Valentine’s day woes

It’s that time of year again. The birds are chirping, the flowers bristling, the aromas of love and adoration filling the air. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and the corresponding feelings of resentment and loathing still linger around our campus, an unfortunate consequence of a once well-appreciated holiday.

Friends of mine regard the approach of Feb. 14 with great cynicism, outwardly displaying their distaste for St. Valentine and the day created by greeting card companies to celebrate love and romance in his name.

Romance is at the forefront of this hatred, as single men and women are forced to acknowledge the presence of those whose sappiness can be felt from far away, those whose joyful expression of love and adoration inspires us to cringe and cowl: the happy couples.

As a single guy, I used to allow Valentine’s Day to depress me, for it had become an annual reminder of the fact that I was not in relationship. I hated the happy couples because of how open and honest they appeared to be about their mutual feelings of love. It was sickening.

I used to view Valentine’s Day with as much cynicism as any other person. The couples seemed too happy to be genuine in their admiration for one another. Every time I saw a man carrying roses, I mocked him in my mind, believing that the roses were merely a contrived spectacle designed in order to earn him the respect of his girlfriend and her group of female friends. Chocolates, stuffed animals, cards, and large romantic gestures all appeared frivolous to me.

However, I’ve changed over the last year and my view of Valentine’s has subsequently changed with me. I no longer look at Valentine’s Day as merely a romantic holiday meant for couples in order to celebrate their happiness together. That narrow-minded perception misses the real point of the holiday.

Feb. 14 was meant to be a day during which people could recognize all forms of love within their own lives, not just romantic love. As college students, most of us living far away from home, we tend to forget that there are other people out there who are just as deserving of our love and adoration as a significant other. We become so focused on romantic relationships and the depression associated with being resentful towards those in such relationships that we forget the most obvious sources of love within our lives.

Valentine’s Day should be a celebration of not only romantic love, but familial love and platonic love as well. Although greeting card companies may have created it in order to increase profits, Valentine’s Day is about all those people in our life towards whom we often forget to show sufficient appreciation.

There is no reason to be depressed on Valentine’s Day since there is an abundance of people who exist in our lives who deserve our love. It is when we forget that these relationships are the ones that matter the most that we realize Valentine’s Day isn’t as bad as we tend to think.