Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Article Graphic created on Canva for Harmfulness of Valentines Day
Article Graphic created on Canva for Harmfulness of Valentines Day
Lani Beaudette

Is Valentine’s Day Harmful?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WVU chapter.

Red and pink decorations, cards, chocolates and stuffed bears have flooded stores. The mall is a little more crowded than usual and love is in the air. This can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. 

Let’s be honest — you either really love or really hate Valentine’s Day. For some people, Valentine’s Day is their favorite day of the year. It is the celebration of love, after all. However, for others, Valentine’s Day is the worst day of the year — whether they are single or not.  

While Valentine’s Day is associated with love and romance, according to Facebook data, it is also one of the biggest breakup times of the year. 

Valentine’s Day is commonly reported for causing extreme stress for couples. There is a lot of pressure to celebrate the holiday in a certain way. With social media and television, we are molded to believe that Valentine’s Day should be a romantic night filled with flowers, chocolates, jewelry and fancy dinners.  While this is a perfectly okay way to celebrate, it is not doable for every single couple — and unless you’ve booked your dinner reservation weeks in advance, your “perfect” Valentine’s Day may not go exactly as planned. 

A survey by the National Retail Federation has shown that consumers are expecting to spend $196.31 on their significant other on Valentine’s Day in 2020 — which has gone up by 21 percent from last year’s results. This number can include dinner, an activity, gift or all of the above. 

On top of anniversaries, birthdays and other holidays, spending money on Valentine’s Day may not be in everyone’s budget. Instead of this being normalized and accepted, society constantly pushes for and encourages the “perfect” Valentine’s Day. 

Social media has also played a major part in Valentine’s Day stress. We compare ourselves to people on social media every single day, so it isn’t very surprising that we compare our relationship to others on social media, too. While this can be tricky to avoid, it is important to remember that everything you see on social media is fabricated, and everything is not always what it seems. No one flaunts their relationship hardships on Instagram. 

It can also be a confusing time for couples in the early stages of their relationship or those in the “talking stage.” Unless you communicate with your significant other, figuring out what is too much or too little can cause stress, tension and awkwardness — especially if you both aren’t on the same page with your relationship.

Whether distance, money or time is in the way of a Valentine’s Day date with your significant other, there can be unavoidable feelings of disappointment. However, just because you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional way does not mean you love or appreciate your significant other any less.

For those who are single or freshly out of a relationship, Valentine’s Day can trigger a sense of loneliness — and this is totally normal. Around this time of year, love is plastered all over television, commercials, stores and the Internet, making it very hard to avoid. 

Keep in mind that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples — it’s a day to show your family and friends love and appreciation, too. A relationship isn’t required to celebrate Valentine’s Day and just because you are in a relationship does not mean you are required to celebrate. 

You could always opt-out of Valentine’s Day and celebrate Galentine’s Day, instead. Galentine’s Day is the unofficial holiday to celebrate the important ladies in your life started by the fictional character Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. At the end of the day, nothing is better than a night in with your girls, snacks and facemasks. 

One thing is for sure, Valentine’s Day is not worth the stress or the fighting. Whether you’re spending time with your family, friends or significant other, just remember what Valentine’s Day is really about: appreciating the loved ones in your life (but don’t forget to do this every other day of the year, too). 



Edited by Geena Anderson

Marra is a sophomore at West Virginia University studying Public Relations with minors in Communication and Strategic Social Media. She is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and loves traveling, music, shopping and skincare.
Her Campus at West Virginia University