Has Valentine’s Day Become an Outdated Holiday?
“Happy Valentines” may be a thing we hear less and less frequently as the next few years pass by. This is because many people are choosing to avoid the holiday altogether. However, this pushback against celebrating Valentine’s Day is not due to unhappiness with love but rather the opposite. Many couples are focusing more on celebrating their love year-round.
Why a Happy Valentines Day is Decreasing in Popularity
Have you perhaps noticed that fewer of your friends are celebrating Valentine’s Day? If you’re like me, this is definitely an observation that has become crystal clear. In fact, I don’t even think half of my friends who are in relationships did anything special for Valentine’s Day this year. There were definitely far fewer Instagram posts than normal it seems.
As it turns out, this observation is backed up by data. Valentine’s Day 2022 was one where fewer couples wished one another a Happy Valentines. A survey from Dating.com found that nearly half of people in relationships opted out of celebrating the holiday while 32% had date nights at home. Only 21% of survey respondents went out to celebrate.
Why was Valentine’s Day 2022 less popular than usual? The survey delved into that topic as well. For people not in a relationship, 74% felt that Valentine’s Day put too much pressure on a potential relationship. Meanwhile, couples argued that Valentine’s Day has lost its meaning due to the pandemic, a feeling shared by 60% of respondents.
In fact, the pandemic seems to have vastly changed the way that couples view interactions with one another. After being quarantined together, nearly half of people in a relationship noted an expectation to give and receive support throughout the year, with quality time together being one of the most significant values. Indeed, a greater effort to emphasize a loving, supportive relationship during the year would diminish the significance of Valentine’s Day.
Why Is Valentine’s Day Celebrated?
Many people may not realize the history behind Valentine’s Day and what has led us to wish each other a Happy Valentines Day every February 14th. When looking at why Valentine’s Day is celebrated, it is actually a bit difficult to come up with a coherent explanation as historians differ in their interpretations of the holiday’s origin.
What is known is that Valentine’s Day is related to Saint Valentine, a priest in the third century. However, Saint Valentine may actually be two people as Valentine was a very popular title during the time and two priests in and near Rome were executed around a similar time period, both sharing the name. Ultimately, Saint Valentine was executed by Emperor Claudius II for performing marriages for Christians.
Thus, Saint Valentine is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Saint of lovers, marriage, and several other things such as beekeeping and epilepsy. However, Valentine’s Day is not documented as being celebrated until 1375 when it appeared in a fictional poem from Geoffrey Chaucer. In fact, Chaucer’s poem likely served as a catalyst for its modern inception, associating the holiday with the goal of pairing with a lover.
Prior to Chaucer’s poem, mid-February was the time of Lupercalia, a pagan festival that focused on welcoming the spring and celebrating fertility among other things. However, the association with romantic love was not yet present.
Will Valentine’s Day Continue to Decrease in Popularity?
Valentine’s Day is still quite popular in many places in the world; however, it is definitely declining in popularity in Britain, the United States, and many other nations. It is likely that this trend could continue. After all, people are changing the ways that they celebrate relationships.
For many people in the past, Valentine’s Day was an opportunity to make a grand gesture of love to make someone feel special. However, many modern couples are realizing that they should not feel special only on Valentine’s Day and anniversaries but throughout the year. Many couples are shifting to small yet frequent meaningful acts and quality time to emphasize their love throughout the year.
Additionally, you can’t help but realize that the meaning of Valentine’s Day has grown to seem much more commercialized than its intention. For many people, this is somewhat of a turnoff regarding the holiday. After all, the quality of a relationship is not measured by the number of pounds spent on a gift or the spectacle of one day but rather the many combined actions over the course of a year.
When we think about why Valentine’s Day is celebrated, the original reason is to show love, something that can easily be done on a daily basis. Fortunately, many couples are realizing the importance of this, which will hopefully yield stronger relationships. If Valentine’s Day is to be a casualty of this, it would certainly be a worthwhile loss.