Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of February and it is dedicated to romance. Many years ago, Saint Valentine’s Day was a Roman festival called Lupercalia and it celebrated the coming of spring, and only by the end of the 5th century, it became the world-known holiday. However, there are many more legends from which Valentine’s Day has come to life.
An unusual story of this special day in February, did you know that the 14th February 1929 is known as the St Valentine’s Day Massacre? This is because seven men, who were part of one of Al Capone’s enemy’s gang, were shot with machine guns in Chicago. It was never officially linked to Capone, but he was considered to be responsible for the murders and the streets of Chicago were ruled by gangs.
In our modern days, where consumerism and globalisation turned this love-centered holiday into a spectacle of showing affection through expensive gifts, wine and dine evenings and signed cards, why should we love every day not just on Valentine’s Day?
Some statistics by Hallmark cards show that “approximately 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged industry-wide”, which makes this holiday the second-largest occasion for exchanging cards.
Each year I see articles entitled “Here is how to survive Valentine’s Day if you are single” or “Anti-Valentine’s Day (also known as Singles Awareness Day) activities to cure your sadness”. Why does this one day in February put so much pressure on single people? This holiday is supposed to be all about love, but in turn, it also became a masquerade of self-hatred or forced affection.
You can be single and celebrate love, right? Love comes from within and I believe that self-love is the most important form of affection.
There is this quote that I used to go back to before I met my boyfriend.
Until you get comfortable with being alone, you’ll never know if you’re choosing someone out of love or loneliness.
And so, I decided to love myself first, before I could love somebody else.
I remember in 2015, on Valentine’s Day, I went to a movie with my best friend, Ali and we had an amazing time. I didn’t feel sad for not having a partner, because I had my partner in crime with me. When I passed by couples that were in love and holding hands I would gaze in admiration, not hatred.
On another 14th of February, I went out to enjoy a nice meal with my family and it was all I ever needed – the people I love most next to me.
Last Valentine’s Day, I was in London with my friend Oana, and my boyfriend was back in Romania. Should I have cried and had an inappropriate reaction to the fact that the love of my life was not with me on that day? No, we explored the city, ate burgers and then I bought two bottles of wine and took advantage of the time I had with my friend instead of letting myself fall down a rabbit-hole of unnecessary emotions, projected by social media.
And this Valentine’s Day will be just like any other day – filled with love, positivity and happiness.
I truly believe that you can treat someone to a meal or drink any time of the day, buy your lover or friend flowers any day of the month and send cards to a special someone any month of the year.
Social media has sadly dramatised this holiday so much that single people feel pressured to get through the 14th of February with their emotions intact. People do react differently to certain events and it is absolutely normal to do so. I am not saying that one or the other is wrong. But we are currently living in a society that needs enormous amounts of love and understanding, with everything that is happening in the world.
So, why shouldn’t we love every day not just on Valentine’s Day?