Valentine’s Day—the one day a year when we’re all expected to spend exceptionally long amounts of time with people we don’t always like and pretend to be interested in things we really don’t care about. Dudes: You have to go through all that trouble to prove that you really do like your partner, despite their abnormally boring stories and obnoxious snoring. Ladies: We spend weeks trying to find the perfect outfit and hours waiting by the door for flowers and chocolate to show that yes, we have somebody special in our lives and we are going to flaunt it. We all make ourselves up on this one special day as though an entire relationship rests on a silly Hallmark holiday. However, I will admit that I’ve been in just about every stage of a relationship on Valentine’s Day:
The Long Term: When you’ve already used up all of your creative energy to make your nights and presents unique, so you just make dinner at home and watch a movie in sweats.
The Long Distance: When your weekly Skype date involves you both buying yourselves chocolate, opening gifts and pretending that you’re enjoying it as much as every other couple.
The New Relationship: When everything has to be perfect because this one day could definitely set the bar for the future of your relationship. There is no room for mistakes when you’re trying to impress someone.
And of course, the ever-popular Singletown: When you or a small group of friends get together and celebrate being alone on the one holiday a year when it makes you hate yourself a little bit.
The thing is, Valentine’s Day has too many standards. My personal philosophy is that everybody should celebrate Valentine’s Day his or her own way. Instead of dressing up and going to a nice dinner, why not do something more creative? Why does it make sense to do something cliché when you could do something that makes you happy, like eating an entire box of Ghirardelli chocolates alone and not feeling bad about it. As someone who is in a long term, long distance relationship, I don’t get to spend Valentine’s Day with the person I love. Instead, I’m celebrating “Galentine’s Day”, which I’m really hoping will involve pizza and crappy chick flicks.
This piece is not meant to criticize Valentine’s Day. My point is that this one day every year has turned into something so much more than what it was originally intended to be—a celebration of a saint who nobody knows anything about aside from the fact that he was buried on February 14. This day has been blown up as one of the most anticipated holidays of the entire year, which I find a little ridiculous. The point of celebrating this holiday is to show the person you’re with, even if you’re alone, that you love them. I don’t think we need all of this hype and high expectation surrounding one day, just love what you have and appreciate others. I know that I’ve been spoiled rotten on Valentine’s Day and I’ve done the same for my significant other, but the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had consisted of a normal night with an extra kiss goodnight. Valentine’s Day is really just another day in the year; don’t forget to love who you love all 364 other days.
Please note, I’m not saying a Tiffany’s necklace and bouquet of roses has ever hurt anyone, but feel free to consider giving those gifts on a random day. What better way to make a girl smile than surprise presents?