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Discontinue Valentine’s Day

| Wednesday, February 13, 2019

I have never understood all the hype around Valentine’s Day. As I’ve gotten older, I have grown to dislike this holiday more and more. I appreciate people making sweet gestures and showing people they love and appreciate them. I no longer feel like this holiday sends a positive message. Love messages have turned into a competition about who is the most loved, and I do not think it is a tradition to be continued.

I do not think anyone is happy on Valentine’s Day. Single people seem to be upset or determined to show they are completely fine being single. Instagram and Snapchat will be filled with pictures captioned, “my dog is my boyfriend” or a picture of food saying, “the only date I need.”  In my experience, Valentine’s Day with girlfriends, or Galentine’s Day, can go from enjoying the company of friends to questioning if anyone will find love. We watch romantic comedies, which often brings on more disappointment with real current love-life situations.

Some people who have a ‘thing’ with another person use this holiday as a test to see if their relationship will go to the next level. Friends may question if a date has been planned or if there will be an exchange of gifts. This can set high expectations that may result in disappointment. People seem to read too much into situations and end up overreacting to something as simple as a ‘cryptic’ text. People also use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to keep talking to a person. Some people stay talking to someone, so he/she has a date for this holiday. Conversely, some people will just break up with a person before Valentine’s Day to avoid the fiasco of buying gifts and spending money on a date.

Many people in relationships seem to compete to see who has the sweetest significant other who will go the most over the top. Couples post about their gifts and dates and it almost seems to me that they are trying to brag about being with someone instead of enjoying the other’s company. If a couple decides to have a night in, they may be met with backhanded compliments filled with the reassurance that it was a sweet gesture. There will be more posts with couples proclaiming their love in a brief six paragraphs in an Instagram caption.

I had high hopes when reading that the classic candy hearts will not be sold this year. In my opinion, these candies describe Valentines Day. Nobody likes them, but we keep handing them out every year and faking the enjoyment. We should follow suit and discontinue this holiday.

You may think I am a pessimist who hates love and all thinks Valentine’s Day. This is not true. I enjoy chocolate sales on Feb. 15 and “Be My Valentine” Little Debbie frosted brownies. But this is a short list and the cons outweigh the pros.

Many people do not fit in these categories and enjoy the excuse to have a date night with their partner. I am all for people loving their friends and spending time with their significant others. I just think there is too much hype around this Hallmark holiday, and it has lost all meaning. I do not think a day needs to be set apart specifically for dates and love because people can celebrate their loved ones any day without a specific holiday telling them to do so.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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