The Truth About Valentine's Day

Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or telling people that “it’s complicated,” you likely have an opinion on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is surely a wonderful way to show appreciation towards your loved ones, but it's also a day where people in a relationship feel pressured to buy the perfect gift or plan the perfect date, and those that are not in a relationship feel pressure to be in one. The sight of the heart-shaped chocolate boxes and an endless array of roses in every store is fine and all, but it can definitely fill your mind with feelings of stress, pressure, and anxiety for a multitude of reasons. Of course, this isn’t true for everyone, but it seems as though each year Valentine’s Day becomes less about love and more about status. 

Honestly, not being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day isn’t even that bad. What can become irritating, though, is the feeling that you need to be in a relationship on Valentine’s Day. The ads and articles and social media posts are what subconsciously force us into wondering why we are single on this “special day.” And truthfully, it’s not a big deal; it’s just the day itself that makes it feel like a big deal. Scrolling through social media where every other post is a Valentine’s Day one can cause a little bit of loneliness to creep in. Don’t get me wrong, though, I genuinely think it’s great that so many people want to write a sweet appreciation post for their significant other. But that being said, things like that are what can inadvertently put us into the comparison trap, something that we are already all too familiar with. 

Valentine’s Day may even be more difficult for those that are in a relationship. The pressure to create the perfect plans on this day to make your partner feel special can be a lot. I think there are too many expectations that everyone has to get “just right.” In reality, I think it would be better if Valentine’s Day were not as crazily advertised as it is each year. It’s like we’re being told that today is the one day that you have to do something memorable or else your relationship is apparently not a good one. This is just another one of those things that society says you should do and is obviously untrue. I feel as though the most important part of Valentine’s Day is remembering that it is not a competition to give the best card or gift or have the most elegant candlelit dinner. I think the most important part, especially for those who have someone specific in mind this Valentine’s Day, is to show them you love them in your very own way, rather than what society deems as the ideal Valentine’s Day plan.

All of this being said, I think everyone, regardless of if they are “taken” or not, should aim to let Valentine’s Day be a day to celebrate the love you feel for everyone in your life because there is more to our lives than just romantic love. Appreciate your friends, siblings, parents, and anyone else you know that deserves love on this day. Instead of wondering if you will ever have a boyfriend or girlfriend to give the classic red roses and heart-shaped chocolates to, buy them anyway for your best friend, your grandmother, your sister, your father, or, best of all, yourself! Valentine’s Day should be seen as a day to show yourself love just as much as it is seen as a day to show love to someone else. After all, who’s the person that’s there for you when you feel like no one else is? You. So buy the flowers and chocolate and celebrate yourself if you want to! 

I’d like to reiterate that there is literally nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day. I love celebrating it because a day dedicated to your loved ones is one that I can’t complain about. I think the most important reminder that there is when it comes to this holiday is to avoid getting sucked into self-pity or thinking that you aren’t worthy of a relationship if you want one. All things considered, it truly doesn’t matter if you don’t have “a Valentine.” (I mean I’ll admit, it wouldn’t hurt, but you know what? There’s always next year. And all of the years after that, too.) The day is about love, so I say celebrate any kind of love you’ve got in your life. It definitely doesn’t have to be a romantic love, especially if you don’t want it to be. Rather than focusing on the romantic aspect of Valentine’s Day, I say we all begin to think of it as a day to show appreciation and admiration for the people you love, and when you remind yourself of that, the pressure you might feel to have someone to celebrate with disappears. Focus on the people that you care about and that care about you too, because in the end, Valentine’s Day is really just another day of the year, but it's a good day to spread some extra love if you feel like it. 

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