Valentine’s Day: Meaningful or Meaningless?
Valentine’s Day is associated with relationships, love, and passion. But what does it really mean? Some people put a great deal of emphasis on this day. Meanwhile, others view this day as pointless and ignore it altogether.
Valentine’s Day does come with its own sense of baggage. Similar to the Christmas holidays, there are expectations associated with these days and times of year. Valentine’s Day can come with expectations of romance, passion, and partnership. This can make it difficult for people who aren’t in those types of relationship situations. In other words, if you’re single, divorced, separating, or recently broken up, this time of year can leave you feeling left out.
It’s no wonder that this day can be quite triggering for people. Some people can deal with issues of shame, questioning their own worthiness of love at this time of year. Others can feel increased frustration with their relationship situation. All of these emotional responses are legitimate reactions to the pressure that can come from this time of year.
Here are considerations I have for people on this day:
- Identify and accept your own emotions. If they are negative, it’s fine. Just find someone who is supportive to provide you company on this day, and help you contend with your feelings.
- If you’re feeling shame about this day, identify things that remind you of your worth. Reflect on these things and see if they help change how you feel.
- Recognize that a lot of the feelings you have reflect masterful marketing. There is a lot of money to be made on landmark days. This doesn’t mean that Valentine’s Day is bad. Instead, it just means that mindfulness is important. Good marketing often entails making potential consumers feel like they’re missing out. Just know that you’re feeling this way. This awareness will help you intervene when you need to.
- If you want this day to be special, understand why. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a specific day special. However, if you know why you want this, you’ll be able to express that value to other people, especially your partner.
- Communication is the key to avoiding unmet expectations. Many times people make the mistake of thinking that romance can only happen with spontaneity. Spontaneous signs of affection can be wonderful, fun, and exciting. However, you can’t count on them. In other words, if you would like a specific type of experience, it can be still very enjoyable to communicate this.
Valentine’s Day comes with a lot of baggage. At the same time, it’s not totally fair to incriminate the whole day for those who enjoy it. Thus, celebrating this day comes more down to knowing yourself and understanding what you want. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like your partner should unravel that mystery.
Finally, be empathetic to those who struggle with this time of year, and other specific days. Social expectations can be very difficult for many. The more that we can provide this to people who struggle, the more we can help them in the long-run.