An insight into the compelling truth about the holiday of love.

By: Hala Nasar

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

My fingers tingle with emotion,

I am staring at the flower aisle and I

Imagine you are here.

Singing to me, lullabies soft on your tongue.

With crimson tears, I carry my heart,

Fingers aching wantonly.

I pray to let the fire simmer down,

But it only burns louder in my chest.

I look at the pink daffodil,

And remember your love in streaks of rose,

Splattering, daunting, crippling,

Taking refugee behind my ribs,

Burning my eyelids.

You are electrifying mauve,

Soft in your features, tough in your love.

You are a scarlet contrast, kissing my tears, choking on my words.

Happy Valentine’s day, lover.

Valentine’s day, what a concept. To many, it is a holiday to most celebrate lovers or family in leisure. To some, it is a bitter reminder of the loneliness that swarms their homes and sleeps in their bed, and to a few, it is another fleeting day with not much significance.

It comes to be expected every year to anticipate such a spirited buzz around the riveting holiday, but what truly takes the cake is the unmistakable desperation stemming from people of all ages, whether it be teenagers, adults, or interestingly enough — grandparents when February rolls around. It is quite the peculiar mass reaction when Valentine’s makes an appearance!

An insight explains that the deep-rooted infatuation with the idea of not willing to be alone on Valentine’s is propaganda promoted by social media to gain more sales from valentine’s themed products. Not only is it absolutely a remarkable marketing strategy, but buying these products promotes a negative ideology that materialism is the way to your partner’s heart.

There are two sides to this coin that most people seem to be divided over; it is either that Valentine’s is a holiday to be cherished with every bit of beating heart, or it is deemed an unnecessary accessory that brings no real outcome to a romantic or platonic relationship. If it is the former, Valentine’s is considered a lovely reminder for people to repurpose and nurture their relationships with each other. Somewhat like a universal love language where the world is seen through rose-colored lenses. However, if it is the latter, it comes from a place that the holiday of love is merely a myth, and people believe in it because they want to romanticize and cling to a redundant public display of “love”, when in reality, love is expected to flourish in private.

On the other hand, Valentine’s day has a reputation for being a contributor of pressure and anxiety for a lot of people — mainly women. The reason behind this is the pressing dilemma that ending up alone is a shameful thing a woman can go through, particularly if she’s young enough to entertain romantic partners. This being said, the societal expectations that infiltrate this holiday cause high levels of stress and self-esteem issues to arise in women that start thinking of themselves as undesirable or lonely.

However, with social media leaning towards a more progressive norm by the day, we recognize both the tenderness and the angst that come with Valentine’s day as a society, which has created a safe space for friends and family to find room for comfort amidst the noise.

Another aspect of Valentine’s that appears to be underrated is the feeling of contentment that settles in your chest after an expression of love. The best way to describe it to a literal degree is imagining it to be like marshmallows in a campfire, oozing its warm-gooey-sugar into your mouth. This feeling alone could be the main reason why Valentine’s day feels remarkable to most people!

Valentine’s is the holiday of love, so it is only appropriate to analyze it in a way that pays attention to the emotional involvement in it. Psychologists have studied love languages for decades and have found there to be 5 love languages that humans seek from each other. This being said, one of those love languages is gift-giving. Gifts are “visual symbols of love” that emphasize the symbolism of how a person feels about you, as Chapman puts it.

Additionally, people with Gifts as their love language find themselves appreciating their partners and celebrating them on Valentine’s more so than usual due to the fact that they feel appreciated, seen, and taken care of. They don’t say love is in the air for nothing!

Despite all the controversy surrounding this candied holiday, Valentine’s day remains to be one of the few days where celebrating love is the focal point of everyone’s day. So, wear that red shirt, put on that red lipstick, drink a pink cocktail, and watch your favorite rom-com! Valentine’s shouldn’t be the reason you feel lonely today, or ever. Take yourself out to dinner, buy a cake for your grandma, deliver some food to a friend, call your mother, or go dancing with your neighbor! Either way, spend Valentine’s celebrating rather than chastising yourself. Valentine’s day may feel like a victory dance to people with romantic partners, but why shouldn’t you romance yourself? After all, that’s what Saint Valentine would’ve wanted for you!

Lastly, here are some comments from people I know about what they think of Valentine’s day:

“I used to open so many cards for Valentine’s day until the post office fired me for it.” -Ameera

“Valentine’s: A day where people give each other heart-shaped chocolates, and I eat heart-shaped chicken nuggets.” -Nasouh

“It’s a fancy way for people in relationships to show off how “happy” they are.” -Haider

“I am going to wear black this Valentine’s day. That’s my way of saying romance is dead.” -Farah

“Pajamas, ice-cream, and movies are the go-to for February 14th!”-Marielyze.

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