As a romance author and hopeless romantic, it comes as a shock to some people that I
don’t like loathe Valentine’s Day. But wait! Hear me out.
So, I love love. And I don’t like too many regulations. As a compulsive rule-follower, too many rules are hard to keep up with and it stresses me out.
Valentine’s Day, which in my opinion should have no authority in our lives whatsoever, regulates how and when someone should love their significant other. For example, you should love your other by buying them diamonds, chocolates, flowers, and of course, the master indicator of love…the greeting card. Also, you should do it on February 14th. Every. Single. Year.
Come on, really?! Who decided that’s how you show love on this pretend holiday? If you want to show your love, do it whenever you want, and with your own personal flair. Not the generic flowers and chocolate crap. (Unless the generic flowers and chocolate crap is your own personal flair, then please accept my apologies.) My husband and I show our love by snuggling on the couch, having a meaningful talk while collapsing in an exhausted heap of tired parents, in the middle of the active conversation we are having. But we do that all the time, so February 14th means nothing to us.
According to the National Retail Federation, spending this Valentine’s Day is expected to hit 19.6 billion dollars. What if I’m broke, and can’t afford diamonds? I have a pantry stocked full of chocolate, you know, in case of an apocalypse, so I don’t need any more of that nonsense. And while flowers are undeniably beautiful, in reality, I just have an overpriced glass of rotting plant in the center of my table, and the newly acquired chore of watering it as I watch it slowly die. Nothing says “love” like more responsibility, am I right?!
What about those who can’t be with their loved ones on this day, or who don’t have a romantic partner for the occasion? This commercialized, fake holiday just worsens feelings of inadequacy, loss, and depression.
Or what if I’m just crabby on Valentine’s Day, or something happens and my husband and I get into some kind of argument? It’s, like, ten times worse if it happens on this specific day, because of the unrealistic expectation that everything concerning love is magically perfect on February 14th. Suddenly, I’ve convinced myself that I’m a failure at love, when in fact I’m not, I’m just PMSing.
Real love is ugly, messy, and hard, and sometimes it hurts. It’s also beautiful, fulfilling, and can leave you breathless. None of that changes because someone (Hallmark) says love, somehow, should be extra special on this calendar date. It’s too much pressure. Love just is what it is, regardless of how you want it to be.