The problem with Valentine’s Day

heartsAccording to history and Catholic tradition, Valentine’s Day is named in honor of Saint Valentine. Valentine, also known as Valentinus, was a priest who would perform weddings under the Christian tradition in secret.

The pagan emperor of Rome had passed a law stating it was illegal for Roman soldiers to marry, but the young couples would see Valentinus, who would marry them in return for their prayers.

After Valentinus was killed, and made a saint, his feast day was popularly celebrated among young couples. It was a day that promoted marriage and true love through giving flowers to the female.

Love is not exclusively shown through one’s ability to spend huge amounts of money. There is already enough stress in a relationship between two young people and the idea that a perfect Valentine’s Day is necessary only adds to the pressure of that relationship.

When we add the expectation of a flawless Valentine’s Day or receiving many gifts, we end up with high expectations which leads to disappointment. This is especially true for those couples who tend to expect a lot from each other.

There is too much emphasis on the primitive ideas of romance and love in the commercial world. Our society does not promote the true meaning of the holiday, because it is not seen as “marketable.”

Companies and the media have seen this day as an opportunity to make extra money off of the people who are trying to either impress or please their significant other.

Another example of the stupidity of Valentine’s Day is society’s emphasis on gift giving. This is one of the biggest days that people buy and sell flowers, maybe with the exception of Mother’s Day. In children’s schools, kids give each other little valentines with candy. Teenage girls who are dating expect some token of love from their significant other. There has become an increase in the expectation of receiving presents. The idea of giving presents to show the ability to love is irrelevant. Love should not be based upon how many presents one can give. It instead should be based upon the concern of another’s welfare or well-being.

When the true idea of love and the meaning of it has become distorted, a false definition replaces it. The idea of giving a gift to someone to “get with them” should not be what fuels a day that celebrates love. When we give something to a special someone, most especially the “love of our life,” it should be done out of care and affection. And, when receiving something from someone that we love, instead of judging what we receive, we should be thankful that someone cares enough about us to spend time and money on us.

Why spend more time stressing about how to express one’s love and devotion on one day a year? Why not take the time to show love the rest of the year?
These expectations and stereotypes is thanks to our society and mass media. All too often, we submit to the pressures of the media, which is controlled by multimillion dollar companies. These companies care about the money that they make, not about the stability of their customers’ romantic relationship. Valentine’s Day should not be the only day that couples show each other love, and it should not be used as an excuse to “show off” unnecessary affection in public.