in particular—has decided it wants to flip the holiday on its head.
Today’s V-Day celebrators have started to move away from the materialistic traditions associated with this day of love. Rather than purchase expensive gifts or go out to a high-class restaurant, people are opting to stay home and celebrate in creative ways. Part of this is because of the pandemic—with dining restrictions in place since 2020, couples have chosen to order takeout or cook a meal together instead.
A lot of couples just feel less inclined to go all out on Valentine’s Day, and that’s totally okay. For them, it doesn’t matter how much money is spent on the night or if they did anything Instagrammable. What really matters is spending quality time together, and for some that looks like staying in, eating pizza and watching a favorite movie.
For Gen Z, Valentine’s Day is less about romance and more about celebrating all types of love. A survey from EduBirdie shows that the holiday has turned into a day to hang out with friends. 75% of females surveyed said they would participate in Galentine’s Day. It seems like our generation places a greater emphasis on platonic love during this time of the year.
There really isn’t a right or wrong way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I think the traditional way will become less common. February 14th has become a holiday to celebrate love in all of its unique forms, including self-love, and I think it’s better that way.