Megan Ross ’15 – Opinion
Valentine’s Day is, well, irrelevant. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not some bitter single person who’s bracing themselves to watch yet another round of hearts and flowers to be traded amongst lovestruck couples. Okay, maybe I am, but that’s not where I’m coming from here. I’m not against the idea behind it–showing the affection you feel for your loved one–just the whole principle of having a day dedicated to being affectionate. Affection should be constant in a relationship, so a holiday celebrating it is a bit redundant. It’s like having a national holiday for wearing clothes or sleeping. It’s something that we should do anyways. However, in the case of Valentine’s Day, declaring your love for your significant other becomes an obligation rather than a natural expression of emotion. The holiday cheapens, it in a way.
Just about every person in a romantic relationship expects, whether or not they’ll admit it, to receive a box of chocolates, flowers, or at least a card. Giving one of these tokens to your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day won’t necessarily make you some fantastic girlfriend or boyfriend. You’ll just be hitting the mark. But if you should surprise your beau with the same gift on any random Tuesday, you’ll get some definite bonus points–because the gift is spontaneous, a natural part of a healthy relationship. It’s brought on by the passion you have rather than the obligation of the fourteenth day of the second month of every year.
I’m certainly not telling you to forego any and all celebration on Valentine’s Day. At this point, the holiday is here to stay, and your boyfriend or girlfriend probably won’t adore the idea of ignoring it. So go ahead. Shower them with balloons and teddy bears, but don’t let your Valentine gifting become an excuse to neglect your loved one later on. When March rolls around, don’t expect ride on last month’s box of chocolates. Affection should be ever-present in any relationship. So, without any kind of obligation, remind them how much you care. Bring flowers to her work because you know she’s had a stressful week. Cook him his favorite meal because you love the way he laughs. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gift. Sometimes, telling someone how much you care, just saying it out loud, means a lot more than anything wrapped in paper and bows. February 14th is a perfect time to express your love. But so is the 15th, and the 16th, and March 12th, and even October 27th.
The calendar doesn’t dictate when you care about someone. Don’t let it decide when you let them know.
Graphic by Megan Ross