What Valentine’s Day?

Happy Valentine's Day
Image by Abby Lanes via Flickr

Over the course of my relationship, and even before, I’ve been aware of a startling fact: some people really hate Valentine’s Day. Some people would like to shoot Cupid with a deer rifle if he got within range. It’s not that they simply dislike the commercialism of the holiday; they hate everything about the day.

I know some men (and it’s mostly men, in my experience) who say that they dislike the holiday because men and women in relationships should show each other love and attention everyday. They think that too much emphasis is placed on one day and that women will forget everything else you’ve done for them and focus in on what you didn’t do on that day. Being that I consider myself a defender of all things love, you may find it odd that I agree with this.

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating Sweetest Day (if you know when it is). There’s nothing wrong with setting aside some time to spend together and do something special. Relationships can be hard work, so you should indulge in some time that’s only meant to be fun and loving and special.

That sets aside, of course, using Valentine’s Day to make up for what you did last week or forgetting a special day. That precludes using Valentine’s Day as the only day when you do that thing that he/she likes. This prevents using Valentine’s Day as a barometer for the relationship.

Valentine’s Day, if indeed you choose to celebrate it, should be a time out of the relationship just for love. At least, that’s always what I imagined it to be pre-boyfriends. I was very content to spend Valentine’s Day alone. It was just another day, only this one was marked special for love. Instead of being upset I didn’t have a Valentine, I decided to take time out to show someone very special, someone with whom a good relationship was usually work, love–ME! I made myself mixtapes, bought myself a pizza and a romantic movie–I even bough myself a white teddy bear wearing heart shaped shades one year. I treated myself to a pedicure. I walked along watching the sunset. I made myself a special meal. I took myself to dinner and a movie. I bought myself books. I loved myself in all of the best ways.

I didn’t remind myself about all the exercising I’d promised to do but hadn’t. I didn’t tell myself that I was only doing this for Valentine’s Day and my birthday. I didn’t remind myself of all of these indulgences when I was getting down on myself and tell myself things like “If I didn’t love you I wouldn’t have done [blah blah blah] for you on Valentine’s Day!” I wasn’t disappointed with myself for not getting me what I really wanted. I didn’t feel inadequate when I couldn’t afford what I really wanted to get myself. It was a day out of time just to celebrate the love I had for myself everyday, even if I was normally too busy working on improving myself to show it in the ways I would like (because working at a relationship is showing love, but it doesn’t always FEEL like it).

And that’s all Valentine’s Day really is/should be to me.

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? I gave you my two cents; leave yours.

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