For florists and chocolatiers, business is booming this week thanks to the commercial spectacle called Valentine’s Day.
To me, February 14 shouldn’t be the one and only day couples express their love for one another in grand romantic gestures, material gifts or two-dozen long stemmed roses. Singling one day out of the entire year isn’t how you should show your partner affection.
I’ve had my share of above and beyond romantic gestures and I am glad to say they weren’t heightened and over the top on Valentine’s Day. That’s what romance should be all about: being spontaneous and in the moment. The sweet surprises are much more meaningful than going all out on the day where everyone competes to see who can be the most creative in their delivery of cookie bouquets.
In short, Valentine’s Day has become more about material artificiality than a genuine celebration of love.
I’m all for expressing love in whichever way anyone chooses. But the problem here isn’t being in love or showing your partner love. It’s the fact that February 14 holds so many expectations and forces us to express love in a more extravagant way than we normally would. At the same time, it seems like Valentine’s Day is inherently clouded by a veil of judgment if you choose not to celebrate it.
You shouldn’t need a card from Hallmark stuffed into a bouquet of roses to symbolize your love for one another. The pressure that society puts on people to do something special on Valentine’s Day is influential and powerful, and convinces many that it should be a big deal.
One Valentine’s Day, my special someone ensured to do his best, but he knew better than to save up all his romance for the one day alone. He knew that love and romance shouldn’t be summed up into one day, but rather shines brighter on unexpected, random occasions. He did acknowledge the day and decided to take the homemade gift route, which was much more meaningful to me and less materialistic.
One of the most romantic things he ever did was whisk me off to another town to spend the day with me. It was spontaneous and completely random; it occurred in the middle of October when I least expected it. It wasn’t saved for the day when everyone tries to live up to society’s expectations.
Love. That’s what it’s about. But it’s not about dedicating only one day to your special someone. Take this day and spend it however you want with whomever you love, whether that’s a significant other, a sibling or your friends. After all, the hype of this day can also be a cruel reminder to some who don’t have that special someone in their life.