How Commercialism Ruins The Effect Of Valentine’s Day

Natalie Elliott

Valentine’s Day. What does that conjure up in your mind? I’ll tell you what it makes me think of. Pink and red, hearts, chocolate, jewelry, Cupid, and societal pressure to care about your significant other for a day. 

What it doesn’t make me think of are actual love and romantic gestures. Valentine’s Day is supposedly a day to celebrate love, romantic love specifically, and to show your partner how much you appreciate them, except that society has made it all about money. People would rather make a big deal about buying their partner a gift instead of really showing them some love, and that’s quite unfortunate. For example, in 2021, it’s projected that $22 billion will be spent on Valentine’s Day here in the U.S., according to

Valentine’s Day creates a toxic societal ideal for couples by implying that the proper way to show love to your partner is to buy them gifts and that they only need to go above and beyond for each other one day a year. In reality, though, partners should show each other appreciation and love every day, and in more ways than just buying material items. They should do things making personalized gifts for their partner or planning for a day of relaxation and togetherness on or around Valentine’s day.  It doesn’t have to be anything huge or extravagant, it just needs to show that you care about getting to know your partner, and knowing what makes them happy.

The idea of Valentine’s Day being this one special time to focus on romance puts pressure on couples to do something big for each other on that set day, and if they don’t, they’re somehow bad partners. I think couples will be more likely to have a successful and lasting relationship if they focus on appreciating each other every day, not just one day in February.