Love is in the air and retail companies are racking it in. Valentine’s Day is an over-commercialized holiday that is based on giving to receive love. This holiday creates unnecessary pressure on relationships and should not promote the expression of love for one day only.
As the New Year begins, retail stores are stocking their shelves with tacky, overpriced gifts, preparing for Valentine’s Day. Big businesses use this holiday to manipulate people into spending excessive amounts of money for their loved one. Marketers convince people that they are obliged to spoil their partners because it is ‘tradition’.
This holiday is becoming more important about gifts and less about love. The values of gifts are rated by quantity and expense, rather than sentimental meaning. It can cause some people to become materialistic and measure how much someone loves them by what that person buys them.
Each year people experience stress trying to find the perfect gift for their significant other. Failure to do so can create unpleasant feelings or tension in the relationship. Getting the ‘wrong’ gift can give off the wrong message and upset his or her partner. When a person is able to get the ‘right’ gift, the next year that person will have more pressure to exceed last year’s standards.
When those in a relationship do not participate in Valentine’s Day, particularly men, they are labeled as frugal and apathetic. Many people are guilt tripped into getting their partner a gift because they would be looked down upon in society if they do not. No one should feel obligated to get someone else a present because it is Valentine’s Day; a meaningless card is equivalent to nothing at all.
Society’s norms create the sexist expectation that males must cater and pamper females on this day. Valentine’s Day is a female holiday; men are expected to give, but not receive. Advertisement, commercials, and even television shows promote the idea of men showering women with gifts to earn love or sexual favors in return.
Valentine’s Day creates the illusion of buying love. That spoiling someone with expensive gifts will magically win their heart. Companies take advantage of the naïve by persuading them to believe that the only way to express their love is with luxurious presents and fine dining.
Another name for Valentine’s Day is Singles’ Awareness Day. Some people may be able to ignore Valentine’s Day, but it is a constant reminder to single people that they do not have someone special to share this day with. Couples publically display their love, unknowingly boasting their happiness to those who are lonely; making those who are alone feel inadequate and depressed.
Valentine’s Day promotes expressing one’s love – for only one day. It should not have to serve as a reminder to let someone know that you love them. Love is complicated and should come naturally, not artificially through expensive gifts.
Who ever said love is only between couples? Not being in love does not mean you cannot celebrate Valentine’s Day; this holiday is what you make of it. Go appreciate someone you love, whether it is a parent, a sibling, or even a close friend.