Comment competition runner-up: Is Valentine’s Day bad for relationships?

February 2015
Palatinate Comment

First, let’s consider the origins of this ‘holiday’. Valentine’s Day is named after a saint, Saint Valentine, who was actually executed. According to one story, he had his head lopped off. So when you celebrate Valentine’s Day you are actually celebrating the feast day of a very unlucky guy, not exactly the best excuse for a romantic rendezvous with your partner, is it? Then, there’s the Valentine’s Day Massacre but let’s not get into that….
Can you tell I’m single? I should probably get that out of the way, as if it might somehow invalidate my comments if I later rely on something I failed to mention. I am single but perhaps that makes me more qualified than anyone to see just how bad Valentine’s Day can be.

I’ve seen the way previously cool and collected friends start cooing over boyfriends and wondering what they will get for the ‘big day’. The answer is usually a box of chocolates or wine, no surprises there.

Valentine’s Day creates a culture where you are expected to express your feelings for your significant goods through material goods rather than words or actions. That will always lead to disappointment or even unfair comparisons. If your current boyfriend isn’t interested in grandiose shows of affection then that doesn’t mean he cares for you any less.

Be honest. While that box of Thorntons was a thoughtful gift, was it really necessary? After all, Valentine’s Day is a construct and it’s just another day, sandwiched between two ordinary days days. Well,that’s a lie. The day before is arguably more important. It is Friday the 13th, a day for superstition and fear, which is both rarer and more intriguing than Valentine’s Day.

I’ll grant that Valentine’s Day can be lovely when you are in a relationship but when you aren’t, or when that relationship is still being defined, it can be uncomfortable. In both your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend and also the way in which you feel about yourself, Valentine’s Day can be either an immensely uplifting or an incredibly disheartening experience.

Which of these it is depends,unfortunately,on your own circumstances.

Happy Valentine’s Day?


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