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Why A Cynical Person Like Me Loves Valentine's Day!

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unspash
Hello, cynics! As a fellow cynical person, you may be surprised to know that I love Valentine’s Day. And no, it’s not because my birthday is on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day (but that certainly helps). Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays, despite the fact that I have rarely had a significant other to celebrate it on the actual holiday. And I’m here to tell you why this cynical ass person (aka me!) loves it so much. And the reason why I love it may actually change the way you feel about it too.

A Day for Love- But Only for Couples. No Singles Allowed!

We all know that Valentine’s Day is a holiday all about love. Romantic love. We see commercials for it on TV all the time. For the guy: buy her jewelry. For the girl: buy lingerie to wear for him for your special night (and he doesn’t have to dress up?? Sexist!). Hearts and pastels are everywhere, and so are chocolate, flowers, and so many corny, punny, and “sexy” gifts to give to your significant other (or your significant “otter.” It has to due with romance, but I still love me a good pun!). I know why you find this holiday horrifying and trust me, I understand when I see the commercialism and all of the nauseating happy couples (though I’m happy for you. I know it sounds like I’m not, but I am. Seriously. Just no PDA directly in my field of vision, please). I’m with you, friend. (Plus, no one likes those conversation hearts. They taste like flavored chalk!)

Valentine’s Day has always been marketed towards couples. Celebrate your love, show them you care on this special day. So many couples get engaged or married on Valentine’s Day, almost like it’s an even more romantic gesture to prove their love (but it’s probably just an easy way to remember an anniversary, am I right?). Some other fellow cynics will argue that it’s just a holiday made up by corporations to make money, like Hallmark. While Valentine’s Day lovers (sorry, had to) will counter that by saying that, actually, St. Valentine was a real person, and married people in secret while Christians were being jailed for their new religion by the Romans. Tre romantic, no? (And of course I know this story because I grew up Catholic. Also, St. Patrick apparently explained the three leaf clover to non-Christians as a way to explain the Holy Trinity so that’s we associate shamrocks with St. Patty’s Day. Why did I retain all of this knowledge???)

The focus that everyone puts on Valentine's day is romance. Ooh la la! Pretty much nothing else (well, that and candy). Sure, card companies (hi there again, Hallmark!) will have cards for grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. so you can send them a card for Valentine’s day to show them you love them (platonically, of course. The racy stuff is only for your significant otter- er, I mean other!), but other than that, it’s all couples nights out or nights in with wine, chocolate syrup, and sexy dice. (I want to gag just after writing that sentence!)

Single people, understandably, feel (or have felt) left out (me included!), end up boycotting the holiday entirely, and celebrate being single (which is totally amazing and valid. Happily single girl here! *waves*) on Galentine’s Day on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s day. Which is actually my birthday, so really everyone is unknowingly celebrating my birthday as well as female friendships, which is such a beautiful feminist move and a lovely universal present for me on my birthday. (Thanks, everyone!)

For a fellow cynic like me, I completely get where people who hate Valentine’s Day come from. You feel like you’re being excluded from this very exclusive thing that most of the world gets to celebrate, just because they’re coupled up and you’re...well, not (Again, I'm currently single at the moment, so I feel you!). But I’m here to tell you that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about finally getting frisky with your hunny-bun without the kids interrupting. It is so, so much more than that. (Thank, god!)

Valentine’s Day Isn’t Just for Romantic Love (And I’ll Prove It To You!)

Guess what! Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic love. There are all different types of love. The love you have for your family. The love you have for your friends. The love you have for your pet, even. Just like Thanksgiving seems to be a day to remind us to be thankful (even though we should be thankful all year round, not have a holiday once a year to remind us), I feel like Valentine’s day is a day to remind us of the love we have for others. And not just the romantic boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife love. Love that is so much more than “I’d rather die than live without you” kind; it's the love that is there everyday for the people who have always been there for you. Like your mom, dad, sibling, friend, or mailman (listen, I don’t judge). That kind of love.

To me, Valentine’s Day has always been that kind of day for me. Like I said before, I’ve only been with a few boyfriends for Valentine’s Day (and mainly it was a lot of excitement before you realize it’s just another date, but with presents that you have no use for, like flowers, teddy bears, or really ugly pieces of jewelry that you would never wear except that one time to show your boyfriend that you really did loooove it: “see! I love it! I’m wearing it right now!”). But before that, it was just me and my family and friends. And I loved celebrating that way! I loved that I could show them that I love them, to remind them of that, by giving them little gifts or a card that said so. In my opinion, like with Thanksgiving, we don’t say how much we love one another enough. Why not take the opportunity of a supposed “romantic” holiday to express other types of love to those we truly care about?

