What do you think when you hear the words “Valentine’s Day”? You may think of fluffy, brown teddy bears, cheesy love letters or anything and everything in red and pink hues. Nervous partners clutching red, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates or surprising their partner with dinner at a fancy restaurant come to mind.
These idyllic ideas may surface when Valentine’s Day rolls around, but often at the expense of forgetting the grim and unfortunate circumstances that surround it, such as the cost of products, the pressure to find the perfect gifts and the reality of being single on the day of love.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that pulls on your heartstrings and, coincidentally, your purse strings. Around the time of Feb. 14, the prices of many products rise, including chocolates, candies, flowers and jewelry. According to CNBC in an article about the holiday rip-off, “The price of a dozen roses… is typically hiked one hundred percent or more, not to mention the delivery fees and surcharges, just because it’s Valentine’s Day.”
This causes people who buy Valentine’s Day products to waste a substantial amount of money just because they have a partner. Additionally, it is usually quite challenging to find coupons and deals during February that could be applied to Valentine’s Day products. The raising of prices and disappearance of vouchers is borderline-unethical due to the fact that it creates a severe rip-off in products that have thought to become necessary for people in love.
With Valentine’s Day comes the challenge of finding the time to seek out impressive, original gifts that will rival those posted on social media. The usual products that come to mind are a bouquet of roses, a heart-shaped box filled with delectable truffles or a soft teddy bear clutching a heart shaped pillow. The issue with these items is that they become generic when everyone else is also getting them, making the products no longer special or unique, but causing them to be another drop of water in the sea of love-themed gifts.
Furthermore, the images on social media set the standards for gift giving, with celebrities posting pictures of lavish bouquets worth hundreds of dollars and dinner at gourmet restaurants. This standard sets a challenge for high school students who only receive a small allowance from their parents or an ordinary income from an after school job, if any income at all. This social media trend also raises the question of if Valentine’s Day gift giving is even about love or if it is just used as a way to brag on social media about one’s relationships and lavish gifts.
Being single on Valentine’s Day is arguably both the worst and the best way to spend the holiday of love. Overflowing love-themed products in every store in town, all-too-public confessions of love between partners and gushy social media posts are constant reminders of peoples’ relationship statuses. This overwhelming expression of love that surrounds Valentine’s Day can be difficult to deal with for people who are single.
For some, though, being single on Valentine’s Day opens up the opportunity for saving money, having time for other activities and reducing stress. Having no significant other means that people can save the money that would have been spent on gifts, lessen the amount of stress about coming up with unique gift or date ideas and spend time with other people that they love, such as family and friends.
The love-filled ideas that may appear when thinking about Valentine’s Day could be out the window for some people due to the cost of products, the pressure to find the perfect gifts and the reality of being single on the day of love. The solutions to this problem are to spend time with friends and family or set aside some free time to relax and treat yourself. A few ways to enjoy the day of love with family and friends are to have a movie night, bake some yummy desserts or enjoy a home-cooked meal. If you’re spending Valentine’s day alone, participate in your own Netflix and snack binge for the evening. Regardless of your relationship status, enjoy the day of love in any way that your heart desires.