7 Reasons Why I Hate Valentine’s Day

I’m about to write the one post you would never expect a professional matchmaker to write. So, first, let me clarify that I am actually a matchmaker. Yes, that’s my “real” job and one that I love.

This time of year is the Super Bowl of my industry – lots of events, lots of media attention, lots of new client requests. You would think I should just shut my mouth and enjoy the ride. However, I can’t…because I hate Valentine’s Day.

Hate Valentine's Day

Yes, that’s how I truly feel and let me give you the 7 reasons why…

1)  You get “penalized’ if you’re not in a relationship

Let’s face it, nothing is worse than being alone on Valentine’s Day. At least, that’s what our society tells us. Several studies suggest that being alone on Valentine’s Day can cause depression in both teenagers and adults.

2)  You get “penalized” if you’re in a relationship

I’ve been married 15 years and I still feel the stress to “make something extravagant happen” on Valentine’s Day. The pressure doesn’t come from my wife, but from everyone else who asks me (and my wife gets similar questions, too), “What big surprise are you planning for your wife this year, Paul?” “How many roses is she getting this year?” “You know girls love diamonds Paul, are you giving her some?” And on and on. The second she or I hint at doing something “low-key” on Valentine’s Day, the eyes start to roll.

3)  People make wild purchases they really can’t afford

Guess when the most profitable time of year for matchmakers and online dating sites is? That’s right, Valentine’s Day. I notice with my matchmaking agency this is the time of year when inquiries for services spike.

I’ve had many clients tell me that it was so important they attempt to find a mate that they have delayed buying a car they needed or they made other significant sacrifices – which indicates that this was not a service they could truly afford. This “holiday” drives a “desperation” on the part of many. And, as a result, price is no longer important (the sad thing is corporations know this, which brings me to my next point).

4)  We all get price-gouged

When would someone in their right mind pay $500 for a couple’s dinner, or $150 for flowers, or $75 for a box of chocolates? NEVER… except on Valentine’s Day. Nearly every business inflates their prices on Valentine’s Day. The crazy thing is, we all know about this artificial inflation and STILL line up to get ripped off.

5)  It prematurely forces people in or out of relationships

The days leading up to Valentine’s Day and the days right after are some of the busiest in the romance “game.” It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that days leading up to (and on) Valentine’s Day, are the most popular for proposals and exclusive dating commitments.

Care to guess what the days following Valentine’s Day are most popular for? That’s right, break-ups. I’m not saying these are couples would not have eventually committed to each other or broken up with each other, anyway. But, the Valentine’s Day season brings about feelings of “do or die,” and ultimatums never help a relationship.

6)  Kids are indoctrinated too young

My 3-year-old is ridiculously excited about Valentine’s Day. Almost too much so. What does he know about it? You give and get gifts. That’s it. I know this is where parents need to step in, but it’s damn hard when the country wraps up the Christmas holidays, and it feels like almost immediately after, every store inundates us with Valentine’s Day promotions. I chalk this up to corporate programming at it’s best (bringing me to my next point).

7)  Inappropriate focus on gifts

Love takes on many forms. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, we actually give and receive love in 5 ways, but if you were dropped on this planet on Valentine’s Day, you would think it’s all about gifts and nothing else. Buy this, buy this, buy this, is the theme EVERYWHERE we go and that messaging impacts us psychologically. So much so, that we’re programmed to believe gifts are the single most important tool to obtain and receive love (and it’s not – quality time is significantly more important).

 

Let me end by saying despite all this hating on Valentine’s Day I just did, I am, ironically, a romantic. However, the commercialization (of all holidays) just ain’t working. Sure, it generates billions of dollars and I’m sure some economists can trace that back to more jobs, country security, etc., BUT we’re being negatively impacted, as well. In my opinion, the corporate takeover of Valentine’s Day is doing far more harm than good for relationships today and, more importantly, relationships tomorrow.

