I Love Valentine's Day

So shoot me. I do. I love it, and not just because I’m currently in a happy relationship, which guarantees that someone is required by law to present me with chocolate on an otherwise innocuous Tuesday. I was single as a cat-engulfed Carrie Bradshaw last year at this time, and I still loved the holiday. I liked getting a card with a crisp-ass ten dollar bill from my grandmother (shots are on mémère tonight, guys!), I liked baking some cookies for friends and coworkers, I liked getting myself some discount chocolate boxes the day after. It’s pleasant to be surrounded by heart-shaped reminders to tell each other we love each other, that we are important in each other’s lives.

Perhaps the people that get so upset about Valentine’s Day are the ones who think it can only apply to a romantic partner past the age of 10, when you are forced to give a card to everyone you’ve ever come in contact with at school. If you build it up as some once-yearly survey to decide whether or not you are worthy of being loved, then yeah, it’s probably pretty depressing. But if you can stock up on cheesy cards and hearts with sayings on them, giving them out to friends and family because, hey, they are actually deserving of your affection as well — it’s actually a rather pleasant day.

And I am aware that it is an EeeEevil CooOoOrporate HooOoliday created by the Hallmark company to suck our souls out through our wallets, but so what? All holidays start somewhere, and atheists can still enjoy the Christmas season. Cadbury Eggs taste just as delicious on Easter without understanding how a bunny that incubates externally is somehow connected to Jesus rising. We can still break out the Doctor Girlfriend costume on Halloween, regardless of whether we actually feel a stronger tie to All Saint’s Day. Let’s be honest, our birthdays aren’t exactly the most hallowed event of the year, but we still celebrate them to their fullest (if we so choose). Why deny ourselves a chance to draw hearts with arrows through them and eat prix fixe meals for two at restaurants that are otherwise outrageously expensive? A holiday’s a holiday, just enjoy it for what it is.

At this point, nothing is more cliche — or more roundly depressing — than hearing the walking, talking Cathy comics trudge through the 14th talking about how much they hate Valentine’s Day. Yeah, we get it, you remember how single you are. Yeah, enjoying the love of other people in your life is just not the same, and offering your aunt a heart-shaped box of chocolate body paint would probably offer the wrong message. We get it. But does talking about how much you hate it really make you feel any better? Why can’t you take the day of love as an opportunity to simply appreciate the love you do have — send your grandmother a VDay card back, call your mom just to wish her a happy holiday and thank her for helping you with the cards for class when you were little, or take your friend out for dinner to remind them that we can still treat each other to nice, considerate, loving things — even if we don’t expect to get laid at the end of it.

Valentine’s Day is exactly what we want it to be. If we want it to be a shameful, chocolate-smeared day of self-pity and envy, it can be. If we want it to be a day that represents love and treating each other — and ourselves — to something a little special, it can be. There’s no reason to hold to some ridiculous notion of obligation to be in a happy romantic relationship to enjoy things. After all, it’s just an arbitrary day chosen to sell greeting cards, right? TC mark

image – Jinx!

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


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  • Sara

    hells yeah! this is how im spending my valentines day. open to love and loving my friends and fam, and loving myself!

  • Sophia

    YES. THANK YOU FOR THIS! I’ve felt like this years. It’s an excuse to wear pink tights and bake cookies and tape corny cartoon valentines on your friends’ dormitory doors. I don’t understand people who insist on making it sad!

  • Vianca Pandit

     Finally someone who isn’t depressed about Valentine’s day. You put it just right Chelsea. Valentine’s day is awesome!! : D

  • http://twitter.com/KarolineZ Karoline Zacharer

    Thank you so much for this!

  • Anonymous

    Bravo! The problem with most people is that they look at it as a holiday that celebrates couples; in truth, it’s a holiday that celebrates LOVE. Love of friends, love of life, love of food and candy and passion.

  • http://twitter.com/iamthe0nly Jordana Bevan

    why does anyone hate a holiday about expressing love :( sure, some people get caught up in the material side of things, but if you really love someone or they really love you then neither of you will care about roses or watches or chocolate. it’s a day to come together and say “i love you” alongside all our fellow people. i tell my family i love them every day, but i think there’s something special about the purposefulness of valentine’s day (if we strip it of it’s halmark agenda).
    not a revolutionary idea :) but thank you for – as usual – being rational, chelsea. yay!!!

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

    Well you just inspired me to take myself and my friend out on a Vday date!

  • Robin

    I wish I had a Doctor Girlfriend costume.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    the best part is… there’s always leftover chocolates the next day

  • Mary

    Amen! I would like to add that even if it IS created by the card companies IT IS THE BEST IDEA THEY HAVE EVERY HAD!!! A day of LOVE?! AMAZING!!

  • Blah

    Tell this to my girlfriend. 

  • Jenny

    I don’t hate the holiday, but I do dislike the commercialization of it and other holidays. I don’t see the point in buying special chocolate or cards to celebrate love. There are better ways. I also prefer the surprise of getting a loved one something they’ll appreciate on random days. It’s much more appreciated than on a day where it’s expected. 

    Oh, and I did enjoy reading this article. You made good points, I just don’t agree with some of them. I especially liked the ending. 

  • Anonymous


  • Megan

    This was really nice to read; thanks so much for sharing! Happy Valentines Day! 

    Also, I called my grandma memere too : )

  • http://twitter.com/niceflying Emma

    Can we just call it ‘hey I am excellent Day’? That’s what I’ve been doing, and now I have painted toenails and a tummy full of lemonade and olives.  Hey, I am excellent!

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