Many who claim to hate Valentine’s Day say the holiday creates too much pressure. Those just starting a relationship find themselves wondering about the appropriate actions to take for this romantic occasion and people who have been together for years may wonder what to do this year, how to top last year, or end up scrambling at the last minute upon realizing they had forgotten the date.
Single people sometimes feel lonely or left out as people discuss plans or receive flowers in the workplace. Some singles even feel pressured into finding someone in time for the day. For many, Valentine’s Day just seems to announce, “You should be in love today!”
Why Men Hate This Day
There is no denying that men carry a heavier burden when it comes to February 14. While the task of coming up with a special Valentine’s Day gift or romantic gesture is placed upon men, women are not necessarily expected to reciprocate. Statistically, men spend significantly more money for this holiday than women. In addition, many men feel tested on Valentine’s Day. Did they spend enough? Was the gesture seen as sincere? Depending on the status of a relationship a gift may be taken too seriously or not seriously enough. Imagined or not, some men see Valentine’s Day as a relationship performance evaluation.
Is February 14 Anti-Romance?
Some say that Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark holiday” and has been manufactured to sell cards, flowers, and chocolates in heart-shaped boxes. Romance is driven by passion and passion, by nature, is spontaneous. Truly passionate people don’t hold feelings back waiting for a particular date to arrive. This is why some feel Valentine’s Day actually takes away from romance. Matt Wixon of The Dallas Morning News writes, “Bring home flowers, jewelry or another gift on an ordinary day, and you’ll be romantic. But on Valentine’s Day, that just means you’ve fulfilled a duty.”
Valentine’s Day is a Waste of Money
Valentine’s Day can be expensive and what do most people have to show for it? Sappy Valentine’s Day poems written into overpriced greeting cards, weight gain (from chocolates and indulgent meals), and dead roses. Certainly many a heart-covered, pink teddy bear has ended up in the local landfill.
Five Ways to Enjoy the Holiday
There is hope for Valentine’s Day haters! Here are some Valentine’s Day ideas that may act as remedies for problems surrounding February 14:
- Save money but be spontaneous and passionate. Make breakfast in bed, plan a picnic, or have dinner at home by candle light. It isn’t a date at a five-star restaurant but it requires more effort which should translate into more romance. The preparer should take time to plan this well in order to keep stress at a minimum and a smile on his or her face.
- Avoid the “performance review” by planning it out. This isn’t spontaneous but it can work because both people agree to what they would like to do together that day. Planning out the day or date together takes the pressure off of what to buy and what to do and has better potential to end with satisfying results.
- Celebrate! Holidays are for celebration and Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. Couples can reflect on the good times they’ve had by taking out a photo album, videos, favorite music, or anything they’ve saved over time. Instead of picking out a card written by someone else, find a picture from a past adventure and write, “I remember when we…” It isn’t that difficult and it comes from the heart.
- Forget the one-on-one and have fun with friends. Both couples and singles may find they enjoy getting together with others on Valentine’s Day more than having a quiet evening alone. This can alleviate a feeling of isolation for those without a partner and can also be a great alternative for people who have spent enough Valentine’s Days together to feel they have nothing to prove.
- Ignore it! Ignore Valentine’s Day. It’s February 14, so what? Try not to save up romantic gestures for one day a year. Be romantic all year round. People who accomplish this with their partner shouldn’t feel pressure to perform for this one, specific day.
Valentine’s Day is just a day in the middle of February. People can choose to make it a very special, significant occasion or just treat it as any other day of the year. Certainly, those who know their partner’s expectations are best positioned to enjoy the holiday the most.