Valentine’s Day — a holiday of romance and emotion. It is anticipated by couples all over, and for good reason. This day, always falling on Feb. 14, symbolizes a time to celebrate love and appreciate each other.
There’s a strong significance we have put on Valentine’s Day as a culture. Couples often go out to dinner, buy each other chocolate or flowers and they make it a special occasion — it’s just what people do. However, the emphasis many put on making Valentine’s Day memorable can create anxiety that does more harm than good.
As I’ve noticed this year, the pressure that comes with Valentine’s Day celebrations is a lot more intense than I had previously thought.
No matter how well I plan for something, romantic or not, there’s always a possibility it can go wrong. Timing may become an issue, events may get canceled; there’s an endless number of ways that plans change. That, in of itself, is stressful, but when the pressure of Valentine’s Day is added onto that, sometimes the pressure can be too much.
I, personally, do not handle stress well. So, when I first encountered this Valentine’s Day stress so many feel, I was alarmed. It’s the first year I’ve ever done anything for Valentine’s Day, and it surprised me.
I was getting frustrated and anxious just thinking about Valentine’s Day and all the things I needed to do to prepare. Even two weeks away, I was extremely overwhelmed. After taking a step back, quickly I realized — that pressure was self-induced.
I was focusing so much on making Valentine’s Day as great as possible, that I had allowed my happiness to go completely by the wayside. The pressure to make the day amazing was actually doing the opposite. But why do we put so much pressure on Valentine’s Day in the first place?
The way I see it, Valentine’s Day is the one day a year set aside exclusively for couples to celebrate their relationship. Because it’s a designated day for celebrating love, like how Thanksgiving is reserved for giving thanks, there is a pressure to make it perfect.
I think, to fix this problem, we need to decrease the effect a holiday can have on us. I don’t mean ignoring the holiday, but to realize that Valentine’s Day loses its purpose when the stress of planning it doesn’t let you enjoy yourself.
And this doesn’t just apply to Valentine’s Day either. Anything can be being ruined by worrying about it too much.
So maybe as a society, we should learn to step back, take a deep breath — and not freak out. Nothing is worth the anxiety I, and many others, have felt planning for Valentine’s Day. We shouldn’t allow the pressure to make Valentine’s Day perfect take away from actually appreciating the day.