Valentines Day is just around the corner, and what does that mean? For me, honestly, not a lot. Maybe that sounds cynical, but I’m not a fan of the day. Not because I’ve never experienced grand romantic gestures on February 14, but because I think that the intent of the day has become too commercial. Note, these are my feelings around Christmas as well. Not because I don’t enjoy spending time with friends and family, but because of the pressure to deliver. On both sides. Although, in my opinion, men seem to bear the burden. Which doesn’t seem fair. It seems that the expectation is for men to buy flowers or chocolates, or plan extravagant and romantic dates. While I don’t want to get into gender roles, I do want to point that out as one reason I’m not a fan of the date.
I think that we shouldn’t fixate on finding the best present, or deciding what restaurant will make our partner the happiest, but rather focus on the relationship itself. At a time with so much hate and exclusion happening around us, we should be celebrating love. Celebrating the kindness between two (or more) people in a relationship. We should focus on what we can do to make ourselves better, in order to deepen the relationship. I also think this is something we should be doing all the time. And not hyper-focusing on an arbitrary day that centres around the commercial side of love and affection.
Don’t get me wrong. If there are two people in a relationship, and they both feel the same way about the “holiday”, then great – do it up! But I find more often than not, someone is always disappointed. Someone always feels bad because they didn’t receive flowers at the office. Ergo, making someone the bad guy. But that’s not necessarily the case.
What might be worse, is the pressure that is put on single people to find love. Even if its just for the night. Because going on a bad date on Valentines Day is better than being alone? I spent the first half of 2016 as a single woman. I had my “poor me” moments of course, but overall the thought that kept emerging was that I would rather be single and happy with myself and my life, than to be in a relationship (or even on a date) with someone that didn’t make me happy. Last February, I met a guy for a coffee date. The moment we sat down and started talking in person, I knew that it wasn’t going to work out and I had to figure out how to spend 45 minutes with this guy.
Can you imagine if it had of been Valentine’s Day? There would have been a lot more preparation gone into my outfit, hair and make up. And then to be disappointed that he wasn’t my Knight in shining armour? Again, I myself don’t put that much stock into Valentines Day, but it’s easy to get caught up. Even for me. Like anyone else, I love being wooed, but I am not going to let my happiness depend on a box of chocolates on February 14. And I hope you don’t either.
Taking the time to celebrate love and your relationship is amazing, and I think it should happen more often than on special occasions. Maybe I am naive to think that people can do that. I honestly think that some holidays have become too commercialized, and it adds a certain level of pressure. Even if you’re not in a relationship, there seems to be a societal “need” to be in one, just so you can celebrate a holiday.
To reiterate my points. I am not anti-Valentines Day. However, I do not see a need to base relationship closeness on a date in time. Spend time with your partner. Cherish your time together, and that happens to be February 14, great. But don’t put so much pressure on yourself and that date that it defines your happiness.