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An open letter to Valentine’s Day

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| UPDATED bitter Cambridge i am bitter love valentine's day

Dear Valentine's Day,

WHAT is your problem? Actually, scratch that, I can list numerous problems with you. The real question is why do you even exist? What is your purpose? Supposedly you're here to spread love, romance, and joy – but realistically, February 14th is not a happy occasion for many. According to extensive research on questionable Buzzfeed-esque sites, 40% of the population associate Valentine's day with negative emotions. This is not surprising.

For single people who want to be in relationships, you are just a reminder of their loneliness. For single people who are content as they are, you conjure up memories of our crappy and awkward past relationships. For couples, you come with an expectation of unnecessary and impractical spending. You jeopardise friendships, you spur competition, and you force people to question their own self-worth. Basically, you are a fiend of hell.

Everything's a bit shit on Valentine's Day; quality declines. We eat crappy, tiny heart-shaped chocolates instead of a staple bar of luscious Dairy Milk. We pretend to be overjoyed on receipt of a cringe-worthy teddy bear that mutters 'I love you' in a sickeningly high-pitched voice when you squeeze its belly, even though we know it's going into a box in the attic as soon as possible. We suffer through an overpriced meal in a noisy and cramped restaurant where we have no privacy because double the amount of couples have been crammed in for one night, and where we can barely see our loved one because of the 'atmospheric' lighting. Frankly, the only Valentine's I want to receive on Wednesday is from my mum! #true love.

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Thanks mum xxx

Valentine's Day, you turn me into a bitter Marxist. Out of nowhere, I begin vitriolically condemning capitalism: your creator and sustainer. In some ways, I am amazed that you have managed to establish yourself so securely in the calendar of the Western world. You haven't even bothered to come up with some sort of myth of historical significance; perhaps I'd at least have a level of respect for you if there was a tale of a famous Roman couple exchanging shitty heart-shaped gifts, or if Odysseus revealed himself to the long-awaiting Penelope on the 14th February with a card and a bouquet of flowers from the distant land of Valentine. But no. Technically you are a celebration of a Christian saint, but we both know that you've drifted too far away from that lineage to use it as justification. You are as meaningless in history as you are in the path of love, you lazy bourgeouis establishment.

The only positive things to have come out of your existence are the anti-Valentine's Day movements. Thank goodness for the counter-revolution of 'Galentine's Day' celebrating friendships without the monetary pressure of gifts. Even better, events that challenge your narrow-minded and limited heteronormativity shine a little light of progression in the darkness of under-met expectations.

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No teddies were harmed in the making of this article.

I look forward to your demise when the people seize the means of reproduction.

Kind regards and best wishes,

A girl who is so done with relationships that her only option is to become an academic, fuelled by the adoration of her students, and then retire in the south of France alone with her cats and unhealthy Pinot Grigio habit.