By Lucy Boyadjis
Love is in the air during the month of February as couples and single people alike stress about Valentine’s Day. For two people in a loving relationship, this is a time for celebration, romance, and showing appreciation for their significant other. However, for those who are alone, it is often a reminder that they may not have anybody to love at the moment. Whatever the case may be, Valentine’s Day plays an unexpectedly prominent role in many people’s lives the contemporary world.
Over the years, I have witnessed partners struggle with finding the perfect gift, getting the perfect card, and even saying the right things on Valentine’s Day, and quite frankly, I think it is a waste of time. Valentine’s Day focuses on materialistic representations of love that are usually completely insignificant and meaningless. While I believe that love is certainly something to be celebrated, superficial gifts is not the way to do so. If I was in a relationship, I would not expect flowers, chocolates, jewelry, or any other frivolous present from my significant other. Rather, I would prefer something that represented the love that we shared. Perhaps a small written sentiment or a miscellaneous object that provided hope, love, or peace in a time of despair in my partner’s life. The most lavish gifts and gestures in the world could never signify the love between two people as no amount of money compares to human relationships. Valentine’s Day promotes the kind of presents that would mean nothing unless they were important to the other person, therefore being important to me.
Disregarding gifts, the spirit of Valentine’s Day seemingly shifted at one point in time, as it now is used as a reminder that single people are alone. The month of February is often dreaded for those who find themselves wishing they were in a relationship, and the constant advertisement of this does not help. Trend outbreaks on social media such as the “forever alone” meme and depressing Valentine’s Day eCards that circulate on Twitter emphasize the loneliness that comes along with what should be a loving day. It is my personal belief that the spirit of Valentine’s Day is not limited to romantic relationships. I think that a day that celebrates love can honor any kind of personal connection whether it be with family, friends, or even oneself. To be honest, Valentine’s Day is made much too big a deal and it affects single people in particular as they struggle to feel loved and cared about on this day for no logical reason.
While the idea behind Valentine’s Day is pleasant and charming, with deep consideration and observation of society’s response to this so called holiday, one can discover that it has more negative effects than positive. I think that if everyone could open their eyes to the Valentine’s Day advertisements they have succumbed to, people would understand that extravagant gifts should not be used as proof of love, and that dwelling on the loneliness one feels on February 14 is both unhealthy and unnecessary.