It’s almost that time again: hearts, red roses, and boxes of chocolates will be flying around and taking the enamel off our teeth like a sweet tsunami. A great time for all those love-struck couples around us, of course. For the rest of us, not so much! For weeks, we’re bombarded with Valentine’s Day leaflets, emails, billboards, posters, and commercials. Even if you live under a rock, you just can’t escape it. And let’s be honest; if you don’t like Valentine’s Day, it’s just very frustrating.
Maybe you’re the kind of person who doesn’t care much for Valentine’s Day, but doesn’t have a problem with it either. Or you’re happily single and don’t mind seeing all those couples in love around you. Good for you! But if you’d like to have a relationship or you’re in a relationship that maybe isn’t that happy anymore, then Valentine’s Day is an extra reminder that you don’t have it all together (yet).
And, even if you’re in a happy relationship, it’s stressful to find that perfect Valentine’s Day gift or come up with the perfect romantic date. So Valentine’s Day is actually fun for almost no one. Still not convinced? Here are some more reasons why Valentine’s Day is actually a terrible day.
It’s impossible to escape
If you don’t leave your house for a whole month, don’t receive any flyers, don’t open your mail, don’t use social media, and don’t turn on your TV, then there’s a chance that you won’t experience anything on Valentine’s Day. But since this is practically impossible, the harsh reality is that you’ll be bombarded with hearts, pink/red stuff, and corny Hallmark texts for weeks on end. Romance is everywhere. Have you ever been in a frustrated or sad mood trying to pick a film that doesn’t have a romantic storyline? It’s impossible!
Valentine’s Day traumas
If you’re one of those people who received a whole pile of roses and Valentine’s Day cards from friends and secret admirers in high school, you can skip this point. But most of us were just unlucky and got nothing at all (or once a single rose or card from your best friend. It’s nice, but not the same). And even though you almost never think about it anymore, every year around February 14, that feeling of being left out comes back. Valentine’s Day just leaves a trail of childhood traumas.
Being alone suddenly feels weird
Even if you’re perfectly happy with your single life and used to being alone at home, there’s suddenly an uneasy feeling around Valentine’s Day. That nasty, gnawing feeling that you don’t belong or that you’re doing something wrong. And no matter how you fight it, it’s too persistent to completely banish it from your thoughts. Frustrating.
Giving gifts = stressful
During Valentine’s Day, there’s only one way to show your love: buying gifts. And if your gift turns out not to be such a success, or even worse, if your gift is worth less than what your partner bought for you, we can only conclude that you just don’t love your partner enough, right? Ugh, so stressful.
This brings us straight to the next point: the sky-high expectations around gifts. Every year, you have to surpass, or at least match, last year’s gift. Did you treat your partner to a weekend at Disneyland last year? Then you can forget it now, because you’re never going to beat that.
Being single is not a tragedy
Friends who are in relationships tend to shower their single friends with excessive pity when Valentine’s Day comes around. Sometimes, they even try to arrange blind dates for you to get rid of their pity and guilt. Umm… I’m perfectly happy alone in front of the TV with a pile of chocolate next to me, thank you very much.
Bad vibes from your friends
Do you think you’re safe from your friends’ comments when you’re in a relationship? Well, forget it! A common phenomenon is that your single friends suddenly start talking about your partner or your relationship in general in a condescending tone when Valentine’s Day comes around. Comfort yourself with the thought that it’s only because of the enormous pressure that Valentine’s Day puts on singles, and that after February 14, your friends will be back to their happy-go-lucky selves.
“A common phenomenon is that your single friends suddenly start talking about your relationship in a condescending tone as Valentine’s Day approaches.”
Platonic love is also love
The focus of Valentine’s Day is entirely on romantic love. But isn’t the purpose of this day to celebrate love in all its forms? What about the love between parents and children, love for your best friends and favourite colleagues, love for your brothers and sisters, grandparents, neighbours, cousins, uncles and aunts, etc.? These unconditional loves and bonds of friendship are just as worthy of happy celebration! But if you do that on Valentine’s Day, you’re immediately labelled as lonely and pathetic. Sigh. This battle cannot be won.
How do I survive Valentine’s Day?
So, how do you best deal with the frustration that Valentine’s Day brings? Well, Valentine’s Day is about love, right? And what is the greatest love of all? Right, self-love. So this is the perfect opportunity to be selfish for a day and think only of yourself (as far as that’s possible, of course). What do you like to do? What do you love? What gives you energy? Think about what you want to do and go for it! Lying on the couch and watching movies all day? That’s fine! Going out and being in the open air as much as possible? Great! Having a drink with friends? Nice! Buying a load of junk food and eating it on your own? Lovely! In this way, 14 February becomes a fun day for you too.
Hmm, maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so terrible after all ; )
What are you planning to do on Valentine’s Day this year?