The Hype and Heart of Valentine’s Day

Looking beyond the box of chocolates at what we should be celebrating

Valentine’s Day: A holiday that comes with overly sweet candy and sappy couples…it’s got to be one of my least favorite days of the year. No, it’s not because I’m single, or because I’m morally opposed to all things cheesy and romantic. It’s because I am tired of seeing people use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to prioritize their partner more than any other day.

Being the observant high school student that I am, I’ve noticed the heavy reliance of couples doing something special on this one particular day of the year. 

We’ve all seen those extravagant Valentine’s Day proposals. Flowers, chocolates, giant stuffed animals, you name it.

The real question is, what about the other 364 days of the year? Why do we feel the need to up our standards just because a holiday tells us we should? Why does a holiday make us expect so much from our significant others? Why do we praise our partners for things as simple as giving us a heart shaped box of chocolates?

In many high school relationships, Valentine’s Day is used as a reason to validate your partner and give them extra special treatment. But why aren’t they getting treated like that everyday? 

For some reason, the bar is raised on Valentine’s Day. Sweet comments float through the air, and the word “love” is dropped left and right. It’s sad to think these young couples put so much pressure onto such an elementary school holiday.

Personally, I’ve never liked Valentine’s Day for a number of reasons. Mainly because public PDA is at an all time high. Just because it’s a holiday dedicated to “love” does not mean you should go around smothering your partner under the school stairwell. 

But seriously, the amount of times I’ve walked past couples full on caressing each other is absurd. Physical affection rates are even worse on Valentine’s Day…my guard stays up and my eyes stay down.

This concept of a day dictating how you treat your significant other seems rather demanding. 

For relationships on the rocks, Valentine’s Day can make things go from bad to worse. Statistics show that Valentine’s Day puts a tremendous amount of pressure on relationships.

According to Economic Times, there is an increase of breakups on and around Valentine’s Day compared to the rest of the year. As you can see, February 14 can add additional pressure that some relationships cannot withstand.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for appreciating our significant others, but it’s how we treat the relationship year round that matters most. It’s remembering to show appreciation for your partner more often than on one excessively commercialized holiday.

  For example, I know a couple who have a monthly date night. Whether it’s going to the zoo or simply just grabbing a bite to eat, they have set aside special time for each other.

Putting a creative spin on this, a fun idea is making a “bucket list” where you and your partner take turns deciding what your date night will entail. It could be something that takes more effort like planning a picnic in the park, or something as easy as binge watching a favorite series.

Another important aspect of Valentine’s Day is having a mutual understanding of how you and your partner view the holiday. Discuss your expectations and communicate your desires for the day. Not only does this benefit the relationship, but it also ensures that you and your significant other are on the same page.

So, let’s stop putting this one day on a pedestal and start being mindful of appreciating our partners the other 364 days of the year.

In the meantime, I’ll never say no to a box of chocolates!