Love-Hating Valentine's Day

Red roses are arranged at Only Roses on Old Brompton Road, London, prepares a bouquet ahead of Valentine's Day.
Red roses are arranged at Only Roses on Old Brompton Road, London, prepares a bouquet ahead of Valentine's Day.

Why is it that Valentine's Day has become the much-scorned "ugly stepsister" of all the holidays? Most of us loathe V-Day when we're single and then roll our eyes over it when we're coupled up. I remember the days when February 14th was something I'd look forward to with butterflies and bated breath, imagining all the cards and candy I'd have waiting for me in my cubby the next day. (Yes, the last time V-Day was a big deal was in elementary school.) Thing is, I am a total romantic -- my job is writing love stories! And yet, whenever I want to do it up on Valentine's Day, I'm met with resistance, often in the form of my own sheepishness at celebrating what so many call a fake holiday.

I suppose the holiday known as V-Day went terribly wrong when it became The Competitive One. When you're in high school, the whole day is one epic popularity contest. Who is going to get the most candygrams, cards and declarations that people find them hot? Then when we're in the adult world, the pressure to be coupled-up intensifies, so that those without a plus-one are left feeling wanting, while those in relationships feel the heat to deliver on often unrealistically high expectations of the day.

And yet, love is most definitely something to celebrate. While it is a bit ridiculous that the greeting card and floral industries have taken it upon themselves to dictate February 14th the day you spoil your significant other... is there really a problem in indulging? Why not get excited about V-Day the way we did when we were kids? So while my boyfriend and I are having a non-traditional Valentine's Day date night -- bowling and a diner with friends! -- I've decided to let my hopeless-romantic flag fly a little too. That means stocking our apartment with Valentine-themed paper plates, ordering a surprise delivery of V-Day cupcakes, and wearing plenty of pink!

I've certainly had my share of V-Days when I was hardly in the mood to get excited over candy hearts and jewelry commercials. But if we can look at February 14th as a day to celebrate love in all its forms -- love for parents, siblings, friends- - and remove the competition factor? That's a holiday I think we can all get behind.

What are your thoughts on V-Day? Do you agree/disagree? Continue the conversation in the comments below!