The official definition of Valentine is ‘a person to whom one sends such a card or whom one asks to be one’s sweetheart’ and the term Valentine’s Day is known as ‘a day for the exchange of tokens of affection.’ But has this changed over the years? I am a teenage girl and for the past 2 years I have been in a relationship for this occasion but now I’m single and I found it surprising yet interesting to see how drastically my opinion on this day changed in quite a short space of time therefore I was inspired to write the following article about this day.
Valentine’s Day is an annual celebration which falls on the 14th day of the month. It is usually celebrated by giving flowers, chocolate and cards those you love. We do these things in honour of Saint Valentine. Nowadays, many people don’t really think about this. However, it is said that Valentine was a priest during the third century Rome. At this time, there was an Emperor named Claudius II who claimed that married soldiers lacked strength other than single soldiers who were more capable of their occupation therefore he outlawed marriage for young men aspiring to become soldiers so he could have a stronger army. Supposedly, Valentine decided against this as he thought it was unfair and chose to marry young couples in secret. That is one story, there is also a legend that has been told claiming that Valentine was a man in prison who fell in love with his jailor’s daughter and before he was killed he sent the first ‘Valentine’ to himself when he wrote the woman a letter signing it with ‘Your Valentine’ this is why people are lead to believe why these words are still used on cards in the 21st century.
I decided to carry out a bit of my own research and discover what people I know think about this day. I asked the following 4 people what their true opinion on Valentine’s Day was:
14 year old female: ‘I think Valentine’s Day is just a pointless holiday where card companies sell cards to send to people purely to gain more money however, if you love someone that much you should celebrate it every day of the year not just one day. If Valentine’s Day is going to exist it should be about people who like someone and aren’t confident enough to tell them and of course, Mcdonalds get a lot of money because it’s where all the single people go to drown their sorrows.’ (I do apologise for my little sisters embarrassing love for food.)
17 year old male: ‘I think it’s a good day if you are one of those people who enjoys all that cute relationship stuff, it means you can spend the day treating your girlfriend like a princess but when people who are single go on about it, it turns into a sort of joke, they’ll laugh about being single and spending it with their cat etc when deep down everyone wants someone to spend the day with no matter what they say.’
Married man: ‘A commercial gimmick for card companies to make loads of money, nobody really buys into it. It’s expensive and everyone goes out so the service in restaurants and hotels is poor.’
Married woman: ‘It’s alright for a bit of fun when you’re a teenager or in a new relationship otherwise it’s a commercial opportunity for greed, it’s not even just cards, everything in shops is Valentine’s this, Valentine’s that.’
I found this intriguing because I suppose my opinion is all of those bonded together. When I was in a relationship, I saw Valentine’s day as another day however, spending it with my boyfriend did feel special and seeing someone’s face light up when you give them a gift is always a lovely feeling so I like it for that however now that I’m single, I dread walking down the streets seeing young couples holding hands because it makes me feel lonely and it is such a mood kill to feel that way! I do agree about the businesses getting money out of people and I personally believe it is more of a day you put thought into gifts for example photo frames, handwritten letters and so on. But there are some delightful things you can purchase for the ones you love nowadays and sometimes the money is worth it if you truly love them.
I can’t help but remember my primary school days, being young and not really caring, we used to send our ‘crushes’ cards signed with a question mark, I think it would be lovely if Valentine’s Day was dedicated to people who never had the confidence to tell someone how they felt or if someone could never pluck up the courage to ask them out. The fact that couples are now pressured into purchasing gifts/cards for their significant other can be somewhat stressful but ‘it’s the thought that counts’
What are your views on Valentine’s Day?