Valentine’s Day is pointless and here’s why

Valentine’s Day is terrible for two kinds of people: those who are single and those who aren’t.

Back in elementary school, every time Valentine's Day rolled around we would make cards for everyone in our class so we all felt included and loved. Now the day seems to be about the reaffirmation of an existing relationship and making others feel excluded and alone.

When I was little I was mystified by the idea of Valentine's Day. To me, celebrating love seemed magical. But it was my freshman year of high school and I walked into the bathroom to see a senior crying over her boyfriend who didn't deliver on Valentine’s Day gifts.

Suddenly the rose-colored glasses I had always worn for this loved up holiday disappeared. I went home that day feeling as though I lost my innocence, and thinking I had become just as cynical as my older sister.

I think it really hits you that Valentine’s Day is just a commercial holiday, when you start learning about capitalism.

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Photograph by Kai Medina | The Tab Bu

In the days leading up to the 14th, we are bombarded with hearts and pink decorations galore. Everywhere from Target stores to restaurants, we were constantly reminded to not screw up and give something to our loved ones, so companies can profit off our obligations.

I’m not entirely against the day. I just don’t think it’s worth shelling out hundreds of dollars for. For jewelers, greeting card manufacturers, chocolatiers and restaurants owners, this is the most bankable day of the year.

According to the US Greeting Card Association, about 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent throughout the world each year, fewer only than Christmas. No surprise here the only people benefiting from the Hallmark Holiday are greeting card companies who’ve placed a market value on love (and some buzz words that convey it).

However, Valentine’s Day is terrible for two kinds of people: those who are single and those who aren’t.

For those who are single it is a grim reminder they do not have a “special someone” in their life. Not a totally great feeling, am I right?

But honestly the day seems to be the worst for people who are actually in a relationship. The rest of us who are single can simply choose to ignore the day or spend it with friends. But, when you’re in a relationship the last thing you want to do is ignore the day and end up questioning your relationship/significant other.

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Photograph by Kai Medina | The Tab BU

My issue is not about people expressing their feelings, it's about the high expectations that come with that expression of love on Valentine's Day. Each year, a majority of us face a societal pressure to be romantic with our loved one on this day. We hold them to a higher standard than any other day and are more susceptible to disappointment when comparing what they did for us versus what the rest of social media did that day. But shouldn’t romance be organic, and shouldn't couples get to choose the moment to be romantic?

I understand Valentine’s Day sincere purpose to bring people together, but how many of you have had fights on Valentine’s Day because of the day itself?

Valentine’s Day has a clouded history. But one of the more accepted theories is that the holiday marks the day “birds begin to pair,” which is the day they choose their mate. So it’s mind blowing to me that because birds decided to “get it on” people have to shell out $100 on roses.

All this hoopla over cards and gifts is purely commercialized and statistics showed that in 2013, consumers spent $1.6 billion on candy alone. Imagine how this also helps the dental and diet industry.

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Photograph by Kai Medina | The Tab BU

Despite all this, I still like the idea of Valentine’s day. But whether you decide to celebrate it or not this year, do it because you want to and remember that love should be celebrated every day. Romance is nice to have but Valentines Day shouldn't be limited to dates or Anti-valentines day bashes. The 14th doesn't define the love you feel for your friends or family – so why not make them feel special tomorrow?

But do remember the price of chocolate drops by 50% the next day, so play capitalism at it's own game and treat yourself (and someone you love) to that sale.