Valentine’s Day is a day where couples are meant to swoon and coo over their partners, expressing their love by buying boxes of heart-shaped chocolates and flowers. It’s a day where love is celebrated and rejoiced like no other. However, there is a darker side to Valentine’s Day that is rarely explored; the holiday revolves around and reinforces the social construct that we are not ‘complete’ without relationships. Society puts them on a pedestal, implying that those who are not in one are fundamentally flawed. With this, those who buy into society’s notion of what is ‘normal’ are slapped in the face, reminded that they are ‘abnormal’, acting as an annual blow to your self-esteem.
Valentine’s Day can also be a blow to those who have recently split up with someone. If you suddenly find yourself single, not by choice, it can sting to scroll through your Twitter feed and be confronted with pictures of happy couples with smiles plastered across their faces. In order to heal the pain, we overindulge in ludicrous amounts of food and unwillingly become the Valentine’s Day cliché.
On the positive side, for those lucky in love, Valentine’s Day is a day that encourages spontaneity and adoration for your loved one. A day where you show your partner how much you like/love/admire them. However, it can be seen as a sort of ‘get out of jail free’ card for couples who lack these qualities normally. I’m the sort of person who believes that love should be expressed all year round, rather than just crammed into one day in February. The idea of splashing out on expensive gifts can seem rather superficial if its only aim is to be posted on social media later on, reminding everyone that you’re a brilliant, selfless person.
Despite these negative connotations, Valentine’s Day has been celebrated for many years and will do so for many more, so you should probably just get used to it.