Valentine’s day is something that has so much potential.
It’s a chance to let people in your life know that you love them.
It’s a chance to give someone a confidence boost by sending an anonymous card (without being creepy), just to let someone know that there is someone out there that thinks they’re great.
It’s a chance to fully confess your love for someone, an excuse to get it out there.
It’s a reminder to always make the special person in your life feel special, when your life is otherwise too hectic.
It’s an excuse for the romantics to do something nice for the person they love.
It’s a chance for people to learn about all different kinds of love between all different kinds of people, by seeing it everywhere all at once.
Instead, however, it has gone beyond simple card giving and gestures of love to become a massive thing to shame men into buying crap for their wives/fiancees/girlfriends.
All the adverts I’ve heard regarding Valentine’s Day have been this:
BUY HER A MASSIVE CARD
SEND HER OVERPRICED FLOWERS
BUY HER FANCY CHOCOLATES
GET HER SOME EXPENSIVE JEWELLERY
TAKE HER OUT TO A REALLY POSH RESTAURANT
DON’T WRITE HER A POEM, YOU’RE SHIT AT POEMS
DON’T BUY HER ANYTHING OTHER THAN FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATES AND JEWELLERY
IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW THESE RULES YOUR SPECIAL LADYFRIEND WILL OVERREACT AND BECOME A SCREAMING HARPY AND WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU AND THINK YOU ARE A MASSIVE IDIOT THAT SHE NEEDS TO DUMP IMMEDIATELY.
You know what? If you’re a dude with a special ladyfriend this Valentine’s Day, don’t feel pressured by advertisers. Get her flowers and chocolates if you want to; take her out for a meal if you want to; but don’t feel like you HAVE to. The main thing is just let her know she’s loved on a day where love is being rubbed in everyone’s faces.
And LADIES - we should not be exempt from gift-giving. Do not be like those women who expect their man to just buy them tonnes of crap in order to “prove” himself to them. Valentine’s Day marketing preys upon this and is SO one-sided and deep-rooted in awful out-of-date gender roles where the guy pretty much buys himself into a woman’s pants or buys crap to “prove” himself or avoid being put in “the dog house”. Not very romantic, is it? They should want to buy you flowers, not feel like they have to, or else it’s not a day of love, but of fear.
I do understand with some things - it can feel rubbish if someone you know gets flowers when you don’t; it’s LOVELY to get flowers but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get any. Do not - I repeat, DO NOT - feed the stereotype of the angry screaming-harpy lady who gets annoyed that her man did not get Valentine’s Day gifts/gestures right. Also, did you bother to send them flowers?
Make Valentine’s Day a MUTUAL thing. Everyone wants to know they’re loved. Don’t pander to the marketing execs and outdated ideas of chivalry, or be scared into buying tonnes of stuff.
Oh, and btw - marketing execs: LGBTQ+ PEOPLE EXIST TOO. Honestly, some of the most romantic people I know are gay - I cried my eyes out at my friends’ civil partnership ceremony because of they lovely things they said to each other. Not only is it rude & discriminatory to ignore them, but it’s also BLOODY STUPID TO CUT OUT A HUGE POTENTIAL MARKET.