Here’s the thing: I like Valentine’s day. Actually, I love Valentine’s day.
And I don’t think there’s any shame in that. Recently (meaning the past decade or so), I feel like there’s been this movement to hate Valentine’s day, hate the commercialism of it all, hate the forced romance, hate pink hearts and red cupids.
But there’s nothing wrong with celebrating love on a day the calendar wants you to. It’s not sticking it to the man if you hate Valentine’s day. Truly, the man doesn’t care if you hate V-day or not. Plus, he’s got a whole line of cards, memes, and t-shirts for people that hate the day so you’re not really sticking it to anybody by speaking out against it.
If you dislike, hate, despise, or just don’t care about Valentine’s day, I’m completely fine with that. There’s nothing wrong with not liking or celebrating a holiday. More power to you. But you don’t have the right to make others feel guilty or dumb or silly for liking it. That’s not your job or your business so please stop doing it.
I like being reminded that I should tell my husband I love him. Mostly because I know I don’t do it enough and this time of year gives me a little kick in the pants. I have a lot of fun making Valentine’s day crafts with my daughters and letting them wear cute heart socks to school to celebrate. I like dressing up in pink and red for work, figuring out how to still look grown-up and not clownish in colors I don’t normally wear. I like giving my dog a bone wrapped in a big bow because sometimes he’s my favorite thing in this world. This day reminds me that I should tell my friends I love them and how thankful I am to have them in my life. My favorite gummy Sweetarts come out in February and I get to give myself cavities eating too many of them. I love this holiday and the idea that love wins.
I know what you’re thinking, but Mary, you’ve never had to be single on Valentine’s day and you don’t understand how much it hurts. The truth is, I’ve been single more times that I’ve had a Valentine’s date on February 14th. And now that I’m married, we don’t actually go out on the big day. That’s not something either one of us enjoys. Just like when I was single, I’d much rather pretend to watch a movie and then fall asleep on the couch than go out to dinner with all those crowds and weird PDA moments. Romantic love is just a fraction of all the love we feel as humans, so don’t focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you do. It’s the surest way to feel happy and content.
The thing is, whether I’ve been single or married, I’ve always had lots of loves in my life. And having the opportunity to tell them I love them is fun, exciting, and necessary. So let’s stop pretending that there is shame in celebrating Valentine’s day. It’s okay if you don’t like it, good for you. But if you do like it, stop apologizing and making excuses. IT’S OKAY TO LIKE VALENTINE’S DAY.