Valentine’s Day is the worst holiday of the year and here’s every single reason why

I’m the Grinch of love, wbu?

Valentine’s Day is my least favourite holiday by far. Yet it’s also the holiday I feel the most pressure on. Why? The toxic idea we need to show the world how utterly in love we are and there’s some sense of shame if we are single.

Stop binge watching those unrealistic romance films and let me be the Grinch of love. Here’s all the reasons why I hate this holiday and you should too:

There’s way too much pressure regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or not

Now I get this year is slightly different but normally there’s the pressure if you’re single to find a date and if you don’t the evening consists eating chocolate you bought for yourself and crying over a bottle of wine watching Bridget Jones. I would say ignoring it and doing uni work but I’m just being realistic here.

Even this year single people may find themselves socially distancing from their household in order to wallow in their bedroom about their non-existent love life. All because of a holiday that makes them think they should. I’m all for wallowing but I’ll do it when I’m actually sad about my love life (or just about the lack of no detriment that Soton has gifted us), not because I feel obligated to.

For those in a relationship there’s always the pressure of do I get presents? What should we do? If one person goes all out, it makes them feel guilty for overdoing it and leaves their partner feeling guilty for not overdoing it. I’m normally the former in this because I love giving gifts and I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of times I’ve bought gifts for Valentine’s to be met with “oh I’m not getting you anything” or “I’m breaking up with you”. And then what (besides playing Drivers License on repeat)?

There’s always an expectation that you should have sex (or something more Covid-friendly this year)

My inbox is full to the brim of emails such as “Your favourite lingerie deal just in time for Valentine’s Day” and “Spice up your video date with this little number”. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be all about sex.

I am 100 per cent all for wearing lingerie and dressing up nice when you want to – sometimes you’re just in the mood to. But am I going to pressure myself to think that on a random day in February? Yes, probably but I really want to say no.

For many people right now the thought of sex is about as far off as the girls’ trip to Italy I never got to go on last year. Just because most people can’t this year doesn’t make it any less of a problem. If you’re not in the mood then don’t do it. If you are, great. But you shouldn’t feel like you HAVE to.

It gets way too expensive

The dreaded love tax. It’s hard enough being a student, let alone one trying to impress their partner. Portswood Sainsburys has had its Valentine’s aisle up for a little while now and it’s full of overpriced chocolate, alcohol and flowers. Everywhere you look there’s some gooey-eyed partner trying to work out what to get their partner. Move out of my way Barbara, let me get my cookies in peace.

So you’ve already spent a bunch of money on some generic gifts and then what? If you do nothing, people judge you and if you do something it looks like you’re rubbing your relationship in other people’s faces. There really is no winning solution.

It encourages comparison which can be toxic

We have been raised to compare ourselves to pretty much everyone and Valentine’s Day seems to be the time to compare your love life. It’s not healthy and it certainly should not be normal.

If you’re single you normally look at your friends in relationships with either a sense of longing or disgust. What happened to simply being happy for other people? If you’re in a relationship you tend to compare your relationship with those around you. No two relationships are the same and so comparing them is pretty silly. And don’t even get me started on the cliché of people proposing on Valentine’s Day or making it official.

My point is, if you are choosing to celebrate Valentine’s Day it’s important to make the day about your relationship. Not other people’s. Cosy up in your little happy loved up world for a day and leave the comparisons out.

It can be difficult when you’re single

I know some people are genuinely fine being single on Valentine’s Day but maybe it’s your first one after a break up and all you can think about is your ex. And no, it is not the day to be texting them either.

Sometimes even when you’re happy not being in a relationship you feel a little bit lost. It’s ok to not want to be attached to someone and enjoy being single! There are countless reasons why being single on Valentine’s Day is tough and one of the only saving graces is the discounted chocolate you can buy on the 15th.

Sometimes it can make you rush into things

Your love life should not be dictated by Valentine’s Day anymore than your diet should be dictated by whether it’s a new year. Newsflash, they’re both commercialised concepts that aren’t healthy for you.

Rushing into something when you’re not ready will make you regret it, if you are happy with where you are currently then why change that? If you are genuinely ready then obviously that’s great but don’t be tricked into thinking you are because your partner went to Portswood Aldi and picked you up some flowers.

You shouldn’t be doing it out of obligation

If you feel like Valentine’s Day is a chore or that it’s too much effort then just don’t bother. If you don’t spoil your partner randomly or do little thoughtful acts then maybe consider trying that instead of having one big gesture on a random day in February.

You should want to show your partner that you care and not because you’re obligated to follow the calendar. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain all the time about buying presents. Don’t bother if it’s causing you that much grief. I don’t give gifts to expect them in return. I do it because I want to.

It can make you hide from issues in your relationship

It’s almost like because it’s February, you feel like you should be loved up and happy no matter what red flags are popping up. It will end in tears if you ignore them. And this year it will be even worse because you won’t be able to drown your sorrows in Jesters over a Juicy Lucy or ten.

And the whole “it was Christmas so we couldn’t break up, then it was Valentine’s Day so we couldn’t break up” is so silly. You shouldn’t be pressured to stay in a relationship for a bunch of over-commercialised holidays. Don’t waste your time.

The ‘typical’ gifts don’t show thought yet we’re raised to think it’s the best gift ever

I remember having a conversation with one of my friends a while back about the fact no one has ever bought us flowers. It was a case of us wanting flowers but not wanting to ask our partners for them because it’s not that special if you have to tell someone you want them. But on Valentine’s Day I almost feel like flowers is an easy way out. Did you get them because you thought I would like them or because they were right in front of you when you walked into Portswood Sainsburys?

Buy me something I’d like not something society tells you to buy me. And if it’s really that hard to think outside of that tiny box then don’t bother buying me anything at all.

You shouldn’t dedicate one day to love

I’m a firm believer in showing people you care in little ways throughout the year instead of one massive gesture once a year.

I’m often told I care too much but I don’t think there is such a thing. Especially at the moment it is so important to check in on the people you care about. Once a year doesn’t really cut it. It doesn’t have to be about your partner, it’s about everyone you care for. Little, random acts of kindness can really make someone’s day.

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