As soon as Christmas passes, store aisles are decked out with heart shaped balloons and chocolates, teddy bears galore, and an unbearable amount of pinks and reds. Valentine’s Day has become one of the worlds most profitable holidays, coined as a grand marketing scheme Saint Valentine himself couldn’t have imagined. Designed to put pressure on people to showcase their love for the rest of the world to judge, and those who are lacking love to run and hide. Regardless of how you feel about the holiday, there is an added pressure on us gurls to hold the holiday to a higher regard unnecessarily.
Valentine’s Day has a mixed connotation associated with it, specifically with women, that needs to be addressed:
- Love Day. If you see it as an issue that you are single and not in a relationship on Valentines Day you are unrightfully setting yourself up for a gloomsday. With that said, I thought it was important to address the negative juju associated with the holiday because one day should not have the power to magnify your singleness to the point you feel lonely. And, there is absolutely no need to feel a certain type of way about the holiday just because you are single at that particular time. The holiday is not to solely celebrate your love with your significant other but it is meant to celebrate love, which comes in many forms. Relationship or not, you have some sort of love relationship with someone, whether it be your parents, or child, or even your friends. So I say, if you are single, relish in your singleness. Enjoy being alone. Take yourself out on a dinner date. Send yourself some flowers. Because remember no one’s going to love you like you do anyways.
- Relationship Pressure. Most of those in relationships, dread the holiday because of the price tag and romantic expectations associated with it. Generally, women expect their significant other to spoil them with flowers and chocolates, and a grand romantic gesture. Restaurants are packed so that you can flaunt your relationship to the rest of the world. Quite frankly, we want chocolates and flowers and jewelry so that we can run and tell our gurlfriends about it or put it on Snapchat. However, I know plenty of couples that don’t even bother with celebrating the holiday because it’s unrealistic to limit showing your loved ones how much you love them to one day within a year. It should be done throughout the year.
- Love Making. I’ve spoke to many women who feel that giving it up on Valentines Day is their partners gift or there are the women who reserve that night for pulling out all their tricks in the bedroom. However, the main flaw here is that we believe giving up our body is a requirement on Valentines Day which couldn’t be farther from the truth. If that’s the tradition you and your significant other have started then believe you me, I am not hating. But, what I want to stress is that if you’re in a new relationship and feel pressured to take this next step, please remember you are not required to do so in the name of love.
- Gift Giver or Receiver? Or both? The hallmark holiday has been marked with consumerism and commercialism at the forefront which generally places additional pressure on men to show up and show out for their partner so that they don’t end up in the dog house. I’m not going to lie, I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day. I enjoy the flowers and heart shaped chocolates because they are available in an abundance around this time of year. However, I try not to make a big deal about it because I don’t want my husband to feel like this is the one time he can do something nice for me. He needs to be showing me love year round. On the other hand, I do make sure I do something nice for him for Valentine’s Day because I’m not as lovey-dovey as I should or could be, so it serves as a friendly reminder for me that my husband needs love too and it’s my job to show it to him. So ladies, if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day and expect a gift, get your partner something too!
- Singles Awareness/Appreciation Day. Most singles refer to the holiday at Singles Awareness Day (SAD) adding a depressing vibe to the holiday. However, February 15th is now known as Singles Awareness/Appreciation Day, created as a humorous holiday to celebrate being single. I literally just found out this was a thing this week, and I love the idea it was founded on–the day following Valentines Day was chosen to allow single people to turn it into a joyous occasion versus a festival of self-pity. This day was made as a reminder to embrace your singleness to the umpteenth power!
The main point I’m trying to drive home here is that Valentine’s Day is held at way too high of an regard with pricey expectations. If you really think about it, it really is a silly holiday. So if you’re able to really see it for what it is, you won’t put those societal pressures on yourself that come with the occasion. Just allow yourself to fall in love with love all over again on this day because that’s the point.
Regardless of your relationship status, take on Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love. Celebrate your partner, your parents, your children, and don’t forget yourself. And let the holiday serve as a reminder to the power of love and how we need to show it to one another more often.