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Why I’m a Valentine’s Day Hater

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

I have a confession: I am a Valentine’s Day hater. It’s never been my favorite holiday, but as I’ve gotten older, my dislike for it has only grown and I’ve essentially become the Valentine’s Day version of the Grinch. Usually, I keep this to myself mostly because just because I dislike the holiday, but that doesn’t mean I need to ruin it for others. However, by writing a critique (or to be more honest, a rant), I hope to identify some ways the holiday could be better and make some changes for myself. 

A quick (over-simplified) summary of the origins of Valentine’s is that while there were similar pagan holidays, Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine, who is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. There are many possible stories about St. Valentine and there is even a possibility that he was two different men, but the main story that inspired the holiday we celebrate today is St. Valentine would write letters to a girl he was in love with and signed one with “From your Valentine.”

Valentine’s Day traditions include writing letters also called Valentines (because of the holiday’s origin) to loved ones, and also giving gifts like flowers or chocolates in heart-shaped boxes. But these traditions made it the perfect victim of commercialism. Valentine’s is not the only holiday that has suffered from becoming a commercial holiday, but I would argue that commercial aspects of the holiday have taken over and are harder to ignore compared to other holidays. Companies are able to write letters for us and you don’t have to think too hard about your gift because you can just go to the stop and buy the first thing covered in pink, red, and purple.

Valentine’s Day tends to be a task that needs to be completed rather than a genuine gift. Remember in elementary school when you would get a list from your teacher of all your classmates’ names then you would have to go shopping with your mom to get cheap valentines (unless you had a Pinterest mom like me and would have to spend days making them) for everyone? I believe this was the start of the holiday being flawed for many of us. Later in middle and high school, I would feel like a bad friend if I did not get someone a Valentine, but I also felt like the gifts weren’t “real” and did not show my appreciation for them. 

Last year, I went to my first Galentine’s Day party. I appreciated this much more than the typical Valentine’s traditions because there was no gift-giving or cards with puns on them, but rather we ate lots of food and watched a bad romance film. This improved my perspective of the holiday, but I’m still attempting to learn how to love it. Besides treating a few of my friends, I’m going to focus on myself. I also plan on supporting small businesses to hopefully attempt to ignore the commercial aspects of the holiday that bother me so much. For example, I plan on buying flowers for myself and going to a local bookstore.

Anikka Stanley

Washington '26

Anikka is a freshman at the University of Washington. She is majoring in Communications and Astronomy. She enjoys Marvel (especially Loki), fashion, and reading.