The month of love is upon us! Whether it is the romanticized dates, the expensive gourmet chocolates, or the lavish trips to Paris, it’s apparent why people are in awe. For some people, it’s a deciding factor for many things: longevity and direction to the relationship, commitment and loyalty, and the immense responsibility being in a relationship holds. However, you get penalized whether you’re in a relationship, or you aren’t. The pressure to find the perfect gift for your significant other isn’t something that’s taken lightly. Societal convention dictates candle-lit dinners and walks on the beach, but those ideas don’t meet expectations sometimes. It ends up being a vicious cycle that often leads to people judging your relationship, and you wondering where you went wrong while you blow out those candles and pack up all that food, while on the beach.
These sky-high expectations prematurely force people in or out of relationships at times. Some relationships end up disintegrating weeks before Valentines Day, because of how intense the event can be. Valentines Day dinner dates end up being at a crowded restaurant, surrounded by people going through the same awkward pressure of defining their relationship and upstaging one another with extravagant gifts wrapped in red and pink paper. Ironically, it ends up being the least romantic setting ever. This event has lead couples to channel tremendous importance on Valentines Day, regarding their milestones. Couples don’t celebrate relationship milestones on the days it happened anymore, like the first date or first kiss. Instead, these milestones are merely marked on the calendar but aren’t celebrated on the days they happened. Valentines Day gets all the importance when it comes to couple milestones, which makes the milestones lose their significance in a way. On the other hand, single people have it hard. Valentines Day serves as a cruel way to alienate half the population simply because they happen to be single mid-February. This in itself seems very immature in comparison to the important significance other events have. This harsh silent reminder usually causes a lot of single people to drown their problems in alcohol, and some cheap candy purchased at the local store for themselves. Though being spoilt with gifts and affection are a solid indication of validation, often Valentines Day is hyped up to be an event celebrated for the romantics of the World. However, if Valentines Day is intended to celebrate love, different relationships should be celebrated. As romantic relationships impact our lives, so do parental and sibling relationships. A variety of relationships shape individuals at the end of the day, therefore, every bond has the authority to be celebrated and validated. However, putting aside other relationships in life, one main bond that deserves respect and appreciation is self-love. In today’s World, self-love is a very hard thing to do.
Often, it is easy to criticize and pick yourself apart, and sometimes can even lead to becoming force of habit. In a single day, people criticize their decisions and principles numerous times. Why not make Valentines Day center on the beauty and necessity of self-love? Self-love leads to a higher self-esteem and greater appreciation for yourself, and when people reach the stage of accepting themselves, it becomes much easier to accept and love someone else. With internal battles conquered, and heads held high, you can confidently go on to finding that special someone. The best thing about self-love is, even if you don’t end up finding that special person, you are completely content and satisfied with celebrating yourself this Valentines Day. It’s time to celebrate what makes you unique. Celebrate your beauty, kindness and individuality, and in turn, people will learn to appreciate those qualities too. Valentines Day may be an event that has your heart fluttering, or has you reaching for a barf bag, but at the end of the day, its about the celebration of love. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a celebration of romantic love, or any other type of love. Love is an emotion that can be translated in many ways.
Therefore, I’m hoping people realize that like love, Valentines Day should be a celebration translated in many ways. The celebration of parental love, self-love or even just the contentment of loving life, are all-equal in Cupid’s eyes. Hoping this Valentine’s Day is a true celebration of a relationship, or relationships that matter the most to you. Breaking down the stigma associated with Valentines Day can definitely lead to happier single people, and relaxed couples who don’t have to wonder if their candle-lit dinner and walk on the beach-plan qualifies as a high standard date. Let’s break societal norms and convention, and embrace the truest definition of love.