Dear Valentine’s Day,

You’re overrated.

It’s that time of year again, where red rose sales are through the roof and Instagram feeds are filled with sappy partner-appreciation-posts. Every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around, I am forced to watch couples become increasingly affectionate, whether it be in public or on social media. People take the expectation of a “perfect Valentine’s Day” way too far, as they feel the need to advertise their adoration for their girlfriends or boyfriends like it’s something they need to prove to the world. Newsflash: no one cares that you shared chocolate strawberries and cuddled with your partner. Every time I get a notification on Snapchat or Instagram, it just reminds me how incredibly single I am. Simply put, Valentine’s Day is extremely overrated.  

Frankly, I don’t understand why couples take this holiday so seriously. Why dedicate only one day out of the year to make each other feel special? Why is there so much emphasis on the notion that Valentine’s Day is the “day of love”? In reality, the legend of St. Valentine is a tragedy: three guys all named Valentine were executed, one of which defied the emperor by marrying soldiers to women in an effort to help the war effort. 

Romantic? I think not.

A healthy relationship should foster a consistent, mutual love throughout the year, an ideal that Valentine’s Day ruins. A strenuous and expensive commitment, it pressures one to become the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend, catering to their significant other’s every need and buying them every gift. But then, after Valentine’s Day is over, couples seem to lose their passion and undying love that was present a mere 24 hours before. 

Another thing that irks me is that this holiday perpetuates gender stereotypes. It feeds into the thought that the man in the relationship should embody masculinity and assume the role of the “provider,” while the woman should emulate femininity and sit back and relax. 

While gender roles aren’t necessarily wrong to live by, Valentine’s day forces people to abide by them, which may lead to unnatural relationship dynamics; people feel like they have to assume a specific position.

Additionally, not all relationships are solely male/female. Valentine’s Day is often associated with heterosexual advertisements, which I find exceptionally monotone. It has definitely gotten better as society is developing an increasingly progressive mindset, but this holiday has implanted a false definition of what a relationship is into our minds. Nowadays, relationships are diverse, and different types of partnerships should all be celebrated.  

Even though I may not be the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day, mostly because I’m single and have no one to share it with, I do admit, seeing people take part in kind gestures helps restore some of my faith in humanity. But, no matter what anyone says, I will always be a firm believer that Galentine’s Day trumps Valentine’s Day by a long shot.