 

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

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About Paul C. Brunson
I'm a husband, father, mentor, and mentee. The host of a weekly syndicated TV show, founder of an award winning matchmaking agency, CEO & Co-Founder of a tech startup, and advisor to several companies. If you couldn't tell from all my jobs, I'm Jamaican. No really, I'm Jamaican :)
328 comments
seacove87
seacove87

Valentines Day has Christian roots. Please look up the roots it will amaze you on the true story.  


seacove87
seacove87

You pointed out one very important thing. People think buying things equals love but the time they spend with that person is way more important. I would totally to agree. Way too much commercialization and its crazy the money people spend. 

I think its unfair to celebrate it at school because some kids get cards from other students while others don't get any. 

This makes these other kids insecure and feel rejected because they didn't get any cards and candy. I always gave 

candy and cards to my friends but I don't think its good for those who are in middle school and under because kids 

can be very mean at that age. 


lvlisanthropy
lvlisanthropy

Loved this article and agree on every point!

I really don't think I have anything to add... except that people should spend more time making their OWN holidays.  Like- remembering the first day they met, or the first time they kissed, or at the very least their anniversary.

This seems an arbitrary day of just celebrating the CONCEPT of love. A concept, in and of itself, is best celebrated through genuine practice.

ShadeButler
ShadeButler

I think I agree with you, Paul...kind of. Lol. I agree with your points about Valentine's Day - so much emphasis placed on gifts, people feel left out, kids get the wrong impression, etc. BUT I don't mind Valentine's Day because I know that my husband and I never overdo it on February 14th. It's just another day in the year. As a matter of fact, I decided that this year, I'd spend Valentine's Day with some of my best girl friends - single, married, and in between. It's not (and shouldn't be) just a day for couples. 

Parthenia
Parthenia

Paul, my fellow introvert you hit the nail on the head, it's not the holiday, it's what society has done to commercialize them. And Valentines Day is the absolute worst if you are a single woman in the workplace. While everyone is getting roses delivered you either 1) send yourself some 2) stay home 3) act like you don't like flowers. Either way you are miserable because other people's "happiness" is something you wish you had

But the next week comes and it's back to normal and those same women that got roses are talking about how their husband makes her sick. So I will keep myself single until God sends me who He has for me, until then I will continue to love me so when he does show up he will know see what he must do as well. Great article bro!!! Hugs, Parthenia

Debra Lynn Williamson
Debra Lynn Williamson

I like the Valentine's Day holiday.It's just like Halloween, or any other day that's set aside to show someone that you really care about them, or to do something special. It doesn't have to be anything real expensive. Just some candy and a card, or some flowers and a card! It's the thought behind it that really matters to me.

Mary Donovan
Mary Donovan

Told my huz I wanted a box of index cards for vday. Nursing school needs.

Susan PaulFlatter
Susan PaulFlatter

I so do not like Valentines Day. But if a man chooses to get me something: I prefer a massage:)

Rosalind Bakion
Rosalind Bakion

I'm glad you posted this article. Being single on Valentine's Day is the worse!

Ashley Hodges
Ashley Hodges

Wow that was just very poor advice but I'm not surprised. That's why I tell people all of the time that age does not equal wisdom, they were just born before us, the end.

Toya Johnson
Toya Johnson

None taken. She's actually older than me - I'm 39 & she's 56. It gave me a complex for a bit and then I had to come back to myself for a minute and remind myself that while it's nice, it really is just a day. Some people use it to show off how "great" their relationship is, all the while they are miserable & unhappy.

Stephanie Baker
Stephanie Baker

I love Valentines Day! When I'm with someone, all I want is a handwritten love letter and alone time, or for him to do something else from his heart. When I'm single I treat myself. No matter my status I show love to my immediate fam and closest friends. I see nothing wrong with setting aside a day just for love. We should be thankful and, for Christians, be grateful for Christ's birth and resurrection everyday, yet we have days marked each year to celebrate those things. Why not set aside a day just to express love?

