By: Natasha Archary
Now before everyone who hashtags #LoveLivesHere comes at me for being a hater, let me just clarify that I’m pro-love. Always. I’m just not a fan of the commercialised, overrated and paganist celebration that is Valentine’s Day.
How could anyone be against a day that is dedicated to lovers and true love, you may ask? Simply because I don’t believe that this one day in the year is an ode to love. It’s actually just a day that revolves around gender stereotypes, driving consumerism.
Do we even know why we celebrate this day? Or does it not matter because this is just what people in love have been doing for lightyears?
A muddled history
Why we celebrate this day is beyond me. There’s no clear origin story, just murky “urban legends” around a certain St. Valentine. Some say, it’s to mark the day the patron Saint, wrote a letter to his beloved before her father, his jailor sentenced him to death.
Others claim it’s the celebration of a priest who defied the banning of marriage in third century Rome, conducting secret marriages for soldiers at war. Then there are the nauseating folk-tales that the day is actually a result of a pagan festival for fertility.
On the day, worshippers of the Roman church would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. Slapping the woman desperate to have a baby with the blood of both animals because how else does one cure fertility issues?
So much for love
This is THE day that men have to prove to themselves. Whether he’s a romantic by nature type of guy or not, the pressure this day brings is insane. The bigger the gesture, the more he loves you. The bigger the show, the more he wants to be with you. The more public the display of affection, the more serious he is about you.
Deliveries at her office, so she and her female colleagues can squeal in delight and rave about how perfect you are, will definitely earn you their “he’s a keeper” vote. A decadent dinner at the most exclusive restaurant you could possibly afford, sets a benchmark for your relationship going forward.
It’s all enforcing the gender stereotype that this day brings. Isn’t love a two-way street? And yet how many women are out there sending the male equivalent to a bouquet of roses?
I’m all for love. I believe it still exists. That we all have a soulmate we spend our lives trying to find. But if you need one day in the year to exploit this love then that’s nothing more than lustful infatuation.
To all those loved-up couples today, that fat cherub with his heart-shaped bow and arrow, targets the insecurities within your relationship. That’s the hidden meaning behind the entire concept of Valentine’s Day.
Think about it, if Cupid strikes you with his arrow, you fall madly in love with the first person you see for the rest of your life. Conditioning you into believing that these brazen displays of affection and this romanticised notion of how you love someone, is the standard.
Let’s not even start with the men who pop the question today. (GAGS involuntarily). This has to be the cheesiest and worst gesture and anyone considering this move should just abort mission. What happens if your relationship runs out of steam and you decide a few months down the line that you want to call the whole thing off?
Now the 14 February will forever be marred for the both of you and you decide to never fall in love again. Resigned to a lifetime of meaningless, random sex to get you by. Don’t do it. Your life is not an episode of the Bachelor SA, you don’t need to tick all these romantic boxes to prove how you feel about your person.