Overrated or over-hated? The debate over Valentine’s Day

The day that everyone loves to hate (or hates to love)

Emily Paulin and Kara Dwyer

Valentine’s Day: a celebration of love or a commercial stunt? Two of our Opinions writers go head-to-head over love day.

Valentine’s Day is overrated

The Commercialization of Love Devalues the Reality

By: Emily Paulin, Opinions Writer


Valentine’s Day is both the couple’s and the lonely individual’s nightmare: the celebration, and commercialization, of love. Celebrating love and showing appreciation for your romantic partner is great, but Valentine’s Day devalues it. 

Valentine’s Day twists relationships; it shouldn’t be about the tangible things, it’s about the interpersonal support and the effort each person puts into the relationship. The holiday pressures couples to prove their love and devotion to each other, making them stress about the perfect gift or gesture. However, the gifts, chocolates, cards and fancy dinners hide all of the hard work, and fail to recognize the value of mutual support and trust, as well as promote unrealistic standards for relationships. 

Valentine’s Day commercializes love and devalues it. It makes love all about showering your significant other with gifts and proving your devotion to them by spending money. According to the National Revenue Federation, US adults will be “spending a total of $26.8 billion” this year for Valentine’s Day gifts and gestures, and “those celebrating plan to spend an average of $164.76.” Though these data are from adults, they demonstrate how Valentine’s Day makes love about the big gestures, the roses, the chocolate and the fancy dinners. 

Finally, for those not in relationships, Valentine’s Day is an annoyance and sometimes a painful reminder of what one doesn’t have. It promotes the standard that people should want to be in a relationship. It offers an excuse for couples to post about how much they love each other, leaving those who do want a relationship disappointed and jealous. 

Overall, celebrating love and demonstrating affection are admirable goals, but Valentine’s Day devalues the time and effort of relationships. It reminds others of what they want but don’t have. Valentine’s Day makes it all about the big gestures and expensive gifts, leaving everyone else lonely.


Valentine’s Day is over-hated

It’s time to give February 14th a chance.

By: Kara Dwyer, Opinions Assistant Editor


Walking through the aisles of a Target, Walmart or just about any other store in late January into February is typically dreadful for single people. The most notorious holiday quickly approaches in the chill of winter: Valentine’s Day. According to a study done by the Statista Research department, only 52% of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Still, it doesn’t have to be this way.  By no longer ignoring the red and pink shelves, Valentine’s Day haters can find true appreciation for the 14th. 

The idea that Valentine’s Day is exclusively for couples is outdated; people need to look past the stigma that surrounds the holiday. Even without a fancy dinner or a special someone to exchange gifts with, single people can still find ways to appreciate chocolate hearts and candies. Why not take advantage of the 14th to show love to friends and family or yourself? Love is not just romantic, it’s also platonic.

With the stress and dreariness that winter months can bring, a token of appreciation goes a long way for most. According to Brittany Jakubiak, a psychology researcher at Syracuse University, “There are broad benefits of receiving and providing affection in close relationships… [such as] reduced stress, more positive mood, greater overall satisfaction with life and even a lower risk of catching a cold.” Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to shower your loved ones with candy, roses and even just a short letter to show your appreciation for them; make the day your own!

It’s time to accept that Valentine’s Day is an unavoidable event that we should all make the most of. Seasonal depression is at an all-time high, especially because of the pandemic. Take the time to make new traditions, enjoy the wide selection of chocolates and realize that the holiday is unnecessarily over-hated.