The Psychology Of Valentines Day
BY MAHI K
Here’s a reminder of why you shouldn’t feel down if you’re spending this V-Day alone or your V-Day doesn’t go to plan!
With Valentine's Day around the corner (t-7 days!), I’m here to remind you that it’s not all roses and chocolates (literally).
Valentine’s Day actually started as a Christian celebration day which honoured Saint Valentine. The traditional significance of Saint Valentine wasn’t necessarily romantic, as it actually represented stories of martyrdom and persecution faced by various saints.
Somewhere along the road, the script completely flipped and it became a celebration associated with romantic love. In the 18th century, it became an occasion upon which people showcase their love for each other by giving them flowers, chocolates, cards and the entire day is symbolised by hearts, doves and illustrations of cupid.
We’re now in 2023 and this is a widely commercialised day; the lead up for which everybody is selling cards, chocolates and flowers. Put aside the mass-commercialisation of this day though. Should we really care if we’re alone on Valentine’s Day? I think the fuck not.
Studies have shown that while Valentine’s Day may boost your feelings of satisfaction in your relationship, in reality it’s actually a day that brings a lot of disappointment for women.
Let’s unpack this and why it may be:
1. You may have an expectation of what you want that day, and what you expect to receive. And if that’s not provided to you? Instant disappointment. As a girl who grew up with extremely high expectations, I fully empathise and understand the feelings that overcome you if a scenario doesn’t play out exactly as you’ve anticipated. If he didn’t pre-book that dinner spot, didn’t get you 24 roses, didn’t buy you the box of Ferrero Rochers. You’re likely to feel far more disappointed with what you didn’t get, than with what you did.
2. This specific day where you want this affection and attention is also, for lack of better words, a pissing contest. For a lot of people, it really feeds the human desire to be loved and want to show the things that their partner has provided to them - the big bouquet of flowers (and look, I’m guilty of this too!) or the room covered in rose petals. Just because somebody is happy to post a story saying how much they’ve been spoiled, doesn’t mean it’s all peaches and roses behind the scenes. I remember one Valentine’s Day, my ex-boyfriend had planned a lovely dinner and gotten me a big bouquet of flowers - obviously, I snapped a story of my dinner - but the only real thing I remember about that night is us arguing on the way to dinner. And Idon’t remember why.
3. Just because someone shows out on V-Day, doesn’t make them a good partner. A while back, there was a Tik Tok trend where girls were showing the crazy grandeur gestures a man had done for them, but then had proceeded to cheat on them… I appreciate Tik Tok for providing this realness. Someone showing you love and going OTT on V-day may feel nice (because who doesn’t love being spoiled), but it isn’t definitive proof of them being a good person or valuing you. As this trend illustrates, some people have the capacity to be purely deceptive. You might even go as far to say, these extreme grandeur gestures are perhaps guilt gestures made to overcompensate for other indiscretions.
So although V-day is filled with an almost playful novelty that takes you right back to the honeymoon phase (and don’t get me wrong, I’m most certainly expecting flowers), it shouldn’t be the be all and end all and alter your mood.
A partner should treat you well every single day of your relationship, and romantic dates and grandeur gestures of this sort should be consistent throughout a relationship. And if you don’t have a partner, that’s fine, you can buy your own flowers (Alexa… play ‘Flowers’ by Miley Cyrus!).