I personally love to make or buy (nothing fancy or expensive, don’t worry!) little presents or bake cookies or treats (let’s be honest, it’s usually sugary treats that I give to people), to show my family and friends that I love them. No, I don’t have to buy them a fancy piece of jewelry or fancy dinners, his and hers gross bedroom product, or hotel rooms with a hot tub on the balcony, like couples are forced to think they have to because of the holiday. My presents are just gestures to remind my loved ones that I do in fact love and care for them. Whether it’s a simple text saying “I love and appreciate you” with lots of heart emojis to my aunt (who loves emojis), a cute cartoonishly bright Valentine’s card sent in the mail to my four year old niece, or just a plate of cookies that I frosted and tried to make pretty to the best of my ability, but it's a gesture of love and that's what matters.

It may not be much, but it’s honestly and truly the thought that counts. It’s the fact that we take the time to sit down, write a card or make or bake a little something, and tell our loved ones we care. Not because we have to, but because we want to. Love is more than romantic. Love is thanking our family for raising and loving us, for being there when we were sick or supporting us when we were down on our luck. Love is reminding our friends that we remember when they dried our tears after that guy dumped us on our birthday- and then made us laugh and forget about him (this is possibly a true story). Love is even giving your neighbor a plate of cookies, just because. (And because they watched your cats for you while you were on vacation.)

Let Valentine’s Day be a day not consumed with who had the best, most romantic date night with their partner (I mean, good for them, we’re happy for you, blah blah blah), but one about reminding us of the love that has constantly surrounded us for years, and the fact that we should recognize and give it back, not just once a year, but all year round.

Have I Convinced You Yet? (If Not That’s Okay. You Do You, Boo!)

So this Valentine’s day, I invite you to be as cynical as you want to be. That’s your right. But if you want to think about the holiday in a different way with a different meaning, then I suggest you start think about the different types of love you have for the people in your life. Maybe you want to show your parents how much you love them by popping by with some dinner you made, to show them how much you care. (I mean, they did make you dinner for most of your young life, so you might as well give back with the ultimate sign of love aka food) Or bake some cookies for friends and write them a note, just reminding them how much you appreciate having them in your life (especially if they’re a “help you hide the body” kind of friend. They’re the real OGs). Or for your pharmacist, to thank them for always having your prescription ready, so you never run out of your anti-depressants (haha, oops, that’s me! But if it applies to you, go for it!)

Remember in school where you got to decorate a tissue box as your mailbox and every other kid in class had to give you a Valentine? (the rich kids always gave you the ones with candy in them, which were the best. Thank you, rich kids!) As a kid, that was not about romantic love. It was more about forced participation and including everyone in class, but it was the thought that counted. Valentine’s Day should be more like that, where we would show that we cared with cheap little cards with our favorite characters on them (not fancy gifts), and squealed when our friends gave us the best cards that they knew we loved (and the good kind of candy, too!) Love is simple and for everyone, not just the happy couples that bore us and bog down our social media with their kissing selfies.

Love and appreciation is a forgotten language between family and friend sometimes, so let’s remind ourselves of the people we hold most dear in our lives, and remind them that we love them. That’s how I think we should truly spend this otherwise wrongly marketed Valentine’s Day.

(But, if you are with a romantic partner and want to celebrate the day, please don’t think that I’m trampling on your joy! Just remember the other wonderful people you love and have in your life that day too, so please show them you appreciate them and then go and get busy with your boo. And try not to rub it in any singleton’s face. That’s all!).

Happy Valentine’s, everyone!

And that was my unique and not-actually-so-cynical take on Valentine’s Day! What did you guys think? Do you like the holiday or are you anti-Valentine’s Day? Let me know what you think in the comments and if you celebrate it, alone, with friends or family, or with a partner!

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18 comments on "Why A Cynical Person Like Me Loves Valentine's Day!"
  1. I totally agree with you. You don't have to feel excluded and the day doesn't have to be blown off in you're not in a relationship. The day is still fun single people too. Valentine's Day isn't just for romantic couples it's just another day to show loved ones extra affection. Every year, my mom buys my brother, sister and me Valentine's Day treats. We buy her roses, funny cards and giant heart shaped balloons. We treat the day like a day to show our close ones a little extra love and it's so much fun. Great post!

    Natonya |

    1. Hi Natonya! Exactly! I'm so glad someone else has the same idea about Valentine's Day! And I love that tradition that you and your family do together! That's such a sweet trade off between your mom and then your brother, sister, and yourself do for your mom. So cute, I love it! And just like you said, it's a great way to show our close ones a little extra love. AND it's fun! :)

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! <3

  2. I'm cynic who doesn't believe love is real, due to it being our bodies way of trying to make us procreate, and yet, still get bummed out if I was alone on Valentine's Day, because it sucks to feel 'Unwanted'

    1. I totally get that! I was definitely like that at one point, but I've kind of gotten used to the idea of being alone on Valentine's Day (not to sound sad or anything, just kind of realistic!), so now I've just embraced the idea of celebrating it with the idea of friends and family in mind :) But I know Valentine's Day isn't everyone's cup of tea, so I know my thoughts on it are probably quite different than everyone else's. And that's ok.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post! I really appreciate it!

  3. Ohh I love this post so much 💕

    We forget this quite alot, but that’s true that there’s other form of love out there- as of which is always worthy of celebrating!

