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As with the winter holidays, being single on Valentine’s Day can be disheartening. Though the holiday is meant to celebrate love and romance, it can make singles feel as though there’s something wrong with them or their lives.Though romantic in theory, Valentine’s Day is ultimately an overrated holiday! Here are a few reasons to skip Valentine’s Day this year, as well as a few alternative ways you can celebrate on your own.
Valentine’s Day Makes Us Feel Unloved
As if society doesn’t push images of love and romance down our throats enough, Valentine’s Day seems only to exist as a means of making us feel bad about being single. If we don’t have “someone special” to provide us with chocolates or a teddy bear on February 14th, we’re made to feel as though we’re somehow unworthy of love. Why should a holiday exist that only serves to benefit those who are in committed relationships?
Valentine’s Day is Expensive and Materialistic
Valentine’s Day is highly commercialized. In the United States, over 50% of Americans report celebrating the holiday, making it the second biggest shopping season of the year behind Christmas. In 2016, Americans spent a whopping $4.5 billion dollars on jewelry, $4.4 billion on entertainment and dining, and nearly $2 billion on flowers, just for Valentine’s Day! The holiday is perhaps the most materialistic celebration of the year. One study even reported that more than half of women would end their relationship if they didn’t receive a gift for Valentine’s Day. A holiday that’s meant to celebrate love has ultimately become a celebration of consumerism. Instead of falling for this marketing trap, simply buy some discounted chocolates in the weeks to come!
Valentine’s Day Reinforces Gender Stereotypes
In 2019, most relationships involve more balanced power dynamics. Valentine’s Day, however, tends to perpetuate traditional heterosexual relationship dynamics and gender roles. Men are expected to purchase gifts for their female partners and treat them to romantic Valentine’s Day dinners. These expectations place pressure on men and reinforce the belief that men should be the providers in relationships. This stereotypical, antiquated romantic standard also raises questions for those in non-traditional relationships. In a gay or lesbian partnership, is one partner “supposed to” make plans for Valentine’s Day? Are both partners expected to fill this role? Instead of asking these questions, we can skip this holiday altogether!
Love Is Always Worth Demonstrating and Celebrating
Even if you’re dating or in a relationship, there’s no reason to dedicate a single day to demonstrating your feelings for your lover. Why can’t every day be a day worth celebrating? A romantic weekend getaway or a cozy dinner at home can be enjoyed any time of the year! Is a gesture of affection really meaningful if it’s simply an obligatory means of celebrating a commercialized holiday? Buying your partner a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day doesn’t require any real thought or effort. Spontaneous romantic gestures and gifts are far more thoughtful ways of showing that you care!
Alternative Ways to Celebrate!
Instead of buying into the hype of Valentine’s Day, enjoy February 14th in your own way!
In Finland, February 14th is known as Ystävänpäivä, or “Friendship Day.” Instead of grand, romantic gestures, Finns celebrate the holiday by givings small cards and gifts to friends and others that they care about. Consider celebrating the Finnish way this year! Plan a self-care day for you and your friends. Have a spa day, get your nails done, attend a sporting event, or go out to see a fun film at the theater! If you’d like to do something nice for someone specific, consider picking out a “valentine” of your own to shower with gifts and affection. Buy some nice treats and a new toy for your pet, or treat a hard-working relative to a good meal.
Though traditionally celebrated on November 11th, the Chinese holiday known as “Singles Day” can also be a fun way to treat yourself to something on Valentine’s Day. In China, singles purchase gifts for themselves on this holiday, which began in the 90s as an unofficial means of protesting Valentine’s Day. Nowadays, the holiday is a whopping success for Chinese retailers; in 2013 the nation’s biggest online shopping website took in twice as much money as American retailers did on Cyber Monday! Though the holiday is obviously highly commercialized, it is, at least, an inclusive celebration. We all deserve nice things, whether we’re in relationships or not!
Though there’s nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day, it’s also a holiday we can live without. If you’re single, consider skipping this over-hyped holiday and celebrating in another way. Treat yourself, your family, and your friends to an awesome day instead!
What are your thoughts?
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