By the time this article is published, Valentine’s Day will have come and gone. But we Cobbers do enjoy our reflection, so why not reflect on a holiday that so many, rather ironically, love to hate.
It’s pretty easy to pick on Valentine’s Day, to be honest. Those involved in relationships have more expectations and pressure to deal with, while singles can be left with a particularly sharp sense of loneliness, wishing they were lucky enough to have someone to share the pressure of the holiday with.
It’s hard to find a reliable statistic on exactly how often this occurs, but there is certainly no small number of women—and men, but likely to a smaller degree—that send themselves flowers or some other gift on this special day. Whether trying to catch the attention of someone in the office (classroom? Atrium?) or just wanting to feel special, it happens.
On top of that, there are those that think Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be necessary. Shouldn’t couples, they argue, shower their significant others with love and care every day? Why should couples need a holiday to do something special?
A fair point, no doubt—in a perfect world. Let’s be honest. Buying flowers or jewelry or going out on a special date to the HoDo isn’t meant for every day, and it shouldn’t be. Especially as college students, treating significant others every day like we might on Valentine’s Day would not only unduly tax the wallet but would make some of the most cherished parts of being in a relationship on a normal day seem dull.
Granted, it would be fair to say that these Valentine’s Day expectations shouldn’t be necessary and may even hurt a relationship if not met or exceeded. But hey, make like Barney Stinson and accept the challenge. If you’re strapped for cash, don’t buy the jewelry or go to the expensive restaurant. Just spend a night in, turn on Netflix, maybe go on a “DS date,” and tell homework to shove it. If your professor doesn’t make that possible, have a study date.
The point is, you don’t have to go hard in the paint to make Valentine’s Day count. Just do something that might be a little out-of-the-ordinary or unexpected. In fact, maybe flowers are too typical. Do something different that will send the same message with a more unique flair.
Not creative? Me neither. Make up for it. Do something that shows you care somehow. Whether it’s just a simple bouquet of flowers or holding hands when you hate PDA, there is something you can do to show you love, like or like-like someone.
On that note, if you’re not in a relationship but want to be, and especially if you have a specific prospect, make the occasion count. Romance shouldn’t just be for the couples. Buy flowers, write a note like in Junior High, quote a poem, become a secret admirer—but not in a creepy way. Take a risk and see what happens.
Worst-case scenario is rejection. If that’s the case, blame it on being caught up in the whole Valentine’s Day moment and it clouding your judgment to dodge the awkwardness. Blame it on some weird opinion this annoying guy wrote in The Concordian. Say you were dared or double-dog-dared. But by far the worst option is to not take the dare.
Maybe Valentine’s Day is overdone—especially for anyone who has had to sit through all the Jared commercials—but why not? Ham it up. Go above and beyond. Make it a memory; a story to be told that will go on your relationship résumé. “Yeah, I did that, and he/she loved it/cried/wanted me so bad.” You get the idea. Have fun with it.
Sure, it’s easy to hate Valentine’s Day or to let it pass like any other day. But where’s the fun in easy?
Jacob Amos is the Opinions Editor and Business Manager of The Concordian. From Stillwater, MN and fresh off a semester abroad in China, he is a senior economics and math major interested in politics, business strategy, and financial markets.