The Pressure Of Valentine’s Day

Brooke Lark
Brooke Lark

Ah, December is over, the craziness of the holiday season has ended and all you’re left worrying about is having to pay off that horrendous credit card bill, right? Wrong! The arms of February hold and caress the most annoying and pressuring holiday of all – Valentine’s day.

I know, you’re thinking I’m the Scrooge of V-day but I swear I’m not. There’s a few origin stories of this holiday floating around and they’re all rooted in sympathy, love and martyrdom – which I can get behind.

But what grinds my gears is the whole commercialization of the heart-filled day.

About two weeks before the big day we start to see red and pink signs for flowers, chocolates, heart shaped anythings and gifts of all kinds. This stuff wasn’t just annoying to single Petra, this stuff is annoying to coupled Petra as well. Before I entered monogamy, this holiday involved a lot of drinking from the bottle and eating out of the tub of ice cream.

But really, all of this implied gift giving can cause pressure on all kinds of people, couples and dynamics. What if you’re swiping away on Tinder, you match with someone who seems great, you guys hit it off and talk for a few weeks but BOOM it’s Feb 14th and neither of you are ready for a public declaration of affection. You could potentially ruin a good thing!

And is a holiday really a holiday if it isn’t posted to social media?

Definitely not! Once again the added pressure begins to develop as the pictures start to roll in. Matt posts the dramatic flower wall he put together for Alex, Jane snaps a selfie of her and Sam, ecstatic about their engagement. Not only is this level of cheesiness nauseating but this kind of stuff can leave you having an “oh shit” moment as you start to compare your gift and situation to everyone else on your feed.

So, at the end of my rant I leave you on a more positive note…actually nah, scratch that. Sure, love is love and your normal may not be my normal but on Valentine’s Day, it seems like all rational thought goes out the window.

I just can’t get behind a day that force feeds grand gestures and a floating angel baby that shoots people with love arrows. It’s fueled with external validation that either reminds single people that they’re alone (even those who are comfortable with being single) or pressures couples to express their love in cookie-cutter ways. If you’re single, cheers! If you’re coupled, good luck. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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