Updated: Sep 5
I have a confession: I hate Valentine's Day. I think it's a ridiculous holiday that offers unprecedented opportunities for people to feel let down, alone and unwanted. Sure, once in a blue moon you may be given something very thoughtful and romantic by a partner or attractive pursuer and feel quite happy about it. Technically, that could happen any day, though, couldn't it? It's certainly no help to the many who get nothing.
If ever there was a holiday made solely for marketing and business, Valentine's Day is it. I imagine few people know much about the actual St. Valentine. There have been several throughout history and the exact dude in question is somewhat uncertain. But whoever he is, he is the patron saint of courtly love. And epilepsy and the plague. Also beekeepers.* Personally, I'd rather use the day to celebrate bees who need a day quite a bit more than romantic couples do.
If you are a person who really enjoys Valentine's Day, this post is probably not for you. But if you're one of the many for whom the day can be painful, or at least a little disappointing, I invite you to join me in simply rejecting it. In unmasking it as the silly, highly commercial holiday that it is. To not attach any real significance to it. Or to celebrate bees instead.
On the other hand, if you really want to join in the festivities in some way, I suggest making it a day about self-love and self-care. Make up your own tradition for your self. If there's something you would like to receive on this day, don't wait and hope for somebody else to deliver it. Simply pick up that bouquet of roses for yourself to celebrate 'you' and bring in some February cheer. Pick out that massive box of chocolates or bottle of wine. Create your own tradition that you can enjoy.
"Give yourself the love you're willing to give to others." - Mahin Ismail
Too often women in our society are taught to sit around waiting for validation from other people. This is very disempowering and completely unnecessary. We can lift our own spirits and appreciate ourselves.
If you have kids, you can make a fun day of it by picking up something for them: A craft, a card, a stuffy. Some flowers for your teenaged daughter, (on whom Valentine's Day can do a real number). Share and celebrate love, by all means, if you want to. Above all, simply don't require action from someone else before you decide to feel good about yourself. That's soul-crushing.
Go ahead and plan your day and have fun with it, whatever your circumstance! Or ignore it completely as just another day (which it is). Or celebrate bees. The choice, as always, is yours.
*Hanes, Elizabeth. (2013) 6 Surprising Facts About St. Valentine. History.com. https://www.history.com/news/6-surprising-facts-about-st-valentine