Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about sharing the love, whether with your partner, spouse, besties, or your family. Singles typically loathe the glorified holiday since it is essentially designed to guilt-trip you into pondering why you are alone, and technically so do many couples since it has been socially twisted and marketed to get those in relationships to drop a ton of cash or be accused of not loving the other enough.
The thing is, the minute I hit grade 6, I stopped understanding Saint Valentine’s Day. Sure, in elementary school it was tradition to write up a little card for everyone in your class, your friends who weren’t in your class, and send happy wishes to your teacher. That’s cute; it teaches amicability and community among peers. But after that, why? When you only give it to a few people, it makes the other kids feel like losers (yep, there might be some resentment lingering) and nobody bothers to teach you that that is not the case (learning opportunity guys!).
Why do we build up the hype around Valentine’s Day?
So the question remains: Why do we do it..? It used to be because we wanted to spread joy; I know I get super happy when I get mail or a fancy card! Or when anyone does pretty much anything for me for that matter…
But beyond the childhood woes comes adulthood, where you are expected to spend it with someone (relationship or not) and do something romantic. And expensive. I don’t know about you, but a first date on Valentine’s Day is so much pressure and there is no way it is going to work. If you are in a relationship, why is today any different than yesterday or tomorrow? Why do we need to go out for a 150$ dinner when a 35$ one would be perfectly fine, or a 15$ dinner at home would be plenty..?
How you should celebrate Valentine’s Day
The way I see it, if you have someone in your life that you love (dating or friend or family), spend time with them for the sake of spending time with them and enjoying the experience. Don’t worry about spending tons of dollars on flowers that will die, chocolate that will rot your insides, fancy jewelry that will likely sit in a safe unworn, or super expensive mess (unless they taste amazing!). Before you gang up on me and call me things like ‘cynical old hag destined to be a cat-lady who will die alone‘, let me reassure you that I am happily [almost] married to a wonderful man who treats me amazingly, and I still dislike the hype and hypocrisy built around this day.
Don’t limit celebrating your love to Valentine’s Day
By all means, if you need an excuse to get out of the house and spend quality time with your spouse away from the kids, use it! Go enjoy the night! But don’t limit special date-night to Valentine’s Day. As long as the date is deliberate and more effort than every day dinner was put into it, go for it! Lighting a candle goes a long way, and there’s nothing wrong with a bouquet if you like flowers, just don’t let it feel forced. Heck, I’ve brought home flowers for my fiancé just-because and he loves it!
I suggest you plan a special date-night every month, and it doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive to be meaningful. A nice dinner, a movie night with wine & snuggles, or a game night are all great ideas for staying in on a budget. Workshops or classes, and special events like Winterlude are great interactive dates that allow for you to go out without being the stereotypical dinner. You don’t even have to do them on the actual day either. Yesterday’s dinner&roses workshop from Capital Florist is a perfect example.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
On that note, I wish you the happiest of days today and every other day of the year, whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or avoiding today’s hype altogether. Do your thing, and enjoy it!
Happy Days For Everyone!