Screw Valentine’s Day

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here’s a new commercialized beast in town, and it comes stomping in red, white, and pink.

The Christmas decorations have now been replaced with useless heart mobiles, and you’re choking on Kim Kardashian’s latest attempt at perfume. Every radio station is playing some love song and the timeless debate regarding the true contents of candy hearts have started appearing on your timeline.

It’s Valentine’s Day, yet again.

You’re probably thinking that I’m just a bitter single person that loathes Valentine’s Day because I have no one to spend it with. Ha ha. I assure you that I am not a romance killjoy. However, I simply don’t see the necessity of the occasion. So this is my red-hot cinnamon heart take on why we should abolish America’s favourite sickly-sweet day of the year.

I am all for love and being ‘lovey-dovey’ with your significant other — but shouldn’t you already be doing that, regardless of the day? Valentine’s Day isn’t an on-off switch that controls your romance levels. There is no magic dust in the air on Valentine’s Day that makes you fall in love with your significant other even more.

However, Cadbury and Hallmark want you to think otherwise. They have no problem playing the guilt card if you walk out of their stores empty-handed. They don’t care what you buy, as long as you buy something; something big and bold that screams “I love you!”

According to a study by Shop.org, in 2015, the average American shopper planned on spending  $142.31 on Valentine’s Day. Cumulatively, last year, Valentine’s Day spending was “expected to reach $18.9 billion,” according to the National Retail Federation. That is a scary amount of money to be spending — money that some people feel obligated to spend ‘because everyone else is doing it.’ But when did Valentine’s Day become a contest? When did our love become measured by how extravagant our gifts are?

As it turns out, this sense of obligation and competition might prevent potential heartbreak. A study conducted by the Statistic Brain Research Institute found that 53 percent of women would end their relationship if they didn’t receive anything on February 14.

Here lies the downfall of Valentine’s Day. These women (and sometimes men) weren’t expecting any kind of gift on the days before February 14, so what makes this day the exception? We’ve conditioned ourselves to expect something heart-shaped or chocolate-covered that we almost feel disappointed if we don’t receive anything.

Case in point: remember that horrible feeling you felt in elementary school when your red and pink paper bag wasn’t filled with as many Disney Valentine’s cards and cheap chocolate as your best friend’s?

I’m still bitter about that, by the way.

If you truly appreciate someone, let them know at every opportunity you can find. Once in a while, bouquets of her favourite flowers or tickets to see his favourite team are nice, don’t get me wrong. But we shouldn’t expect our significant others to spend excessive dollars on gifts just because it’s one of America’s favourite corporate holidays. Love isn’t measured by the message on those chalk hearts, the number of roses in the bouquet, or the price of champagne at dinner.

It’s no secret that today’s society has become increasingly enamoured with consuming material things. So, instead of waiting for Valentine’s Day to tell that special someone that we love them, and to shower them with romantic trinkets that will give your dentist a headache, let’s just scrap the day altogether and say “I love you” more often.

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