Think long and hard before you answer a very serious (or not so serious, but bear with me) question: What is your perfect Valentine’s Day?
If you’re single, is it spent celebrating SAD (Single Awareness Day) at a restaurant or bar with friends? If you’re in a relationship, are you content with just spending a simple night together, or will you wait to be wowed by your partner’s creativity in an over-the-top romantic gesture?
The basic question of your ideal V-Day is what drives everyone on this ironic holiday.
I say ironic because the origins of Valentine’s Day have their roots in a Christian celebration of St. Valentine, the patron saint of love, engaged couples and happy marriages in the Catholic Church.
However, in today’s world, this holiday has become more a celebration of romance as opposed to one of love. It’s a type of competition with your friends, family and co-workers to see who can buy or receive the most expensive, extravagant gifts.
Rather than emphasizing the mutual affection, care and support that defines a relationship, this day is spent idealizing the romantic gestures that go along with having a significant other.
It seems like Feb. 14 is a day solely to be enjoyed by people in relationships, whose boyfriends or girlfriends are expected to surprise them with grandiose things, like giant teddy bears, infinite boxes of chocolate and, of course, every type of jewelry imaginable.
If I counted every tweet, Facebook status or Tumblr post about how, “All I need this Valentine’s Day is *insert some outrageous over-the-top gift here*,” I might seriously scream.
This holiday isn’t that big of a deal, but our generation has a tendency to build up that perfect gift rather than appreciate the nice, modest way some people care to show their love for someone else.
But that’s just the problem. We need to stop setting our sights so high for a holiday that is meant to celebrate love for everyone special in your life. That could be your dad, grandma, brother, anyone — it isn’t meant just for people in romantic relationships.
Along those same lines, we need to stop idealizing the relationships in love stories and hope for these partners in real life — especially on Feb. 14.
Here’s the thing: “The Notebook’s” Noah and Allie are not real. Jack and Rose never set sail on the Titanic, and Edward and Bella sure as hell never existed (I think we’re all thankful for that).
These are all fake characters with fictional relationships in fictitious worlds. We should not let these unrealistic portrayals of love and romance determine how we want our Valentine’s Day — or God forbid — relationship to be.
So if you’re single, don’t join the pity party that takes place every Feb. 14. If you’re in a relationship, be content with whatever you receive on Valentine’s Day because having someone there on such a warm and cheerful holiday is special enough.
Let’s let love take precedence this Valentine’s Day and not set our sights too high with the romance.