Valentine’s Day is a relationship crutch

Emily Johns

II hate Valentine’s Day. I always have – whether I have a boyfriend at the time or not. I just don’t understand it. If it weren’t for my uncontrollable addiction to candy hearts, I would have tried to destroy the holiday long ago.

I can’t eat chocolate because I am lactose intolerant. And frankly, Cupid makes me angry. Running around naked with his bow, I’m convinced he’s the head of an underground child pornography ring.

Although I admit to being a cynic, it is the romantic in me that questions the holiday. I am a closet romantic – I secretly love chick flicks, flowers and all things pink. I question Valentine’s Day because it does not represent the true romance everybody craves. It is a superficial show of affection – letting someone know you care just because you are supposed to.

You should not need a reason to show someone you love them. The holiday provides an opportunity to show someone you care, but too many relationships depend on Valentine’s Day. They need it to give life to their relationships; too many couples need reasons to show affection.

True romance doesn’t just happen one day of the year. It should be present every day, and it should not be as cliche as chocolate and roses. Love needs to have a little bit of inherent pizzazz in it, and roses do not provide the necessary amount of kick and spice to a relationship.

I’ve never been a believer in falling in love with someone for all the great things they do or their dreamy eyes. I’m more of a believer in loving people for their weaknesses and imperfections. On Valentine’s Day you are supposed to tell people why you love them. If you tell the truth, it is very likely you will get punched in the face. I have never told someone I love them because I think their bad grammar is cute.

My boyfriend of more than two years and I broke up a few months ago. Rather, he broke up with me and I probably deserved it. Part of the sadness that stems from our breakup is the realization that our relationship, unfortunately, needed Valentine’s Day. We needed a reason to show we cared; there was no spontaneity of true romance. A relationship that needs Valentine’s Day just pretends. There it was not necessarily a lack of love, we had plenty of that. Love just isn’t enough sometimes. There was a lack of compassion.

Having my heart broken has forced me to re-evaluate my opinions on love. I’ve never been one to believe there is one perfect person in the world for us. If that were true, nobody would ever find that one person out of six billion. I believe a lot of people can make us happy, and if you love them and can see yourself spending the rest of your life with them, there should not be anything holding you back. But I think the idea of having to find a soul mate is really depressing. I can’t even find my mittens.

So for this Valentine’s Day, I’m not going to force myself to love anybody, not even for a day. My friend Amit and I have Friday night hockey tickets. For weeks I have been assuring him that we would, in fact, have a date at the game on Valentine’s Day because I would have nothing else to do. Amit thinks differently, however; he has been making bets with me that I will not be at the game, no matter how much I try to deny it now. He swears I’ll have a date for Valentine’s Day.

If, however, I get asked on a date on Valentine’s Day, I think my own stubbornness and fear of getting hurt again will make me turn him down to prove Amit wrong. I’m going to the game. But I will be free afterward.

Emily Johns is a staff reporter at the Minnesota Daily. Send letters to the editor to [email protected]