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Valentine's Day in retrospect

 

There’s a good reason a lot of romantic comedies somehow involve Valentine’s Day. Whether people describe their situation as single, engaged, in a relationship or “it’s complicated,” the way most people treat the holiday is a little entertaining.

Don’t get me wrong, V-Day is great, and for a lot of reasons. First of all, Valentine’s Day doesn’t discriminate based upon your religion — everybody is welcome to celebrate. Then there’s the fact that basically nothing exciting happens in the entire month of February; New Year’s Eve is long gone, the temperature still hasn’t warmed up, the NFL season ends and the NBA doesn’t even get interesting until the playoffs. 

Valentine’s Day isn’t bad for the economy, either. How else are you going to coax hordes of guys into movie theaters to watch “The Vow,” anyway?

There couldn’t be a worse time for this holiday to occur, however. As a rule of thumb, most relationships tend to start when the weather gets warm. By summertime they will have become official, and by the time the weather gets chilly again, people either stay together or break up after seeing the other person’s family at Thanksgiving. You have two polarized groups by February — the disenfranchised single people and the ones in serious relationships.

Valentine’s Day does a pretty good job at dividing people just as much as it does bringing them together. But by making the day something more than what it is — just another day — neither side makes the situation any better. If it’s not big enough to be the kind of holiday where you get out of work or an exam, it automatically doesn’t deserve any hype.

Plenty of single people out there make a concerted effort to talk about Singles Awareness Day and try to use the phrase, “It’s just another marketing holiday,” as much as possible. Save the attitude. If people get distraught for simply being single on the wrong day of the year, they actually might be better off staying so until they’ve resolved their dependency issues.

Going overboard for Valentine’s Day is just as ludicrous, however. Waiting for a special day of the year to give it your all in a relationship isn’t the right approach. If you’re with somebody, you should definitely get as much out of the day as possible, but that’s not an excuse to let it get to your head.

An overwhelming amount of girls essentially make Valentine’s Day into a giant contest with each other. Likewise, plenty of guys lack the imagination to understand that every other guy is doing the same exact thing by making a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. So much for trying to stand out from the crowd, buddy.

When single people criticize it for being a Hallmark holiday, they can be a little hypocritical. Being in a relationship and listening to what “Cosmopolitan” and the people who make the commercials for Zale’s tell you is equally ridiculous. That’s just the price we pay when society tries to make love into a holiday; however, we forget why we’re even celebrating it and turn it into some ritual.

Think about it. We invent Santa Claus for Christmas. For Easter we have a giant rabbit. On Thanksgiving we pretend that the colonists got along well with the Native Americans, and then we binge instead of being grateful. Putting Valentine’s Day on a pedestal and expecting it to be magical isn’t helpful for a relationship or for creating one.

The best thing to do is just be realistic about the day and save all the effort for the genuine experiences in life and relationships. You’ll appreciate it a lot more that way. Plus, either your single friends won’t give you a hard a time about it, or you’ll be happy until you eventually find somebody as level-headed as yourself.

 

Alec Jones is a junior accountancy major from Catonsville, Md. “Like” him at facebook.com/thealecjones.