Although a day of mouth-watering chocolates, romance, and giant teddy bears may be great for those who are in relationships, Valentine’s Day is a cut through the throat for us single people.

Being single on February 14 is a disappointing reminder that we do not have a “special someone” in our lives. For 19 years, I have been watching friends and family gush over how beautiful the concept of Valentine’s Day is, but I have never been able to understand why this day is so important.

The closest thing I’ve had to a valentine was in elementary school when a friend of mine made a beaded necklace for me during craft time on Valentine’s Day. I thought that was the most gorgeous creation any man could give me.

I was hopeful that he would be my Valentine until I saw him making a necklace for another girl. He even went so far as to spell out her name, while mine was just this basic necklace that had no special meaning. I was his friend, and he didn’t want me to feel lonely on the one day of the year when everyone is supposed to have a significant other. It was yet another Valentine’s Day with no one to share it with.

As I went through high school and into college, Valentine’s Day became much more significant than it had previously been. It’s more than making necklaces and eating candy from all your classmates. No more chalky letters spelling out meaningful messages like “U R A QT” and “Be Mine.” Everyone at least felt somewhat included back then because we were forced to deliver cheesy, store bought cards with TV or movie characters on them for everyone in the class.

Now, Valentine’s Day is a high pressure “holiday” put forth by the media to lure people into buying gifts for their significant others. But if you’re like me, and don’t have a special someone in your life on Valentine’s Day, you’re forced to sit back and watch all your taken friends celebrate with bouquets of flowers, movie nights and candle lit dinners. Not to mention the countless Instagram and Facebook posts we see from everyone, showcasing their love for their partners. I get it. You’re dating. You love each other. I don’t need to see your mushy-gushy love fest in my feed.

Not only is it painful for me to watch, the hype of the day can also be very stressful for those in relationships. Valentine’s Day started off as a day to celebrate the love shared between two people, but has grown into this overly commercialized, dramatic shindig. It’s a spectacle put together by florists, greeting card companies, jewelry companies and the makers of stuffed animals. Valentine’s Day is a scheme set forth by these companies to bribe anxious people into getting overpriced gifts for their significant others.

Valentine’s Day is a gimmick. February has no special meaning to it. It should be just like any other day, when single people don’t have to question why they’re single, and taken people love their significant other unconditionally regardless of any external influences.

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