Opinion: Why I don’t need Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is upon us once again, but Sarah Remsky explains why it’s not for her
No matter where you look, there are heart-holding teddy bears, love-themed greeting cards, piles of chocolate and pralines and, as if it needed reminding, thousands of posters telling you that Valentine’s Day is coming on February 14, this Saturday. But while the whole of London is seemingly turned on by the idea of a day full of love, I need to say that it rather turns me off.
I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day and I will not start this year. I won’t buy a heart-shaped card or flowers. I won’t attend a Valentine’s event – or an anti-Valentine’s event, for that matter. What I will do, instead, is treat the 14th like any other day.
And this is not because I do not have a boyfriend. I have one, in fact, and we have decided that we want to resist all the commercialised frill and fuss surrounding Valentine’s Day. According to a study by the online dating platform eHarmony, Brits will spend around £1.9 billion for presents and going out this Valentine’s Day, making it one of the greatest retail events during the year, second only to Christmas.
The term ‘retail event’ here is exactly what destroys the idea of the day of love for me. We should listen to what the Beatles told us all along, namely that you “Can’t Buy Me Love”. It might sound cheesy, but love is not about overwhelming someone with presents – this is just a cheap and easy way of showing one’s feelings, in my opinion.
However, many feel the need to join the Valentine’s Day circus,only because everyone else does. As a new poll by Offers.com has shown, 13% of men feel “obliged” to celebrate on February 14 which is rather depressing. In the same poll, 55% of women and 51% of men said they celebrated Valentine’s Day to spend quality time with their partner.
I wonder what it tells us about our society that we need a special day for spending quality time with our partner – once a year. I would probably pronounce my relationship dead if our ‘quality time’ was comprised of one day in mid-February.
It almost seems like we need a reason, a Valentine’s Day, to express our love for each other, rather than giving love to each other and spending precious time together all year round. And that is the very reason why I despise Valentine’s Day, because it’s an effortless one-day chance for couples to make up for all the loveless time they had throughout the rest of the year.
As I said before, my boyfriend and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Yet, last year, he sent me flowers and a card anyway. The card read: “I don’t need Valentine’s Day to tell you that I love you. That I am sending you this today is a coincidence, really, because I love you all year long.”
Featured image by LibAmanda, Flickr