- Valentine’s Day can be an incredibly expensive holiday to celebrate.
- Buying expensive jewelry, flowers, and dining at a nice restaurant might not even help your relationship and could even harm it.
- Valentine’s Day leaves people in relationships with impossible expectations and leaves single people out.
Let’s face it: Valentine’s Day might actually be the worst. Even if you aren’t single on the holiday that celebrates love and relationships, Valentine’s Day, in my opinion, is just a chance for companies to take advantage of you and your partner.
All the gifts, flowers, candies, and expensive meals add up and at the end of it all, you’re often left feeling the holiday didn’t live up to your high expectations.
Here are eight reasons why Valentine’s Day is the absolute worst.
There’s pressure to spend tons of money on cards, gifts, flowers, and candy
According to a survey done by the National Retail Federation, people are expecting to spend an average of $161.96 on Valentine’s Day for their significant others, children, parents, friends, and coworkers.
And if you’re a man, you’re likely to spend even more money. The survey found men are planning on spending $229.54, while women are planning to spend $97.77.
In total, in 2017, Americans spent more than $30 billion celebrating the holiday.
You’re probably also expected to get a dinner reservation, which can be extremely difficult and require a lot of planning
Getting a dinner reservation in big cities is already difficult, but when it comes to Valentine’s Day, it can be nearly impossible.
According to one restaurant manager who spoke with Romper, diners should plan their meal at least several weeks in advance. If you live somewhere with fewer fine-dining restaurants, you might want to try even earlier.
According to 2017 Valentine’s Day dining data from OpenTable, out of all the restaurants available through the app, approximately 40% of reservations were booked in the week leading up to the holiday.
Waiting until the last minute and not getting the reservation you wanted can be stressful for a holiday with such high expectations.
And once you get there, the fancy dinner is going to be wildly expensive
There are high expectations for the night to be perfect, which is actually more likely to harm your relationship than help it
There are lots of high expectations around Valentine’s Day for couples, from the perfect gifts and the fanciest dinner to the notion of everlasting love and romance. That’s a lot of pressure for two people on just one day of the year.
All that pressure on relationships during Valentine’s Day can actually harm relationships, even leading to breakups. A study tracking Facebook breakup statuses found that couples tend to break up more often after Valentine’s Day.
Further, as Jonathon Fader Ph.D. writes for Psychology Today, high expectations are more likely to set us up for disappointment, especially if those expectations are for one single day.
Thinking about Valentine’s Day as this special day reserved for showing love can also take away from daily practices of love and appreciation, according to Fader.
The holiday has really dark origins
Valentine’s Day actually originates from a couple of pretty grim stories. According to NPR, initially, mid-February was when the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia was held, where men sacrificed a goat and a dog and reportedly whipped women with the hides of the dead animals in the hopes of increasing the women’s fertility.
According to Britannica though, Valentine’s Day may have gotten its name from the execution of a priest named Valentine by Roman Emperor Claudius II on February 14 during the third century.
According to other accounts, however, the holiday is named after St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop, that was martyred in 269 C.E. for marrying Christian couples.
The day became established as a holiday by Pope Gelasius I at the end of the fifth century but formal valentines didn’t appear until the 1500s.
Valentine’s Day encourages comparison, which isn’t good for anyone
As pictures of happy couples flood your social media page on Valentine’s Day, it can be easy to question your own relationship. You might start to wonder how your relationship compares to these seemingly picture-perfect ones. This mentality, however, can be both destructive and misleading.
Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D. confronted this issue for PsychCentral, writing, “It’s ridiculous to compare yourself with what you only think is going on.” According to Hartwell-Walker, because you can never really know what’s going on in someone else’s relationship, it’s all too easy to idealize what you see on social media and end up feeling down about your own relationship.
Though Valentine’s Day is all about love, it actually leaves people out
Even though the day is supposedly all about love, it’s really just about romantic relationships, which leaves out single people – and there are a lot of single people.
According to CNN, 47.3% of the population in the US in 2016 who were 18 or older were single (divorced, widowed, separated, or never married), or around 115.78 million people.
It’s actually a very wasteful holiday
Gold jewelry sales around Valentine’s Day actually generate 34 million tons of mine waste, Oxfam reported in 2005. Today, activists see Valentine’s Day as a way to educate people about what they call the dangers of the gold industry because of how common of a present it is, according to the Smithsonian.
Further, the industry behind the more modest gift of flowers has negative environmental implications, according to the World Resources Institute.
Because there isn’t much regulation surrounding the cut-flower industry, agrochemicals that negatively affect air, soil, and water are used extensively and pesticides are used more frequently for these flowers than for foods.
Plus, think of all the cards and candy in plastic packaging that are purchased around Valentine’s Day that eventually just end up in the trash.