When I was single, I hated Valentine’s Day. Now, I hate it even more.
Don’t get me wrong: I love my man, and he loves me. We love spending time together, and this won’t even be our first Valentine’s Day together, but the holiday puts a lot of undue pressure on relationships.
In modern American society, it is ingrained in us from an early age that gift giving on Valentine’s day is important, especially between couples. Even in elementary school, my classes had little parties every Valentine’s day where we could exchange cards and candy with other students.
The simplest choice of gifts, therefore, is flowers, chocolate, or a card. But flowers will wilt away in weeks, much like the love and lust in many relationships. Additionally, what if they are allergic to or hate flowers? Chocolate is delicious, but there are hundreds of types. What if they are allergic to or don’t like chocolate? A card can be heartfelt, and it’s easy to find one that suits the relationship and personality. But what if they feel like a card is lazy?
From there, a date seems like the most logical choice. But we both work all day, and come home tired and grumpy. All either of us want to do is curl up in bed and avoid the world for a little while. Everywhere will be packed on Valentine’s day, primarily with young couples who are anxious to prove themselves to each other.
And really, what is the point of Valentine’s day? The day may have appealed to me when I was young (and not yet in a serious relationship), but as I grow older, its appeal fades. Relationships are about work and compromise and empathy 24/7, not one evening a year. If my man or I can only remember to treat the other once a year because society tells us we have to, is that really love?
The origins of Valentine’s day are murky, but many credit it to stemming from the Roman spring festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 15. Another popular theory is that the day was named after St. Valentine after he was beheaded by the Roman Emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples to marry. Regardless of how the day started, however, it is still popular today, with Americans alone projected to spend roughly $19.6 billion this Valentine’s Day. Broken down, that is $143.56 per person on average, with roughly 55 percent of Americans celebrating the day in some way, shape, or form.
So here I sit, two days before Valentine’s day, with no idea what to do or get for him and no urge to make reservations anywhere. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. All I know, however, is that I cannot wait for February 15th.