Valentines Day shouldn’t be the only time to celebrate love

As we enter February, a controversial holiday is quickly approaching. Valentine’s Day, a holiday centered around love and gratitude, is seen as a happy time of year, especially for those who are in a relationship. However, for those who are single; Valentine’s Day is just an ordinary day or a day to live vicariously through others. This dilemma deems the question, should Valentine’s Day even be celebrated? 

The holiday itself has Christian origins, as February 14 was a feast day to honor St. Valentine of Rome. However, I feel as though no one thinks of St. Valentine, the key figure in the origins of this holiday, when it comes around each year. 

Instead, society tends to focus more on the love and gift-giving aspect of the day. And of course, love and gift-giving is always a good thing, right? Although this is true, I feel as though this holiday has put too much pressure on society, on both ends of the spectrum.

On social media, I see more and more single people claim that Valentine’s Day makes them feel lonely, jealous and unlovable. I have already seen a lot of chatter around “not having a valentine” this year, and it hurts to see others not receive the love they deserve. What bothers me the most about this situation is that we live in a society where people feel ashamed to be single, and that experiencing a relationship is supposed to be a societal norm. With this mindset, people often get themselves into toxic relationships and focus more on loving others, rather than loving themselves. 

For people who have a “valentine” this holiday, it creates an expectation within the relationship that should already exist.The action of going out to buy your partner flowers, chocolate or any sort of gift should be more of an occurrence, not one that just rolls around on a specific day. 

However, the holiday can also be seen as financially taxing for many people. According to CNBC.com, Americans spent $23.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2021 with an average of $175 per person. This shows that the overcommercialization adds to the need to participate. The pressure to find the perfect gift for your loved one increases every year, along with the prices. 

Some people are neutral to the holiday altogether, or choose not to get involved. After talking to some of my non single friends, they all agree that society has made the holiday lose it’s spark. This makes sense as many forms of popular media such as songs, movies and stories seem to be centered around falling in love. Again, we see the pressure from everything around us to find that special person. 

Valentine’s Day may be seen as “overhyped” or “meaningless” by many, but it holds meaning. It serves as another opportunity to show gratification to those around you and to show people you care. Thinking back to elementary school, I always loved decorating valentines for my classmates, even if I didn’t really know them. Sometimes people just need a pick-me-up, and I guess Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity for that. 

Overall, I believe Valentine’s Day does mean well, but societal pressures take away from the idea of what love is. Love exists in forms outside the romantic type. You can find love in places, hobbies and even in yourself. Why do we need a partner to celebrate a day of love? 

Therefore, no matter how you decide to celebrate this Valentine’s Day (or if you even decide to celebrate), keep in mind the other kinds of love that exist around us. 

 

Nicole Dumont can be contacted at

ndumont@kscequinox.com

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