I’ve noticed over the last few years that there are a lot of people who hate Valentine’s Day, all for a variety of reasons, from “it’s a commercial holiday” to “I don’t like flowers” to “I don’t think there should be only one day where my spouse/s.o. does something nice for me.” And sometimes this dislike spills over into a type of derision towards people who do celebrate Valentine’s Day.
You know what? ENOUGH.
I like Valentine’s Day. And I think that if you don’t, it’s a problem with you and your relationships, not with the holiday itself.
This year and last year, I didn’t have anyone with whom to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but when I did, it was an occasion worth celebrating. I don’t begrudge anyone who is celebrating it this year – I think it’s a fun holiday and a romantic one and it can be amazing and cheesy and wonderful.
Here’s what Valentine’s Day is not.
It is NOT the solitary day of the year where a man should show his love and appreciation for his girlfriend or wife (and I understand that it’s sexist to put this all on men, but it’s just for the sake of argument. I’m aware that women can be the same way.) In a good relationship, with open, honest communication and two people who know how to use their words, that appreciation is shown on a more regular basis. A year of neglecting to inform the woman that you love how you feel cannot and should not be wiped clean because you brought home roses and chocolates.
It IS the day to take that love and appreciation and have a mutual time to share it with each other. It’s a day to set aside time for both of you to be romantic and cheesy and lovey and goofy and embrace everything that you love about the other.
It is NOT the only day to share that love and appreciation. It is NOT the only day when you should be surprised with a token gift because he was just thinking about you. It is NOT the only day when you should get flowers.
It IS the day when you and he should do something that’s special for you. If that’s not flowers and chocolates, okay. If you don’t like going out to dinner, that’s okay. A handwritten note and a walk on the beach at sunset is as romantic to some as a candlelit dinner in a five-star restaurant, followed with a night in a high-end luxury hotel. Whatever works for the both of you – whatever little inside jokes and romantic gestures you have, Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate them. It’s the day when all of that love and appreciation that the two of you have been sharing through the year culminates.
If you don’t like Valentine’s Day, examine the reasons. Do you think that because it’s a holiday invented by a greeting card company, it’s somehow evil? Do you cynically claim “I’m too old for stuffed animals and flowers die in two days”? Are you bitter because you’ve never experienced a good Valentine’s Day? I’m sorry. I wish that you could just let yourself go and enjoy a day when chocolate has no calories, when the room smells like roses, and when you can celebrate the one you love.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.