Counter-Point: Valentine's Day is for long-term lovers

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WEB-valentines couples-mark burnham
Single folk, get over your hate-on for V-day; you have every other day of the year

By Rachel Braeuer
Photos by Mark Burnham

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I hate commercialization as much as the next person. I’m not happy that on Jan. 1 there’s already displays with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and gorillas holding flowers and wiener-dogs magnetically making out with one another, nor am I pleased that the sweat-shop factory that undoubtedly made the randy wieners and love-struck silverbacks exists and is profiting from false facsimiles of love. But as a recently single person coming out of an almost four-year-long relationship, I’m not perturbed by their existence or sentiment, because I know they’re not for me.

Single people don’t need Valentine’s Day because their lives are already great by virtue of being single. The commercial hype around Valentine’s Day acts as a necessary reminder for people in long-term relationships that they don’t actually hate each other. I know it sounds bad, but it’s true. If you’re in a loving, committed, healthy relationship, you shouldn’t need a reminder to tell the person or people you’re with that you love them and appreciate them being in your life. It’s easy to say that when you don’t have to share a bed with the same person every fucking night, steeping in one another’s farts and sweat, willing them to stop breathing so fucking loud and fantasizing about how you’d kill them while trying to pull the blanket they’ve decided to cocoon themselves in out from underneath their ass so you can regain feeling in your feet.

There’s a certain point you get to in long-term, cohabitating bliss where you take them for granted because for all intents and purposes you can. They’re always fucking there.

When you just want to spread out on the couch, they’re there, hogging the illustrious end-spot. When you have a night out planned with your friends, they’re there, claiming you never include them in your social life despite the fact that they’re the only human being you’ve seen all week besides coworkers and classmates. They are there for most waking and non-waking moments of your life, and no matter how wonderful they are, that gets tedious after a while.

So on Valentine’s Day morning, when you awake only to find your boo has forgotten to pay the cable bill (again) and left all their breakfast dishes on the coffee table (again) with last night’s pyjamas in a heap beside the couch (again), that stupid gift — whether it’s a stuffed version of your favourite animal (they remembered!), or CD of that band you listened to when you used to go for long night drives together and look at the stars (why did you stop doing that?), or just a cute, store-bought card given over a dinner out (no dishes!) with something from the heart written on the inside — might be the only thing that saves your partner(s) from their imminent death. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and stop appreciating those closest to you when you get minimal
to no distance to make your heart grow fonder, especially if you’re dealing with final papers and a job at the same time. Sometimes, you simply need a reminder.

If a stupid, commercialized holiday is what makes someone remember that their significant other doesn’t complain about the sock-balls they leave
between the couch cushions or that their partner accepts the little white paper specks attached to their jeans because they always forget to check pockets for tissues before doing laundry, let those poor bastards have their one happy day a year besides their anniversary.

When you’re spread out on the couch covered in chocolate wrappers, tears, and quinoa on Valentine’s, be happy you can have the couch to yourself and that no one is going to passive aggressively make comments about the mess you made the next morning.