February 14th is upon us and love is expected to be drifting through the air. Some fall hard for the holiday, embracing the kindness of the day, showing extra appreciation for their loved ones, and reveling in the extravagance. Many, on the other hand, associate the holiday with feelings of depression, loneliness, and desperation.
The most common reason that you would grow to hate Valentine’s Day is that you only consider it to be a celebration of couples and romantic love. People in relationships are proven to have much more positive feelings towards Valentine’s Day than single people do, although these opinions are derived only leading up to the day. In the same study of emotional anticipation, it was uncovered that Valentine’s Day might not be as important as it seems. The preparation for the holiday seems to bring around more disappointment than the actual day. Whether it’s the red and pink decorations, heart-shaped decadents, or restaurants advertising specials clearly meant for two, the prospect of the holiday might induce negative opinions more than the actual day itself. For when the 14th arrives, both singles and couples seemed to have very similar feelings and emotions about the festivities.
You might hate Valentine’s because you are prone to the ideals of Resistance Theory. Resistance Theory is the urge to break the rules or be non-compliant with normalcy. In other words, individuals’ rebel against the holiday in response to its unrealistic stereotypical practices. Romantic comedies and famous love stories have engrained into minds that Valentine’s Day has to be something incredibly romantic and special. Candlelit dinners, weekend getaways and stargazing are among the normalized, yet extravagant, activities that are “supposed” to happen on Valentine’s Day. But who decided that? What happened to sitting around with your loved one or best friends, watching Netflix, and letting them know that you appreciate them? I supposed that would simply make Valentine’s Day comparable to another day and take away the celebrational uniqueness that we are told to experience.
Arguably the most prominent reason of hatred for the day is how the effect of capitalist culture has changed the meaning of the holiday. If you truly want to express your love for someone on this particular day, simply telling them isn’t usually accepted as enough. The certain flamboyant practices that most people participate in were normalized for the financial gain of corporations. Evenings out leave the food and entertainment industry scrambling. 48 million pounds of chocolate are sold during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day and jewelry alone accounts for $5.8 billion of all spending the same week. Valentine’s Day has become a holiday controlled by capitalism and mimics an expensive chore rather than a chance to show people how much you really care for them.
This year, choose not to hate the holiday but also consider celebrating differently. Valentine’s Day can be so enjoyable and special whether you are in a romantic relationship or spending the day with friends and family. Show people how much you care while keeping your gifts minimal or doing something else meaningful like performing an act of service for your partner.
Brooke Kruger is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]