A new approach to Valentine’s Day

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Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

I mean, c’mon. You know these are never good.

Maia Barnhart, Opinion Editor

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. A blatant and disgusting display of aggressively capitalistic, Hallmark-inspired consumerism where we are pushed to put on this front of being one of those unrealistically perfect couples who go on perfect dates and pick perfectly thoughtful gifts for one another. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook will tell you that the world is full of these idealistic twosomes and lead you to believe that there’s something wrong with you if you’re not part of one. It’s a candy-coated, overly-sweet, unnatural, unnecessary, and for some, straight-up unhealthy display of affection. 

It’s bullshit. The whole holiday has become just one big dumpster fire, and we’ve had enough of those over the past year.

As a concept, the holiday seems great: a day to celebrate love. How beautiful. So rather than falling victim to the materialistic garbage pit that is the modern version of the holiday, what if instead we took this Valentine’s Day as a time to reflect on and appreciate all the forms of love in our lives? 

Rather than focusing on making one person in our lives feel really good, which is incredibly stressful and puts us under a lot of pressure, what if we expanded our focus? After all, there are other times to celebrate romantic love, such as anniversaries and birthdays. Plus, in areas such as the one we live in, Valentine’s Day falls during a time when many are suffering from the worst of their seasonally-induced depression. This makes it very difficult for them to work up the same level of enthusiasm they may otherwise feel and making the whole idealistic “perfect day” that much more unattainable. 

What if rather than having a day where we come up with some grand gesture for one person, we spend some time doing small things for everyone? Call your mom. Bake cookies for a friend. Show yourself some love and take an hour to do something that makes you happy. Don’t become just another cog in the capitalist machine. Forget that overpriced box of subpar chocolates, your perfect, candlelit dinner date and just find something to do that truly brings you and those you love joy. Unless terrible chocolate and expensive dates just so happen to do that, in which case have at it.