Opinion: One really is the loneliest number

“​To me, Valentine’s Day simply homogenizes a relationship. It’s celebrated in a generic way that makes it seem like more of a show for everyone else rather than to convey affection to a loved one.”

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The commercialization and exhibitionist nature of Valentine's Day is hard to ignore. Credit: Unsplash images

Valentine’s Day happens every year, yet somehow it always  feels like the world’s first time celebrating it, in terms of everyone totally annoying me.

Everything about Valentine’s Day has always felt a little cheap to me. Boiling down love to one day a year and celebrating it with gaudy gifts and candies seems a bit lackluster. This isn’t to say choosing one day to show your love off in a vomit-inducing way is a bad thing, but I’d think that’s what your anniversary is for.

​To me, Valentine’s Day simply homogenizes a relationship. It’s celebrated in a generic way that makes it seem like more of a show for everyone else rather than to convey affection to a loved one.​ I think it’s because there is a bit of social obligation tied to the holiday: If you don’t give or receive a gift, people who did (apparently everyone who matters) will watch and wait for the relationship to end. It’s kind of twisted.

It seems like those who don’t go crazy on Valentine’s Day usually end up in long and happy relationships, and I’m almost positive there’s a correlation. It makes me think of my parents who’ve been together for over 20 years. They hug, kiss, talk, and laugh every day, and often I find them going out of their way to do something small but meaningful for the other. Yet they have never done anything for Valentine’s Day.

​My dad may get my mom some flowers delivered to her work, but it usually comes off as ironic because they are so not that couple. They’re the couple who shows their love all year long and doesn’t fall victim to what pop culture has deemed an ideal relationship.

​Couples that don’t compare themselves to others, who do things for one another because it makes them happy rather than because a calendar told them it was time to, are strong.

​So, should you stop celebrating? Is it so bad that you want to show everyone else that you’re happy and in love? Eh, not necessarily. I think if you know that you love your partner for who they are and not what they do for you and you still want to celebrate, go right ahead. You have to keep in mind that I’m a loser and don’t know what it’s like on the other side. I’m simply observing from my tower.

Ultimately, I think Valentine’s Day caters to the same people who showed up to high school dances in limousines, post pictures of themselves crying on their Snapchat stories, and argue in public; the people who crave putting on a show.

Surely it’s unfair of me to write an entire article about how the day many of you couples have been looking forward to all year long sucks and then dip, so I think I’ll take a moment to acknowledge a few of the things that happen on Valentine’s Day that I do like.

I like when the teachers give you candies (particularly the pink foil Hershey Kisses), seeing couples hug or hold hands, love-themed Spotify playlists, old people going out on dates, and bouquets (any flowers except carnations).

So, as you can see, I’m not a complete spiteful spinster, only mostly. Ignore me and enjoy your Valentine’s Day!

With love, B <3

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