Every February a movement emerges. It includes single teenagers and adults who are bound by a single connection: hating Valentine’s Day. However, the disdain for Valentine’s Day is misplaced. This hate focuses on bad individual experiences rather than the philosophy behind the holiday. Valentine’s Day should be embraced because it forces us to genuinely connect and engage with people in a world that seems to advance quicker each passing day.
Valentine’s Day is consistent with most other holidays in one aspect: it focuses on spending time with people you love. People often assume that the holiday of Cupid is simply reserved for those who are in a relationship, but that’s not the case. Many people take this time to hang out with friends who they haven’t seen in a while and others spend time with family members. The National Retail Federation’s 2021 Valentine’s Day spending survey showed that people will spend billions on gifts for family members, friends, teachers, pets and co-workers. Just because you are single, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself and pamper those you love.
Some argue that the stress stemming from gift-giving is a major reason why Valentine’s Day is anxiety-inducing and undesirable. However, a study by Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management found that “Repeated giving, even in identical ways to identical others, may continue to feel relatively fresh and relatively pleasurable the more that we do it.” If someone feels anxious trying to find gifts for their significant other, it is an indication of unhealthy expectations within the relationship, not because of Valentine’s Day.
A similar fallacy is present when people say Valentine’s Day is simply a holiday created by corporations to make more money. By this logic, the most cherished holidays in the Western world should not be celebrated either. Halloween is also deeply rooted in corporate advertising gimmicks and decorations. Christmas trees and lights have nothing to do with the actual holiday. However, most Americans love Halloween and Christmas. Just because a holiday benefits corporations doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy them. If you are still uneasy about excessive spending, omit the extravagant presents and opt for a more personalized approach.
Opponents also argue that Valentine’s Day is pointless because we should appreciate our loved ones every day. However, the goal of Valentine’s Day is to remind people to cherish those they love, not to serve as the sole occasion for expressing love. In a busy and interconnected world like ours, it’s easy to forget the importance our relationships play. Valentine’s Day is a way to rekindle and strengthen relationships, not belittle them.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the personal lives of people across the globe. Valentine’s Day could serve as a sincere opportunity to return to a sense of normalcy with those we love – romantically or not.