Why My SO & I Don't Celebrate Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day has always been that holiday that I felt forced to celebrate. If you’re in a relationship, then you’re probably used to getting the questions, “So, what are your Valentine’s Day plans?” or, “What is your SO getting you for Valentine’s Day?” right around this time of year. At the beginning of my relationship, V-Day felt like it had to be an event. All of the rom-coms I had seen always depicted these incredibly big romantic gestures, and I would go on social media to see almost every couple showing off whatever extravagant present their partner had given them. If we were really a happy couple, we should be like that too… right?

So why did Valentine’s Day low-key feel like a chore? If you’ve ever had this thought, trust me, you’re not alone. And no, it doesn’t mean that you’re in a bad relationship or that you hate love. After five years with my partner, I’ve been able to pinpoint why I, and why you, might not care that much about V-Day, and why that’s fine.

  1. 1. It creates unneeded pressure

    man and woman sitting on pier and hugging

    Even if we don’t talk about it, February 14th always seems to come with its own set of unspoken expectations. There’s the flowers, the chocolates, the big gifts, the heart-shaped balloons, the elaborate plans — and it’s totally great if you’re into that! But it can start to feel like you’re forcing a romantic occasion rather than experiencing it naturally. And especially with how prevalent social media is in our lives, it’s easy for these holidays to feel performative. Even if you’re not doing it consciously, you start to feel like you’re competing with all the other couples to see who posts the cutest pics, or who got the sweetest present.

    Instead of putting all this pressure on your relationship for just one day, sit down with your partner and talk about how you both want to celebrate the day, if you want to celebrate at all. When my partner and I realized that gifts were one of the love languages we least cared about, we felt more comfortable knowing we could skip gift-giving on V-Day without fearing that we’d be disappointing each other.

  2. 2. It's all about consumerism, anyway

    Valentine heart candy

    I don’t mean to sound cynical, but regardless of the origins of the holiday, Valentine’s Day nowadays is rooted in commercialized romance. It’s part of why there are so many unnecessary expectations; it’s a selling point for companies to get you to buy their stuff all in the name of love. To me, it takes away a bit of the magic of doing something special for your SO when every bit of media around you is telling you exactly what to do.

    Doing romantic things with your partner is always a sweet gesture, but make sure it’s coming from a place of love and not a feeling of obligation.

  3. 3. Sometimes, we're just busy

    couple sitting together on floor

    February is always an interesting month for me. It’s just around the time when college starts to kick into high gear and my workload gets heavier, and the same happens to my SO. As a busy college woman, I would love it if life paused so I could celebrate every special event, but that sadly doesn’t happen sometimes. So instead of trying to cram V-Day into your already busy schedule, have a talk with your partner! If you’re both too busy, consider moving the celebration to a different day — or just skip the holiday altogether! There will always be other anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays to enjoy together.

  4. 4. Love is all year round

    two women lying on grass

    Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day you have to show your partner how much you love and appreciate them, and it shouldn’t be. There are so many other important days and milestones in your relationship that you’ll get to cherish and enjoy together, that V-Day will almost always fall to the back of the list.

So if you really don’t want to celebrate the Big V, you don’t have to! To me, February 14th is just a regular day. I might send my boyfriend an especially cute text that morning, and he might send me extra heart emojis in response, but for the most part, it’s just another day. And we prefer it that way.

But don’t worry — even if you aren’t into Valentine’s Day, there is always time to sneak in a Pride & Prejudice movie night.