    1. Hi Kristina! Aww thank you so much!! You're so right- I think we do forget sometimes about all the different types of love out there! I personally think the holiday is a great reminder to show our friends and family how much we love each other- not just our significant others (though if you do have one, that's fun to do too!).

      Thank you so much for reading and your wonderful comment!!!

  4. What a great post and it is so true. Valentines Day is about sharing it with the people you love, family, friends, partners. It’s a great way to show that extra love, kindness and appreciation for those people. You have written such a lovely post! Thank you for sharing x

    1. Hi Lauren! Aww thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words! And I agree with you exactly! For me, the day is just a nice reminder to let the people in my life know that I love them. I think we forget to say or express that enough to our loved ones!

      Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely and sweet comment! <3

  5. I hope you had a lovely Valentine's day appreciating yourself xo

    Makeup Muddle

    1. Aww thank you! I hope you did as well! <3 And thank you so much for reading and commenting on my post! I really, really appreciate it! :a

  6. I'm not a massive valentines day fan, but I totally get why you love it!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Hi Amie! I completely understand! Sometimes I feel like I'm the lone Valentine's fan out there, which always sounds so strange since I'm perpetually single ;)

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! It really means a lot to me! <3

  7. I think the only time I "hated" Valentine's Day was after my first boyfriend dumped me and just thought it was so stupid. Now, since I've been single for a while, I usually buy myself something, like candy or a stuffed animal (working at a grocery store really allows me to get to the marked down stuff early.)

    But like you, I'll get my family stuff like a cake or candy.

    It's become one of those "eh" holidays for me. It wasn't something I went nuts for, even in a relationship, but we always bought stuff for each other because that's what you're supposed to do. But I do remember in elementary school when we made out Valentine's for the entire class and hoping I got a good one from my crush...I usually didn't.

    I totally agree with you. I think anyone can celebrate it, single or not, and if you don't like it then that's cool too :)

    1. Hi Meagan! I'm sorry about that jerk of an ex! That would sour Valentine's Day for me too! (I actually used to dread my birthday since an ex dumped me right around that time) Ooh good for you! Treat yo self! I love that! And that's awesome that you get the marked down stuff early! What a perk! (Hopefully with an employee's discount too, lol)

      Aw that's so sweet of you! I'm sure your family appreciates it! I mean, my family always appreciates it whenever I get that something to eat, haha.

      I completely understand! I mean, if I didn't like Valentine's Day so much, it'd probably be an "eh" holiday for me, too. I remember that too! I always hoped I'd get something from my crush too, but nope, but never did! That's okay though, because I friended a lot of those guys on Facebook years ago, and I think I dodged a bullet. You probably did too! ;)

      Exactly! Everyone's allowed to have their own opinion on the holiday, though I know some people are pretty split on the idea, but to each their own!

      Thank you so much for reading and your awesome comment! I really appreciate you taking the time to do this! <3

  8. This post is adorable! And I couldn't agree more - I think romantic love is idolised too much in our society, and within that I think sex is given too big a platform. Both are absolutely FINE for people to like and do, but they're not necessarily more important that other types of love and affection - and Valentines' Day kind of tramples on all the other kinds. So I'm with you! (And I say this as someone in a long term relationship.) Thanks for writing this really lovely post :)

    1. Hi Naomi! Thank you so much! I know Valentine's Day is a holiday a lot of people are split on (and that's totally fine!), but I'm so happy you get my point! I agree with everything you said 100%! It's kind of ironic that I love the holiday so much as someone who's single, but it's just made me appreciate other types of love more, instead of the romantic type! :) (Not that I wouldn't say no to a romantic Valentine's Day in the future, if that happens to happen!). Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment! It means a lot to me! <3

  9. I had some chuckles from this one! I think you have a great perspective! We really do not express our love enough and that's such a shame. Valentine is a great chance to express that love. Personally, I don't celebrate it or post any sweet pictures on my social media. Like you say, I don't want to rub it in to people who are single or had their heart broken. And I hope it doesn't become a "let's outdo their celebration thing" as humans tend to do on social media these days. That'll just take away the meaning of the day! I'd rather do it the way you do it - as a day to express love and appreciation to everyone who touched us in our lives! After all, with our special half, everyday could be Valentine's day!

    I really enjoyed reading it! Great post! :)

    Julie |

    1. Hi Julie! Awww thank you! I'm glad I inadvertently threw a few chuckles in there for ya! ;) I totally get that. I sometimes think romance is a pretty personal thing, but I get that others are not like myself and share it across social media. Though that makes me grateful that you don't do that because you don't want to rub it into anyone single person's face. As a single person, it doesn't really bother me anymore, but I know I used to get really bummed out when seeing super romantic Valentine's posts. And that's so true! Every day should be Valentine's Day with couples, but I know it doesn't always work out that way sometimes, haha. Life, right?? lol.

      Thank you so so so much for reading and your amazing comment! It really made me smile!!


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