By Alexia Hill
Love and hate are such strong words, opposing sides of the spectrum, juxtaposing each other but also going hand in hand. I said I hate Valentine’s Day, but maybe that’s not quite true. I like to say I love love, but I’m not sure if that’s true either. I like the idea of romance, passion, and vulnerability, but I don’t like the actuality of a relationship where I have to be unequivocally honest with myself and them about my feelings, my traumas and all of my vulnerable ideas. It’s ironic for relationships to be rooted in such deep connection, yet one of the most superficial holidays of the year is supposed to sum it up.
Valentine’s Day is something that I’ve always said I hated for two reasons. One being that that shit is gross, keep it away from me. Just kidding! One being the obvious and most common for folks like me, we haven’t had a good experience on Valentine’s Day or never spent it in an actual healthy relationship. I have had one Valentine’s Day in a relationship, and really I can’t recall anything memorable about it. I probably got flowers, like every other woman on the planet, and maybe we hung out and did what we always did. I truly can’t remember. Not to say I wasn’t grateful for the flowers, it’s just not the type of person I am.
This leads me to my second point of not liking Valentine’s Day: I don’t like pointless little gifts that don’t have any sentimental meaning and are only bought out of tradition or it’s what is trending on social media at the moment. Other holidays are a lot worse when it comes to consumerism, like Christmas and even Halloween, but V-Day focuses on buying the most redundant and wasteful gifts, i.e flower bouquets, balloons, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolates, and horrendous gift baskets containing all of it. Bottom line: Flowers die, balloons deflate, and a card is absolutely useless, in my opinion, and gets trashed if there isn’t writing in it that came from the heart. Letting the card that says, “Love you honey, Happy Valentine’s Day!” speaking for you is beyond lame. I’m not bitter, but buying these kinds of gifts just for the looks and not to actually show your love is not endearing to me. I’m just saying, a potted plant is still cute, thoughtful and will live a lot longer than your $15, already wilting roses.
What would make a good Valentine’s Day, you ask? Great question. I’ve put a lot of thought into this. Personally, it wouldn’t need to be any different than a date night on any other day of the year. I don’t want any gifts, don’t feel like we necessarily have to dress up like we’re going to a gala, and don’t need to feel any of the extra added pressures of seeing what other couples are doing. I would want to have a no-social-media-day with my significant other, maybe get coffee, lounge in comfy clothes and then go do something fun like roller skating, seeing a movie, thrift shopping, or even just doing something at home like cooking a new meal or making a fort and renting a movie. There’s so many options and it really depends on each person, but the biggest thing for me on a loving holiday like this, is knowing that who I’m with really knows me, not what gifts they can get me or how much they can spend on me.
I’ve grown to learn I don’t hate the holiday. I respect those who think it’s important to a relationship, and I’m happy to see everyone so happy on Valentine’s Day. I enjoy seeing people post cheesy couple photos on this day and sharing the love, I just haven’t had my ideal Valentine’s Day date yet. Inevitably, I have also come to learn that I don’t love love, but I love the idea of it. I love seeing everyone’s highlight reels of love. Valentine’s Day is a silly little excuse for everyone to post the best scenes of their love life and I’m here for it, but from a distance.
Photos from Pinterest; cover photo taken and edited by Alexia Hill