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Enjoying Valentines Despite the Critique it Gets

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Listen, Valentine’s Day has earned a lot of (deserved) ire from the general public in the past few years. Everyone is more or less aware of the fact that it’s a commercial holiday at this point and, newsflash if you’re not aware, most companies endorse Valentines to earn a few millions of dollars in revenue as everyone scrambles to buy their significant other a present.

Even though this is the case, I do personally enjoy the holiday a lot! Yes, I know it’s “fake” and “meaningless” and “capitalistic in nature,” but there are still ways to have fun during the holiday season despite this. A larger roadblock to enjoying it, though, is Valentine’s cynics who feel the need to reiterate their dislike of the holiday at every given opportunity.

The general complaints range from it being a scheme from companies to earn more money during a season that sees fewer holidays than the others (which does hold some truth), to the more broad reasons like how the holiday apparently shames people for being single.

Just putting this out there, but it is absolutely possible to enjoy Valentine’s as a single person! With how many platonic versions of it exist; “Gal-entines” and “Pal-entines” to name a few, it’s absolutely possible to enjoy it without a partner. It’s also a nice holiday to have fun with for simple aesthetic reasons. All the pink hearts, sweets, flower bouquets and stuffed animals are extremely cute and it’s just enjoyable to see everything decked out in pink!

Also, you’re more than allowed to enjoy it with your significant other. Don’t let people disliking the holiday deter you from spending it with the one you love if that’s what you want to do! People enjoy being pessimistic, complaining is, as bad as it sounds, fun to do with a group of people. Every year it feels like people who dislike Valentines will relentlessly discuss their dislike of it, even if people around them have differing opinions.

The trick to enjoying Valentine’s Day despite hearing people constantly putting it down is to just ignore it! It’s a situation where other people’s feelings truly do not need to be taken into consideration. Everyone has their own feelings on certain holidays and you absolutely are allowed to enjoy something as innocuous as Valentine’s Day without being worried about what others think.

Despite being single, I do very much enjoy celebrating the holiday! I like buying Valentine’s fudge and candies, I love the heart decals that everything is covered in and I like watching terrible romcoms to get into the feeling of the season.

It absolutely is alienating, though, to hear the way my other single friends will disparage the holiday and what it revolves around. I think a lot of the time, people are more preoccupied about what the holiday may broadly stand for instead of what they can make it meaningful for them. What I mean by this is that, if Valentine’s is more of a friend-centric holiday to you, then embrace that! You don’t need to focus on romantic relationships if you don’t want to.

It also doesn’t have to be a materialistic holiday either, some of my most memorable Valentine’s has been spent eating snacks with my friends while watching terrible comedy movies. Something simple has just as much value as something more complex.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. Go out and get pink heart-studded acrylics and dark chocolate fudge if you want! Go spend time with your significant other on an expensive date together if that’s what’s most ideal for you! The trick to enjoying most holidays is to tweak it and perfect it in a way that you have the most fun with, and Valentine’s Day is no different.

Mikaela is a current student of Virginia Commonwealth University.
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