Valentines Day is Overrated

Hannah Butts, Staffer

It’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas, that’s passed. And no not Halloween, we aren’t there yet either. The time of love. With department stores busting out the chocolate hearts and teddy bears, it’s evident that Valentine’s Day is upon us.

Before any real critique of the holiday itself, we must educate ourselves on what it’s for and how it came to be. 

There is no set history behind Valentine’s Day, more so many theories. According to History.com, there was a saint, named Valentine, who performed marriages for lovers in secret when it was outlawed by Emperor Claudius II- who then killed him for doing so. Others say that Valentine was killed for trying to help Christians escape the abuse inflicted in Roman prisons. While he was in jail, he sent a letter to his lover that allegedly said “From your valentine.” However you see it, this Valentine fella is seen as a romantic and heroic figure. 

Valentine’s Day is seen as an ode to Valentine’s death, or as a way to ‘Christianize’ Lupercalia, a festival dedicated to Faunus, the roman god of agriculture. Eventually Lupercalia ended when Pope Gelasius decided February 14th would be known as St. Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t until much later in history that Valentine’s Day was morphed into a day of romance.

It’s now clear how the holiday was created, but why was it created? Is a holiday for lovey dovey, cheesy red hearts necessary? You can say it’s a day to give gratitude for those around you, but that’s the whole reason for Thanksgiving. Gift giving? That’s Christmas. 

Why would you need a specific holiday to give gifts and say sweet things to your significant other? Why can’t that be just any regular day? If you love someone, you should show them all the time, and in ways that aren’t just sweets and teddy bears. Speaking of, most chocolates are gross, and flowers die in a week. Let’s be real, Valentine’s Day is the only thing keeping some of these chocolate companies afloat. 

This can also cause conflict, because as soon as January ends, an unspoken pressure builds of doing or buying something special for your person. If it’s not enough, it could displease your lover, but if they’re this ungrateful, maybe look into spending the next holiday alone, or with someone who deserves you. On the other hand, if it’s too much, it could make them feel bad for not going above and beyond like you did.

Plus, what if you aren’t in a relationship? Valentine’s Day is like a blow-horn to the face, screaming at you about just how single and lonely you are. “Oh, you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” Your friend Sarah asks with snark, knowing for a fact that you’ve been single for a while, unlike her and Derek, who have been going steady since 8th grade. “Well then you can, like, stay home and eat a whole box of Russell Stovers by yourself then…” Which is ridiculous, because being single is not a bad thing, and shouldn’t be normalized as such. Who cares if you’re single? If you’re happy how you are, then you’re fine. You don’t need to be in a relationship!

In general, the whole aesthetic of Valentine’s Day is so corny. A bunch of tiny ‘be mine’ heart candies and roses. If you really want to blow someone away, do something meaningful on a day where it isn’t expected.

I’m not saying I absolutely hate Valentine’s Day; I’m just saying I think it’s completely ridiculous. Despite what I think, it’s still rapidly approaching. So, Happy Valentine’s Day, I hope you treat it just like any other day- as it truthfully should be.