Toya Johnson
Toya Johnson

I have been in a relationship for only 6 months and I had a girlfriend tell me that I should break up with my man if he doesn't do anything for me on Valentine's. I asked her why and she said that it proves he's not as serious as he says he is. I looked at her like she lost her mind. One day does not a relationship make. It's a nice day but some people go just a tad bit overboard it.

Caron King
Caron King

I am vehemently opposed to Valentines day. Spending money on things you could ill afford to impress people you do not particularly like is a waste of time and money. Totally disinterested in the show and tell. Treat well your spouse/significant other throughout the year and choose the day YOU want to best express your love to and for each other.

Laura Burns
Laura Burns

People forget it was originally a Saints day. Not sure when the chocolate and roses came into it.

Stacey Kincaid
Stacey Kincaid

We were married on Valentine's day so for the entire year he treats me like I'm not alive till one week from them at day then he's all nice and crap ,,,bs

Marta A. Sloane
Marta A. Sloane

I hesitate to start dating in January, because those relationships tend to break up *before* Valentine's Day.. Ane cheapskate who took me out on Valrmtine;s day and then made me pay for it..He was a mean spirited guy besides that..

Jane S. Green
Jane S. Green

I must admit I too attempted to live up to the expectations of Valentine's Day in the past. When I was single I did feel depressed on Valentine's Day and when I got married years ago I use to feel some kind of way if my husband and I didn't do anything special. However, for me it took a shift in perspective and perception so that I can always enjoy Valentine's Day, after all it's a day to celebrate Love. I love all things beautiful and Good, but I don't have to have them on Valentine's Day. Allow people to be who they are and eventually they will evolve on their timetable. Paul, enjoy each Valentine's Day and leave the rest up to God.

Natasha Campbell
Natasha Campbell

I love love and by that notion love any day I can celebrate it, including Valentines Day. While I am shown love all year long by my loved ones and boyfriend, it's a day the world sets aside to particularly celebrate love. People are grateful for me all year, but may celebrate me in a special way for my birthday. We probably appreciate our partners and the relationship we have with them all year long, but no one gives you flack for having a special celebration on an anniversary. We are all grateful to be living in an independent America, but cell it with fireworks and barbecues on July 4th. I can follow this logic for most holidays. Let's not stop blaming corporations for not coming up with creative ways to celebrate love, romantic or not. I have given friends cupcakes with nice notes. I've created custom baskets filled with candy that both of my parents liked. Love is the one thing this world needs more of - let's celebrate it!

Tk Konopka
Tk Konopka

People don't need a person on valentines day to be happy Godnever Got choclates, jewlery o strawberries what makes you so special

Linda Murphy
Linda Murphy

Too funny! When does this book come out? Is it already out? I celebrate the love for my kids everyday.

Chinue Phillips
Chinue Phillips

Its over rated for sure and it is a day I do not get involved with .

Shelly Stephens
Shelly Stephens

You don't have to put yourself in too much expense it's the though th that counts. I agree that it's shallow but this day should not be different to any other day you express your love. U just have to make more of an effort.

Yamil Y. Baez
Yamil Y. Baez

Well said. Is there anything we can do about it?

Crystal Kaamilya Uqdah
Crystal Kaamilya Uqdah

Couldn't agree more.... Vday isn't an expression of love, that should be done all year long.....

Ashley Hodges
Ashley Hodges

I know it's a commercial holiday but like you I like it too. My mama used to send me balloons and stuff to my school. In college my BFF Kenetra Robertson-Jones would make a steak dinner and we would get together and chill. I've been single for almost 3 years this year and I love valentine's day. These are my valentines.

