The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday October 24th

Column: A Valentine for all 365 days

gwen

Valentine’s Day is a beautiful concept. Taking time to do something special to celebrate one’s relationship and going out of your way to do something sweet for someone you care about is nice and all — but I hate the pressure that’s associated with it.

Constantly being asked “So what are you and your boyfriend doing?,” “What are you getting him?,” “What is he getting you?,” for the past two weeks was draining.

I’ve seen red boxes of chocolate in grocery and drug stores since the beginning of January, and I got sick of them.

One billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.

How?!

Not Mother’s Day or Father’s Day — and I’m confident the number of guardians in the world outnumber the number of relationships.

The materialistic nature of the holiday makes my skin crawl sometimes.

Love isn’t just an expensive dinner or nice jewelry.

Those things are all nice, of course, but the value of them doesn’t change on Feb. 15 just because it didn’t occur on a socially constructed holiday.

Now, I know Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages” taught me about the different love languages, but Valentine’s Day aims to convert us all.

Receiving and giving gifts is truly not the only form of love.

It’s so warm and fuzzy to think about a day of the year completely dedicated to love, but more and more I’ve seen people forget about love every other day of the year.

The love you exude to yourself and those around you shouldn’t just be monitored on the 14th either.

And that love shouldn’t be limited to your immediate circle.

Holding the door for someone walking behind you, smiling at someone on the street (in the South particularly) or complimenting a stranger is love, too. Because, at its core, love is kind.

Instead of a celebration of love, it seems like Valentine’s Day is an excuse to be exceptionally loving, and this mentality is dangerous. In some instances, having uber-high expectations for one day out of the year can result in the other 364 days suffering.

It conditions us to lower the expectations we have for ourselves and our loved ones because it’s not a holiday. Some folks spend weeks plotting elaborate surprises and celebrations for one day out of the year and resort back to everyday behavior.

The celebration of love, self-care and romance shouldn’t be constrained to one day.

You shouldn’t wait until the 14th of February to exude love, just like you shouldn’t wait until “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” to bask in the holiday spirit.

Valentine’s Day can be great. But every day should be as well.



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