Valentine’s Day in Review


Rebecca Wehner, Feature Editor

There’s essentially one real reason why people will bash Valentine’s Day, and it’s because they’re bitter about being single. If this sounds too harsh, allow me to take it in a more analytical direction.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and as always the masses are divided between those who eagerly await the holiday and those who want nothing to do with it. It’s true that this celebration of love has evolved drastically over the years into a huge marketing ploy by companies as an incentive for couples to spend their money on chocolates, flowers and humongous teddy bears. There is no real obligation to empty your wallet on these trivial things; but if you’re in a relationship, there’s a pretty fair chance you’re going to want to spend the day with your significant other, whether you buy into the extravagant gift-giving or not.

Talking to my best friend, he expressed how he had “never really cared” about Valentine’s Day before, but when I asked him if he was going to be with his boyfriend on February 14, he obviously said yes. It’s a given; even if someone feels as if Valentine’s Day holds no special meaning, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t want to spend the day with your partner regardless, right? After all, people date because they enjoy spending time with each other.

For those that are single when February rolls around, many will take the eye-rolling, fake-vomiting approach when discussing the holiday, but it accomplishes nothing, besides maybe making couples feel bad. In truth, if this hypothetical cynic was in a relationship, their attitude would likely be completely reversed. You don’t have to be overly sappy to appreciate or even tolerate the day; you just need to prevent your pessimism from tainting the day for others.

Furthermore, those who are content with being single or who are in general disinterested in romance rarely feel the need to flaunt their stance or shame others for having a different opinion. Not everyone who is “alone” is distressed at this fact, and I applaud those who can find true contentment on their own without criticizing the ones who gush about life in love. When it comes down to it, the biggest issue that can stem from Valentine’s Day is the pressure it can put on people, young and old, that tells you that you need a relationship to be happy. Every February the commercials and ads are flooded with smiling couples that are “complete” now that they’ve found each other. Enough of that drivel will make single people feel as though they’ll never be enough until they’ve found their “other half”. This mindset causes a focus on the wrong things in life, and an unnecessary feeling of unfulfillment. 

There is nothing wrong with feeling a little lonely or disappointed if you’re by yourself this year. It’s a perfectly natural emotion, and you’ll probably experience it many times throughout the span of your life. But there is nothing that dictates what kind of love you need to celebrate on this day. Acknowledge and appreciate the love that you do have, whether it’s with a partner, a group of close friends, or even your family. Or, if you determine that spending time taking care of your own well-being will really drive home the meaning of love, I am all for that. 

February 14 is essentially just another day on the calendar, but it holds more weight for some than others. Who are you to judge someone or tell them their feelings are pointless?

However you end up spending Valentine’s Day in 2020, it is important to respect your own interests before anything else. Don’t buy into the fancy dinners or elaborate love declarations if it’s not your thing (or if it’s just too expensive), and if it is, don’t hold back! Love of any variation is precious, and I believe that there’s nothing bad about having a specific day on the calendar to celebrate it a little extra. And if you tend to be the type that falls into the pitfall of whining about excited couples planning their dates or ranting about the commercialism that has “ruined” it for everyone, maybe you should consider where those feelings are coming from. Even if it’s not a boyfriend or girlfriend, I’m sure there’s someone that loves you and wouldn’t mind expressing that to you more deeply, if you open yourself up to it.