Valentine’s Day isn’t about love anymore

Valentine’s Day: the day of love. For those in romantic relationships, it is an opportunity to express one’s appreciation and commitment to their lover. For those not, it is a sappy love-fest that piques either jealousy or denial. 

But now, Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem to be entirely about love anymore.

When you think of Valentine’s Day, certain objects come to mind: boxes of low-quality chocolates, teddy bears, jewelry, red roses, and bottles of cheap wine. These objects have come to epitomize what the day of love ought to look like: an exchange of gifts and “I love yous.” Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars on Feb. 14 to display their affection. It’s as if all one needs to do to express their love is put down a chunk of cash. Valentine’s Day is no longer about loving one’s significant other: it is about gifting them commercialized products.

In the days leading up to Feb. 14, the pressure to buy memorable gifts is placed upon people, often creating stress, both mentally and financially. How can a person possibly display all of their feelings through something tangible? Does more money spent mean that you love your partner more? Moreover, what gifts are romantic and proper enough?

It is easiest to stick to the tried and true items most often associated with Valentine’s Day. But, chocolates and roses only represent love because corporate industries have told us so. Companies market their products to appeal to themes of love by adding red and pink packaging bedazzled in hearts. This convinces consumers that what they are buying has an element of romance, making it fit to give. In fact, Americans dish out $4.3 billion on jewelry, $2 billion on flowers, and $1.7 billion on candy on the day of love. Valentine’s Day is a holiday in which corporations are most joyful.

With such emphasis on buying and giving gifts, one may forget what Valentine’s Day is all about. It is easy to get lost in the fine print and overlook the main cause of why you’re spending money in the first place.

So this Valentine’s Day, remember that gifts do not have to symbolize your love; they are not the end-all-be-all to your relationship. Instead, invest your time, not your money. Time is fleeting; memories are infinitely more valuable than a handheld object. And then, maybe treat yourself to discount chocolates the day after.

8 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day isn’t about love anymore

  • March 8, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    I agree that Valentine’s day is very commercialized. Now it’s more about buying gifts for those you love than spending time with those you love. Everything gets marked up for valentines day, even at school, they sell candy grams to give to friends. It’s less about the emotional sentiment and more about the product.

  • February 23, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    I agree that Valentine’s day isn’t all about love. Most people nowadays give it to family and friends. I also agree that it’s not just about buying something for a girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse but appreciating your loved ones and making memories with them. I knew that people spend lots of money on Valentine’s day, but I didn’t know it was that much. Especially how Americans spend $4.3 billion on jewelry, $2 billion on flowers, and $1.7 billion on candy for Valentine’s Day.

  • February 23, 2022 at 11:50 am

    I agree that Valentine has become more based on products and money. People have gone into the mindset where the more money you spend the better the boyfriend or girlfriend you are. And I also think that it’s the thought that counts. If you want to give your significant other a specialized gift either something expensive to show that you will sacrifice any amount of work to make them happy or a handmade gift that sacrifices time. But bottom line, I think Valentine’s has become more superficial and commodified, and the best way to show love is through affection and time.

  • February 23, 2022 at 11:46 am

    I’ve never really thought about Valentine’s Day this way, but I agree that the focus of the holiday has become gift giving rather than showing love and affection in other ways. I like that the stress of buying gifts was mentioned, because it is very hard to try to show your feelings for a person through a material item. I also agree that memories and time are much more important and valuable than gifts.

  • February 23, 2022 at 8:52 am

    i agree with some of the things you said. You don’t need money to prove your love, and you definitely don’t need to spend a band on someone to try to prove your love. If that’s what you think or thats what youve been told than you are in an unhealthy relationship or have never had a true valentine. But i also disagree, this day isn’t about buying jewelry or chocolates, it is about showing that person that they are your priority. To hell with the expensive shit.

  • February 22, 2022 at 11:58 am

    This way of thinking of Valentine’s Day is very interesting because I have never thought of this way before. I’ve always thought of the same way by buying another person that you love or like with the generic items. I agree that memories are more important are better to do with someone instead of buying something with cash instead of buying their time with your own personality and just to genuinely spend time with them.

  • February 3, 2022 at 7:22 am

    This point of view about Valentines’ Day is one I’ve never thought about, and one that intrigues me. I love the quote, “Valentine’s Day is a holiday in which corporations are most joyful,” because that is very true and a side people don’t normally think about.

  • February 2, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    I agree; Valentine’s Day, as well as most other holidays, has been commodified. As someone who has never had a relationship, I love to show my appreciation for my friends on February 14th with the sweets and notes, which are still playing into the commercialization…

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