Why I Don’t Do Valentine’s Day
When we were younger and had just started dating, we did the whole Valentine’s Day thing. We did the presents and the candy, the dinner and a movie date; the whole package. It was great back then. When you are young and falling in love, who doesn’t love that reminder of the lovey-dovey stuff? I got excited over the pink and red hearts and Cupid, it’s what I was supposed to do, right? However, even then something just felt off. I didn’t know it then, but I was on my way to turning into one of those anti-Valentine’s Day people.
Once we were married and my husband joined the Coast Guard, we still tried the first year or two “to do” Valentine’s Day. However, we usually ended up celebrating it late. My husband was either on duty or gone on the day. What’s the point of Valentine’s Day when it is on February 16? Honestly, what’s the point in general? But, celebrating late makes it even worse. I tried though and so did he. We both thought it was what the other one wanted. He would buy me chocolate and when we could afford it, we would go out to a nice dinner, on the day or a few days late. For me, though, it still never felt right.
One year Valentine’s Day was approaching and I found myself grimacing at each heart I saw. I realized that I really just didn’t like Valentine’s Day. I let myself admit that I thought it was a pointless holiday. I mentioned something to my husband about the epiphany I’d had and to my surprise he agreed! We had both been going through the motions because we thought it made the other happy, when in reality neither one of us wanted to be doing it! That was the first year we chose not to do Valentine’s Day. The day came and went, now I can’t remember if he had duty or not, but it was just another day for us. He stopped buying me pointless gifts and the chocolates that I didn’t really need and I stopped planning expensive dinners we didn’t want to spend the money on anyway.
Most people who are anti-Valentine’s Day are single. Me, I’m happily married and have been for eleven years and am very much in love. However, I don’t feel I should have to show my husband, or vice versa, that I love him anymore on one day than the others. Do I enjoy getting flowers and gifts from my husband? Of course. But, they are more special if he buys them for me because he felt like it, not because the card companies tell him he should. We don’t randomly love each other more on February 14th, we love each other the same amount on that specific day as we do the rest of the year. I simply don’t see the romance in the day.
February 14th was originally marked by Pope Gelasius in 496 AD as a day to celebrate the martyrdom of St. Valentine (Catholic Online 2014). This saint was executed on February 14th because he refused to renounce his faith. In the Catholic Church he is the patron saint of lovers, engaged couples and happy marriages. However, he also the saint of plague, epilepsy and fainting. If the day was set aside to celebrate the sacrifice of this man, why has it been turned into a day of nothing more than a chubby cherub and chocolate?
My husband and I do celebrate other holidays and we try to do something special for our anniversary in October. However, Valentine’s Day for us is rather pointless. Not a day goes by that we don’t show the other that we love them. I get out of bed with his alarm in the morning and make his coffee, even though I don’t have to. He does the dishes for me or holds my hand in public for no other reason than because he wants to. We show our love in little ways like this all the time, why do we need a random day in February to tell us to show it more? I am not Catholic, but I would rather use that day to remember the sacrifice of St. Valentine for his faith, than to celebrate Cupid a made up character. I don’t judge those who celebrate Valentine’s Day and buy into the lovey-dovey pink hearts, however, for me…I simply don’t do Valentine’s Day.
Source: Catholic Online (2014). St. Valentine. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=159