Ermila Carlin
Ermila Carlin

LOL very engaging post and I completely agree with ya on ALL your valid points. My issue is with ALL this is the superficiality of it all.....I mean if this holiday is to "celebrate" love then why then are we as a culture homogenizing this expression? For instance, whatever happened to the beautifully, heartfelt love letter.....or the hand-crafted Vday cards...the one of a kind stuff.....the fun, silly spontaneous, unscripted stuff.....Nah, instead men and women alike have bought into a cookie cutter version of what Vday means to them and they literally have placed a value in it and into a "box".....and for that reason I loathe it......I hate ALL things generic.....and challenge people to dare to be original.....take pen to paper and express yourself.....in the way that resonates YOUR truth instead of a stock Hallmark card....I get it I get it.....we're in corporate America....I get it.....someone has a job and businesses need to generate sales....apart from all that.....I simply prefer to see and read about the guy who made chocolate covered strawberries for his sweetheart and fed them to her.....or the woman who planted lil love notes on their romantic drive along the coast......take ownership of manufacturing your own memories.....that suit your budget and beliefs....instead of subscribing to someone else's version of LOVE.......Lastly, IF you do have to buy a Vday card.....make sure you select the most cheesy one and mail it to yourself because whether you're in a relationship or at the moment single, you deserve to receive a thoughtful sentimental loving card ......from a loving HEART, your own :) Sorry for lengthy rant bro but I have ALWAYS loathed this faux holiday whether single or in a relationship and NEVER felt compelled to DIRECT the man in my life to what should be stirring in his heart......True love should be "allowed" never contrived.....and ultimately this vday stuff is all too forced......Nevertheless.......shower your beautiful wife.....adore her, cherish her.......all those affections are priceless......Much love and respect and laughter to ALL.....NOTE: I would never fault anyone who enjoys the flashy expressions of love if that is something you and your partner are in agreement about.... "to thine ownself be true" William Shakespeare

Roopal Vora
Roopal Vora

So true. It's a money making scheme to declare love on one day of the year! If you love someone it should be declared every day and no money is involved.

Anna Vovk
Anna Vovk

Im always alone on Valentine.

RobMcCabe
RobMcCabe

trust me you're certainly not the only one. There are many who are out there praying to meet someone like you.

Tee W Hill
Tee W Hill

We aren't pressed about Valentine's day. I wouldn't trade it for the love and appreciation that I get everyday.

Candice C. Crowder
Candice C. Crowder

Growing up, my mom would make Valentine's Day a celebration of love. Balloons, cupcakes, cards, and lots of hugs and kisses. As am adult, I feel good single or committed on V-day because I love and am loved. I'll have the same fun with my kids one day! I think it's a fun holiday w the right scenario

Alison Newman
Alison Newman

Odd that it's usually men who don't like this special day hmmm 😏 - can't turn down an opportunity to be spoiled. Can't read this one ❤️ #DontBuisiness

Eugenia Berg
Eugenia Berg

You know if you happen to celebrate Valentine's Day doesn't mean you aren't showing love everyday. Some of yall can really kill a buzz. I got my husband two cards, one from me and one from our twins. I got a charm for my bracelet and 3 massages. I'm straight. Now let me get back to celebrating with 3 favorite valentines.

Angelique Walker
Angelique Walker

So why not say I hate Christmas, or Mother's Day, or Father's Day? It's all commercialized, so why not hate them all? Or is this because your business is matchmaking?

Liz's Daughter
Liz's Daughter

Lets just call it a 2nd Halloween and call it a day?

Kandie Magdalene
Kandie Magdalene

#7 is also true about most of these holidays. Awesome article! Me and my love are appreciative on a regular basis so We are just gonna take advantage of the next day sales like we do every holiday(esp Christmas) It pisses my mom off but I HAVE to be realistic about my budget and long term fifinancial goals. I don't like feeling pressured to do shit no matter how "normal" big Corporations try to tell us it is

Joy Hunt
Joy Hunt

I don't believe one day set aside to show love makes sense. Every day do something to express your love.

Terry Gill
Terry Gill

Significant other, with the phones turned off, and we just spend the entire in seclusion.....

Terry Gill
Terry Gill

Valentines Day should be everyday!! Love is shown in solo many ways. And money should never be the focus. For me, Valentines day would be a day I spend at home with at signifant other