Who needs Valentine’s Day?

I loathe it; the fabricated displays of emotion, the oversized cards, the red roses, the Belgium chocolates, the ‘me to you’ bears; how cliché. Just one colossal money making scheme fabricated by society, and oh it has worked a charm. I mean, do we really need a day to watch hundreds of couples parade around town, hand in hand, mouth in mouth, behaving in the way they think society perceives them to be happy? No, is the answer to that, in case you were wondering.

Here is my interpretation of Valentine’s Day:

“I love you.”
“Thank you, why couldn’t you say this to me yesterday?”
“I did.”
“Well what makes it more special today?”
“I bought you roses and chocolates as well.”

Don’t get me wrong, I find it touching that so many people are in love, that they are happy, and feel confident to express this to the world. But what irritates me is that people can’t see that Valentine’s Day isn’t an expression of love, it is a socially constructed control mechanism relied upon to ‘normalise’ the ever evolving society. This mechanism tells couples when, how and where to be in love, and frankly I find it disgusting. Where has all our individuality gone, our minds, our souls? Did we ever have any in the first place?

But what irritates me more than the couples of uncreative daleks, are the mindless “fake-couples,” the ones who get together only for this ceremonial day, tricked into believing that they need some one, to the point where they become desperate dummies, “do you have a Valentine, do you, do you, well will you be mine then?” And in the end, what is the point? More often than not it is a waste of time where you end up tolerating a less than mediocre conversation and an edible, yet idiotically overpriced meal at a ‘fancy’ restaurant. If this doesn’t display societal control, I don’t know what does. It’s a tragedy.

I know what you must be thinking; bitter, twisted, single bitch. And in fact, that is probably accurate. But in some perverse way it brings me so much joy; being so bitter about it. In addition to all the bonding rituals that occur year on year, single girls huddling over a dark cauldron of bitterness like the witches in Macbeth, sharing Valentine’s horror stories whilst stuffing down tubs of Ben and Jerry’s and watching Never Been Kissed. Blame the parents I say. Why did they make us believe when we were younger that Valentine’s Day is one of the most important days of the year? Now when we think Valentine’s Day, we cannot get past flowers, chocolates and cards because we have been told from childhood, this is what you give or receive. And if you don’t get anything, it only makes the miserable singletons more miserable and more enviable of all the happy couples. This is why I disagree with the principle of Valentine’s Day. If you want to show your love for some one, you don’t need a day, or a mass-produced present. What is so special about receiving the same box of Thornton’s chocolates on the same day of the year as the next uncreative zombified couple anyway? And is it really worth ostracizing all your single friends for?

Why don’t people get it, has the human race all lost their brains? Love is a free spirit which exists in all of us, and needs to be for ourselves and not a way of showing others that we know how to love. We must stop society controlling this love even if we have to endure a lifetime of Valentine’s Days. Love cannot and should not be controlled, and sacrificing our individuality should never be embraced or tolerated. So don’t give in to societal pressure. Break the barriers and challenge the order, I dare you.

Sophia Charalambous

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11 Comments

  1. Rubie
    February 11, 2010 at 11:31 — Reply

    great!!!!

    agreed!!!

  2. Angus
    February 11, 2010 at 12:51 — Reply
  3. Vanessa Brown
    February 11, 2010 at 16:27 — Reply

    Very good article 🙂
    I think the issue is that no-one wants to be alone on a day when “everyone else” has company! I don’t think that these “fake-couples” are fooled by the marketisation. I would suggest that all of their friends who are “real-couples” are and as a result of this, faced with the knowledge that on this particular evening all of their housemates will be out enjoying themselves with someone special, they feel that pang of loneliness, pick a date, and hope for the best!

    @ Angus: With regards to that article:
    The parents say that it is a tradition but in my primary school no-one sent around Valentine’s Day cards etc. until Year 6 – and even then the people that usually gave and received were “going out” anyway so I don’t think that many felt left out for not getting one. (However, secondary school was a different story!) I know that it’s all innocent etc etc. but I still find it a bit weird that primary school kids have girlfriends or boyfriends and are thinking about Valentine’s at such a young age!

  4. Simon Jupp
    February 13, 2010 at 23:45 — Reply

    Amazingly written. You couldn’t be more right. As I’ve experienced loneliness for a year, I too despise valentines day. We sound like we’d be perfect for each other. Give me a call +44 7920 001011

    Si x

  5. Stephen Lovejoy
    February 14, 2010 at 00:34 — Reply

    Hahahahahaa! Brilliant article! Couldn’t possibly agree more, but even if I didn’t you’ve done an excellent job of getting your points across!

  6. February 14, 2010 at 00:39 — Reply

    Sophia, my kindred spirit, agreed! There is nothing worse than seemingly needing a pre-agreed day where saying I love you is not only required, but worse, expected… 🙁

  7. Ryan Keal
    February 15, 2010 at 13:49 — Reply

    I completely disagree. I am in love with my girlfriend but am often too afraid to show her my true feelings. Valentines day gives such people as myself a chance to express ourselves in a way that, on other days, we would be too afraid to do so. I would love it if you could explain your views in greater detail. My number is 07845675320

  8. Stephen Lovejoy
    February 16, 2010 at 00:09 — Reply

    Dear Ryan, if it’s not too much of a impingement for you I would have to question why you are too afraid to show your girlfriend your true feelings. And why Valentine’s Day makes such a difference to this fear of yours? It is, in fact, just like any day. Except that it has been declared the day when you SHOULD express your love. (Preferably through commercial products)

    Are you implying that you need society’s approval before you can express your feelings? That everyone has to be doing the same, for it to be okay for you to do so?
    I’m curious.

  9. Angus
    February 16, 2010 at 17:36 — Reply

    Unlike usual, I am tempted to take a seat on the fence on this particular issue. Although I despise the corporate cash-in that has now overshadowed Valentines Day, along with the exaggerated and often overblown demonstrations of affection that seem to go with it, it does at least remind us that once in a while we can and should spend a day enjoying the company of somebody else, and a day where we don’t have to think about the next essay deadline or other such worries. It is true that we should be able to do this on any given day, but human nature is such that we are able to do it with a significantly clearer conscience if a large number of other people are doing it too. It does at least implore us to make that extra effort to ensure the day is a good one. In my opinion, the sooner people start approaching Valentines Day with this attitude the better.

    It is of course always infuriating to see other couples broadcasting their love for one another to the world, but some people like to do that – fortunately we can take some comfort in the knowledge that it is a way of covering up their own insecurities about their relationship. Spiteful people that we are.

  10. Patrick walsom
    February 17, 2010 at 12:36 — Reply

    Stephen, I too agree with your comments. People such as Ryan place too much on this ‘special’ day. If you are in a relationship you should make every day count, and if you love your partner by all means you should tell her. The only people who benefit from Valentines day are those who profit from it.

  11. appleblob
    February 18, 2010 at 23:46 — Reply

    omg I find these comments really hurtful. obviously you guys have never been in love so you don’t know how amazing it feels to share this day with someone. you’re obviously so bitter that you can’t be happy for people like me who have found what they’ve been looking for. I feel sorry for you. i’m so glad i have somebody to love me.

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