For Love or Money


Photo credit: MCT Wire

Cassidy Connolly, Staff Reporter

Photo credit: MCT Wire
It’s nice to get a box of chocolates, but today there is more pressure for expensive Valentine’s Day gifts. Photo credit: MCT Wire

A radio show asked listeners to call in and give one of the hosts advice. His wife had told him she did not want him to buy her anything for Valentine’s Day, and he felt as though this were a test or a trick question. On Valentine’s Day, men are expected to buy jewelry for their wives or girlfriends, children look forward to candy and cartoon-related cards, and many single girls feel insignificant or alone. February 14 has become a way to measure love by expense. What happened to Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day began as a Christian holiday, a day dedicated to a saint. St. Valentine lived in Ancient Rome, and was a priest in the early Church, when Christians were being persecuted. He was beaten with clubs and beheaded by order of the prefect of Rome, and his execution is said to have taken place on February 14, sometime in the third century. St. Valentine is the patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages, so his feast day quickly became a holiday to celebrate love and courtship.

This day is now considered a “Hallmark holiday” by many due to its commercialization. Companies that sell sweets, flowers, and greeting cards certainly get a lot of business at this time of the year. Valentine’s Day is still supposedly about love, but now we have put a label on it. On Valentine’s Day, it becomes important that your significant other prove that they love you, usually by buying you things.

But that’s not how true love works. Love should not have to be proven, and it definitely is not measured in dollars and cents. Girls who don’t get valentines or gifts are not unloved, nor are they, as is so often said, “forever alone.” This should be a day when every girl feels beautiful, and everyone is reminded of the special people in their lives. Forget the cards, chocolate, flowers, jewelry, and emphasis on being romantic. It’s time we brought the focus of Valentine’s Day back where it belongs: real, true love. Here are some tips to make this February 14 a happier, emotionally healthier day:

1. Include your friends and family – Who says Valentine’s Day is just about romantic love? Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Stick an “I love you” note on the dashboard of your parents’ car. You’ll make their day and start your own with a warm fuzzy feeling.

2. Keep it simple – Extravagant gifts sometimes feel like they have strings attached. Candy, flowers, and notes are all simple but cute ways to say “I love you”.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, just heartfelt.

3. Relax – You don’t need to stress about a planned activity for Valentine’s Day to be fun.  Watch a movie, make comfort food for dinner, or spend a day playing games.  The best part: you can do this with friends or your significant other.

4. Candy! – Chocolate has been shown to create feelings of happiness in love in those who eat it.  What better excuse to eat lots of it?